I’m totally still living at my parent’s house, and while it’s not been a disaster or anything I am ready to get back home. With four adults and two kids under 4, we have a wide variety of food preferences that we are trying to meet. So we pretty much end up eating out or getting delivery every night. My body pretty much hates me at this point. And so does my bank account.
I’ve been working with all the resources in my Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle to create a cheaper, easier, healthier system for once we move back home. Hopefully, we will be back home within the month.
Until then, I wanted to share a few time and money saving hacks that I have used in the past and plan to use again once we get home. Because everyone wants to save time in the kitchen right?
Stop buying cereal.
Actually just stop buying anything on that isle at all.
Cereal is sugary, it’s not filling and it’s just bad for your health. Have you ever even tried to eat just the suggested servicing size of cereal? It’s impossible because it doesn’t fill you up. Then you are still hungry again in an hour. Plus you add milk which just means extra calories.
One box of cereal is like $4-$5 and it will only last my family two days.
My family cut out cereal about a year ago and we haven’t even missed it.
Stop with the pop tarts.
It’s just a big sugary pastry wrapped in plastic. This is not something that is going to fuel your body.
Stop buying Granola
So this one makes me so sad.
Either make it yourself or just skip it. If you are just going to a typical grocery store you are not likely to find a granola that isn’t loaded with sugar. Even the ones that “claim” to be healthy are loaded with sugar! Loaded!
Stop buying Prepackaged Oatmeal
Its FULL of Sugar and its way more expensive to buy it in a package. Put regular, non-sweetened oatmeal in a container with a scoop! Add dried fruit and cream and it’s just as tasty as the other.
Jessica at Jessica in the Kitchen has a TON of great recipes for overnight oats and a very tasty Pumpkin Spice Granola on her blog. Her Ebook, It’s that Easy, which I found in the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle, has become one of my FAVORITES.
Make your own staples
Why should you make your own staples? Sugar, Sugar, Sugar. Plus shelf stable items include TONS of preservatives. I mean why would you want to eat something that has a shelf life of 2 years?
Mandi at Life your Way has a great Ebook called Easy Homemade (Which is currently included in the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle) and she includes tons of recipes on how to make your own staples. Like ketchup, ranch and salad dressings. She also includes how long each item is good for! Which is awesome because most recipes are like here you go, just use it till it smells bad.
Create back up meals in the Freezer and Pantry
Stock up to save time. Stock up to save $.
We always end up going out to eat because we have nothing convenient at the house. Going out to eat generally costs us about 4-5 times more than eating at home! The cost of eating out in Florida is pretty expensive.
We love to make meals ahead of time. I am a huge fan of soup so I will make a huge batch and then freeze the rest in family sized portions.
I also really like to make a bunch of pie crusts ahead of time. I can throw a quiche together with random things we have in the fridge for a meal that works any time of the day. I also keep the fixings for pot pies in the freezer so I can pop those into a pie crust and have a fantastic homemade meal for dinner.
I also have a real weak spot for almost everything at Trader Joe’s. If you haven’t been you MUST find one near you and check it out. We always keep fried rice and mandarin orange chicken in the freezer.
For pantry meals I keep sauces. Pesto, Vodka, Garlic etc. They are easy to throw on a pasta, zucchini noodles, or into a stir-fry.
It’s important to keep a variety of options, that way you can have something that you will actually eat, no matter what you are in the mood for.
The Ultimate Way to Save Time and Money
Everyone already knows this right? It’s supposed to save time, money and help us to eat better. Somehow the planning part always seems to be way more trouble then it should be though.
Well, that was until I got The Dinner Daily service to start taking care of dinner for me. I’ve got a full review on it here, but the short version is that for about $1.50 a week, they create a meal plan, based on my dietary preferences and my store’s current sales. They email me the list, allow me to make any changes and then I just print the menus and shopping list. IT IS AWESOME.
Another awesome resource is the Ultimate Meal Planning Bundle. Its only available for a brief period so grab it while you can. It includes ebooks, courses, and recipes in 9 categories like paleo, vegan, quick and easy, slow-cooker etc. I use several of the resources in there to help me with my breakfast, lunch and snack planning. There are also over 3,000 recipes included in the bundle so if I do want to stray from The Dinner Daily I’m covered for dinners and desserts too!
Did I miss anything? What ways do you save time and money in the kitchen?
If meal planning, or just saving money is a goal for you this year, make sure you grab a copy of the FREE Goal Setting Workbook to keep yourself accountable!