How To Save Money And Cook From Scratch
There are certain things I just do not buy. I just don’t. Is it because I am frugal? Or is it because I am aware of what all those ingredients are on the back of the box? It may be both. You can definitely save money cooking from scratch, but it is so much more than that. It’s about putting into your body the BEST foods you can afford. It is about being conscious of how you are spending your money. How much do you cook from scratch?
As I wrote about in Save Money And Eat Organic, you do the best you can. But if you chose to go the organic route, you have to cut back someplace to balance the expenses. I offset the prices of many foods by making my own.
Here are the items I usually make for each meal
Brutally honest here. Not ALL my food is made from scratch. I do not make my bread. We buy that. We also purchase chips and many times french fries. And we buy juice and cheese as well as butter. There are extreme ‘made-from-scratch’ methods that if you do these – I applaud you! For real! But we each do the best we can with what we have.
Making food from scratch can be time-consuming and if you have a full-time job, a large family, or both, you may not have time for this stuff. Making things ahead of time and utilizing things like slow cookers and electric pressure cookers are a HUGE time saver.
Also, freezing food is a GREAT time and money saver. If you are making a batch of pancakes, why not double it and throw some in the freezer for quick weekday breakfasts. The same with lasagna. Make two; one to eat now and one for later.
Oatmeal, french toast, pancakes, yogurt and homemade granola, are all tremendously healthy ideas for breakfast. They are cheap and healthy. No sugary cereals. Eggs are a staple in this house for breakfast. I think the majority of us eat them every day! And there is always peanut butter toast! I love peanut butter!
To save money in our house, much of lunch food consists of leftovers. We enjoy pretty much any leftover meat on top of a salad. About three days ago, I made a BIG roast, and we are really enjoying that on top of a full bowl of veggies and some blue cheese dressing! Salad dressings are really easy to cook from scratch with zero cooking!! YUM!
My youngest has a peanut butter sandwich almost every day. He also enjoys a chicken quesadilla and mac and cheese when available. My oldest will eat whatever you put in front of him!
I haven’t purchased any snacks on a few shopping trips because I am trying to finish up all the random snacks we seem to have in our pantry. I have been enjoying some berries with a dollop of yogurt and granola that I like to cook from scratch for an afternoon bite the last few days. My oldest really loves his PB & J for an afterschool snack. My youngest gravitates toward anything “junk food like”. I push the fruit for snack concept. But cheese and crackers are great as well as popcorn. We do not buy many individual packaged snacks. Maybe Annie’s gummies when school starts but that might be about it.
Dinner is always something I cook from scratch. Really. I rarely open a box for anything premade. Randomly a box of organic mac and cheese but most of the time, we have a meat, a veggie, and a starch. I am a firm lover of potatoes and I think I could eat them every night! Trying to make more than I know we will eat at dinner just so there are leftovers in the refrigerator for lunch the next day.
There it is. Cook from scratch. Not too complicated. Healthy and cheap!