So I shared my monthly goals HERE and my top priority for May was to rein in our spending for the month on eating out. I am happy to report that a week into “No Spending Month” we haven’t deviated from our plan and I only spent $183 for all of our groceries FOR THE WHOLE MONTH. (Sorry to yell, but I was really excited about this!)
Here are 10 ways I make it fun and easy and not the boring and dreaded “cook every night same meal kinda thing”:
1. Freezer Crockpot Meals
About once every three months I will make freezer meals such as spaghetti sauce, chili, taco meat, etc. There are a ton of lists and recipes available online. Grab a friend or family member and make a day of it. Here are a few suggestions :
2. Plan your menu a week or month in advance
I have planned our menu for the whole month for at least 15 years now. It makes grocery shopping so much easier even if you go shopping every week, every two weeks or once a month. I take inventory of what I have on hand and plan the menus around my pantry and freezer and fill in with meals as needed. This saves time and money and takes some of the “what should we have for dinner?” thinking out of my day.
3. Snacks & Movie Night
We usually have snacks and movie night on Saturday or Sunday nights. Some nights its chips and dip and veggies with rolled lunch meat. Other nights I make something more. Calling it snacks somehow makes it seem like less work!
4. Breakfast for Dinner
Enough said. There is something to be said about having pancakes for dinner!
5. Soup & Crackers
Or tomato soup and grilled cheese or soup and sandwich or soup and salad. You get the idea.
6. Bits & Pieces
AKA known as leftovers, but cut into smalls bits and pieces and served buffet style. Add little sauces next to your leftover bits of steak or meatloaf. Add a little cheese to the broccoli. My daughter loved bits and pieces night when she was younger. I think it was fun for the smaller bites and a variety of food.
7. Picnic On The Patio
A change of scenery from the dinner table always helps the meal seem more special. I love using the grill too. Saves with clean up. Everyone fixes their plates and brings it outside. A picnic on the patio is sometimes what is needed to just enjoy each other’s company without distractions.
8. Make It A Family Affair
There have been many nights when I just don’t want to make dinner (a lot lately) and I have just had to ask for some help. Let each family member pick one item to prepare and spend time together in the kitchen.
9. Salad Bar
Many nights, especially in the Summer, its too hot to cook. You can pick up many pre-chopped, pre-sliced items at the grocery store. Often it only takes a little time to slice and dice and prepare a small salad bar with veggies, meats and cheeses. This way everyone gets the salad they want. Plus less heat in the kitchen.
10. Remember why you are doing this
I hung up a sign on the refigerator with our financial goals. It will all be worth it!!
Step in faith,