At least once a week something will come up and I’m not able to cook dinner for my family. Either I will have forgotten to thaw something out from the freezer, or I’ll be halfway through preparing a meal, only to realize we’re out of a key ingredient. Sometimes my husband gets off work late and I’m not able to cook dinner for him, because our daughter sleeps in the dining room (oh the joys of living in a tiny apartment). Whatever the reason, it can be tough to get a home cooked meal on the table 7 days a week! With that being said, we all know takeout is expensive, and it’s not the best option for those trying to save every last penny, like we are. So today, I’m sharing 6 ways to avoid eating out (and save money).
- Frozen Pizza – I always keep a frozen pizza on hand. Like I said above, at least once a week something will come up and I’m not able to cook dinner for the family. Frozen pizzas come in handy on those nights and greatly reduce my stress levels! We buy the fancy Freschetta pizzas for around $5 each and that feeds the two of us (the kids eat separately). I can usually cook something from scratch for cheaper, but this is still a more frugal solution to ordering a pizza out, or even going through a drive thru for dinner.
- Easy food – Along with keeping a frozen pizza on hand, I also always keep things like frozen tamales, spaghetti sauce & noodles beans & rice and other super-simple meal ideas on hand. Things that don’t require thawing, or much time in the kitchen. This means I can whip something out easily at the last minute (and even while the baby sleeps in the dining room).
- Pack Snacks – Always keep snacks in the car, that way you will be less tempted to stop for food when you are out and about. Although a burger and fries may seem more appealing than cheese crackers from the car, being able to eat something, can help you resist the extra purchase.
- Plan Ahead – This could go without saying, but it really does help. Meal planning and scheduling does a LOT to help you avoid take out
- Splurge – I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to spend a bit more money at the grocery store, to make sure you have food that you like at home. Chances are, it will still be cheaper than getting take out, or even going through a drive through for fast food!
- Freezer Meals – Double your favorite recipes whenever you can, and freeze the extras. Whenever you are in a pinch for dinner food, you can pull our a meal from the freezer and bake it! Much easier than needing to make something from scratch!
For the next three days Becky from Your Modern Family and I will be doing a series of money saving tips for the new year!!! Click here to read her post for today entitled: Can I Afford To Stay Home?
If you are looking for MORE ways to save, check out this incredible e-book by my friend becky! Click the image below to read all about the book and purchase it! (this is an affiliate link, but I truly think the book is stellar!)
Simple Hacks Living says
1 and 5 have worked very well for us! We reduced the amount of eating out last year and are looking to reduce it even more this year. I need to keep a few more freezer meals on hand for when I am sick!