For singles, spending a day cooking family-size meals and dividing them into single servings will save you not only time and money, but increase the odds that you’ll eat healthier, instead of just grazing through the kitchen at night.
The most common complaint I hear from people is that they don’t have time to cook. Consequently, budget busters such as ordering pizza, fast food drive through and prepared foods become the norm for dining. You can reverse this habit and get your budget and your health back into control by making a few simple changes. Would you be willing to invest one day a month to insure that you and your family eats nutritious and cost-effective meals for the entire month? I bet you would!
First, print out a calendar of the month divided into breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you have children who eat lunch at school, you might even want to pencil in what they’re having for lunch. That eliminates a meltdown when they discover that you’ve planned the same thing for dinner that they just ate for lunch.
Thinking of your family’s favorite meals, begin determining what you’ll prepare for which nights. Be mindful of nights that are busy with extra-curricular activities by placing an easy-to-prepare meal on those nights. By doing this, you’ll be able to have a variety of meals. Continue doing the same thing for breakfasts and lunch.
Using your calendar and recipes, begin to determine what ingredients you’ll need to buy and the quantities. With the proper storage containers in the kitchen, you can buy the majority of your food—even produce—on one shopping trip.
Normally, the fewer trips you make to the grocery store each month, the less money you’ll spend. Otherwise, those impulse purchases and end cap specials will wreak havoc on your budget. If you have remarkable self-restraint, you can actually save money by shopping the weekly ads. You’ll find that one week beef is on sale. The next week, chicken is on sale and the next week pork will be on sale. If you buy a month’s worth of beef the first week, a month’s worth of chicken the next week and a month’s worth of pork the third, you will buy when it’s on sale and start a cycle where every month you replace your inventory with the item on sale. However, this system will only produce savings for the disciplined shopper who is not tempted by the extra bag of chips or other non-essential purchases.
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