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Are You Cooking More?

November 21st, 2009 at 03:04 pm

I've always cooked. However, now I'm cooking even more. Food has gotten expensive, so I continuously look for ways to save, cutback, and find better alternative ways to do things. There are three in my family. We spend around $300 a month on groceries, not including supplies. Not a little bit of money, but not a lot either. At this stage in my life I do not eat out much. Restaurant kitchens aren't always clean, neither are people's hands, and the luxury of dining out can add up. We probably eat out three times a month, spending around $30-40; using coupons at www.restaurant.com or www.diningperks.com.

Below is how we save money on groceries and cooking.

1. Have a set amount each week budgeted for groceries, and stay within the amount.
2. Shop for food one day a week. Go through cabinets and refrigerator for inventory. Create a weekly menu, and purchase according to what is on the menu.
3. My husband goes to Wal-Mart for most items and then to Kroger for fruits and vegetable one day a week, like clock work.
4. Once a month I order groceries from www.angelfoodministries.com. For $52 I get enough meat, vegetables, fruits, starches, eggs, and dessert to last a couple of weeks. For us, there is enough meat to last over a month or so. We aren't big meat eaters.
5. I cook on Sundays and Wednesday, only. I usually cook 2-3 vegetables on both days. Also, I mix up pasta, casserole, roast with potatoes and vegetables using lots of garlic and onions, on the other days.

The benefits of cooking at home:

a) Our gas bill is only $21 a month, because I cook only two days a week. Our stove is gas the rest is electric.
b) We have good food in a clean kitchen made with clean hands.
c) We save a fortune by eating at home.
d) We eat healthier because I'm cooking using fresh ingredients from scratch, and not boxed or processed foods.
e) We are able to enjoy a meal together as a family at the table and talk.


Are you cooking more? If so, how has it benefited you?

8 Responses to “Are You Cooking More?”

  1. crazyliblady Says:

    I have also been cooking a lot more at home. I have been making rough plans of a weekly menu before I leave the house and making notes of what we already have and what we need. This helps me to make use of ingredients we already have so they don't go to waste. Today, I made an excellent stew which I will take to work with me this next week. I also bought myself a small crock pot to warm up my lunch at work so I don't have to use a microwave.

  2. baselle Says:

    I've been cooking a lot more, and the one benefit you hadn't touched on is less waste. If I've cooked it, I've invested something into it, and I usually have some sort of exit plan for it. The bringing of leftovers for lunch really shortens the time leftovers sit in the refeer!

    Another trick is to buy and eat fresh produce in season - cheaper because the supply is high. And don't poo poo frozen. $1.49 for 16 oz of frozen green beans works out to $1.49/lb fresh, and you usually get those prices only in the late summer.

  3. whitestripe Says:

    I've always cooked a lot, but lately I have also been cooking more - we used to have one takeaway meal a week and now it is more like once a month, as a treat.

    I shop twice a week - once a week for 'supermarket groceries' and on Saturdays I go to the farmers market for fresh fruit and vegetables.

  4. sharmanl Says:

    I don't understand people that don't like leftovers. Leftovers always taste better the next day, too. I love the idea of a small crock pot at work. Excellent idea! And, yes fresh produce is always better and usually cheaper then frozen. Great insight and great ideas from you all.

  5. crazyliblady Says:

    The main reason I bought the crock pot was for my health. My alternative health care provider has been talking to me for years about the radiation from microwaves being bad for one's health. Anyway, I had tried thermoses and they did not always keep my food hot despite warming up the thermos ahead of time with hot water. If anyone would like to buy one, I bought mine at Big Lots. They were about $5.00. They might sell something similar at Walmart and other places.

  6. HouseHopeful Says:

    I'm definately cooking more at home. Being single, and cooking for just me, I have to be very careful of portions, because although I like leftovers, I dont want to be stuck eating the same thing 5 days in a row. This is when the freezer becomes handy!

  7. homebody Says:

    No not more, just planning better I think. For instance, DH smoked a whole tri-tip last weekend, we ate one hunk (he cut it into large chunks) over 3 nights, the last night chopped up and made into chili. Tonight we had leftover brisket from my granddaughter's party in August. So I would have to say we are planning a little better, but we rarely eat out. If we do it is usually breakfast (like this weekend).

  8. Jerry Says:

    We set a food budget that was actually a bit below what we thought we could live on, but it did lead us to get creative. We were able to make it, feed the family, and have some insurance that we could make progress in paying off debt. Sometimes we were eating different things than what we would have chosen, based on what was on sale, but this is truly one area where people can save a lot of money if motivated.
    Jerry

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