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5 Ways to Make Cooking at Home Easier {and Save Money!}

cooking at home is easy

Since my husband and I decided we are ready to start a family, we have been trying our best to save money (especially since we hear children can be expensive!). After sitting down and going over our finances, we quickly noticed how much money we spend eating out.

So. Much. Money.

So we are trying our hardest to cut back and cook more at home. Below are some tips I’ve picked up on since we began our money saving adventure.

5 Tips to Help Make Cooking at Home Easier {and Save Money!}

  1. Pick one or two new recipes to try per week
  2. Plan out weekly menus — base them off of sale items
  3. Buy meat in bulk and then portion it out so you don’t have to worry about spending money on meat each week
  4. Remember that eating at home means you are preparing healthy meals because you are able to control ingredients (hopefully … don’t just go grab frozen dinners)
  5. Have a simple meal ready for a night you are just “too tired” to cook

Excuses for Not Cooking at Home . . . Debunked!

Cooking at Home Every Night is Overwhelming

I’ve known this for awhile, but have to constantly remind myself about number 1 — pick only one or two new recipes to try each week. When thinking about cooking at home, especially for someone who isn’t used to it, the thought of coming up with a brand new meal every night of the week can seem very overwhelming and too time consuming. The reason I enjoy eating out is because it is quick and painless … but it can be quick and painless at home as well.I enjoy cooking new recipes, but doing that seven nights can get pretty exhausting. Find a recipe that looks fun to you — whether it is in a magazine or on Pinterest.

I Don’t Know How to Cook

Challenge yourself some. Who knows, you may be the best homemade chicken pot pie maker there is! But limit the “challenging” part to no more than two new recipes a week.

I Don’t Know What to Cook

I have pinned 1,715 recipes at the time of writing this post. There should be no excuse for “not knowing what to cook.” This is when planning comes into play! Create a weekly menu before going grocery shopping.

Cooking at Home is Expensive

I like to plan my meals around Publix’s buy one, get one free specials. This helps save a pretty good amount of money, as well! I rarely pay full price for things like laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, chips. Having your menu outlined for the week makes it feel less overwhelming, as well. You don’t have to scramble at 5:00 or roam the grocery store aimlessly hoping you have everything you need (this leads to overspending, too).

We buy our meat in bulk from Sam’s Club (since we don’t have a Costco). A membership is $45 per year. We save a pretty good amount of money shopping here, so it is worth it. Just shop smart! You don’t want to buy things that will go bad in bulk unless you know that you are going to use all of it. We buy the large quantities of beef, chicken and pork and portion them out when we get home. By “we” I mean my husband. We portion them into freezer bags and store them until we need them. This saves us so. much. money. Look at what you spend on meat per pound at your grocery store, then go look at Sam’s Club (or Costco’s) prices.  I’m pretty sure that they will let you “tour the store” before buying a membership. Calculate the savings and see if it’s worth the membership cost for your family.

This week we spent $16.18 on pork, $11.22 on chicken and $16.20 on beef. After portioning out the meat, we had a total of 21 bags for meals (42 servings for each of us). This totals $43.60 for 21 meals that include meat. I like to make some vegetarian meals during the week, too. This helps offset the price of meat.

$43.60 / 21 = $2.08

$2.08 for each day we prepare meat for the two of us.  

$1.04 per serving / per person for a meal’s meat.

At the end of the day I like to think that I’m feeding myself healthier food, too. Hopefully this will reflect on the scale, hah. It also (sort of – kind of) feels like a game! Maybe? Sure.

I Don’t Feel Like Cooking a Meal Every. Single. Day.

There are just some days when we don’t feel like cooking. It happens. I like to be prepared with a super simple meal for those days. One of my choices for this is baked potato and chili. I get the wrapped baked potatoes that take 7 or so minutes in the microwave and canned chili. So easy. Not healthy. It happens.

Also, Publix has a great package where you can get a rotisserie chicken or friend chicken, two sides, and a four pack of hawaiian rolls for $11.99. This is great for nights you go grocery shopping so you don’t have to worry about cooking when you get home!! This saved us during a moment of weakness this weekend.

How do you make cooking at home fun? What are some of your go-to recipes?

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