Save Money by Eating at Home
The average American spends over $70,000 in their lifetime on dining outside of the home.
And over 47% of Americans dine alone. The typical American spends $20 per meal eating out and does so on an average of 5.8 times per week. That is a lot of money for a country where almost half eat alone.
In fact, American’s are spending money they themselves do not have, especially when 69% of Americans do not have $1,000 in their savings account. Why do so many eat out?
*Ease of eating out
*Lack of preparing meals
*Poor time management
What can be done to help a country that already struggles with debt and a rising obesity problem? How can a family save money and also improve their health?
The answer is simple if you don’t have the money to spend, don’t eat out, but instead learn how to eat at home.
Save Money By Eating At Home
Food does not have to be complicated and preparing meals should not be a major task. However, for some reason, it tends to be avoided for a variety of reasons. Below are six simple steps to help you save money by eating at home.
How to Start Eating at Home
1. Prepare a list of foods that your family eats and that can be heated up for leftovers at work or home.
The goal is to fill your family member’s stomach with healthy and nutritious food without spending a ton of money.
Keep it simple. Don’t go overboard by listing foods that will take hours to prepare.
Example: Salad, sandwiches, soups, wraps, fruit salads, muffins, pasta, hamburgers, tacos, and casseroles.
2. Prepare a menu
Create a master list of the meals that your family will eat and post it somewhere visible. This step alone is a move in the right direction toward saving money. By planning a menu, you will need a calendar, a list of foods that your family eats, and an empty menu.
Download a blank menu here on this Monthly Menu to get you started.
Don’t forget to consider the dates on your calendar (church events, sporting events, birthdays, meetings). Arrange your menu with the easier meals on these nights.
If these are nights that are busy and one the go, this is the prime time to pack your own food or healthy snacks.
3. Prepare the food
In order to save money by preparing a few meals ahead of time, choose a time that is easiest for you. By preparing the food ahead of time you cut down on time and money in the future.
For example, your family loves tacos, but you never seem to have time to eat them.
Choose one night to fry up a few pounds of burger, season with taco seasoning, cut up fresh veggies, and having the other ingredients on hand for tacos.
If you have time on Sunday afternoon and can look ahead at the week and see what night is your busiest evening. This would be the night to have tacos.
4. Invest in the proper containers
Invest in some quality food storage containers that can be frozen, packed in a lunch, are durable, are dishwasher safe, and can be heated in a microwave. For years I have used Mason jars or Anchor Hocking glass resealable containers for my husband’s lunches.
5. Consider the savings
It may be overwhelming at first, especially if you are used to eating out and not preparing your own food. However, if you have the goal of cutting down on the money you spend by eating at home: consider the savings. Though the savings will seem small at first, eventually they will begin to add up making this new endeavor worthwhile.
Trust me your pocketbook, bank account, and waistline will thank you.
6. Be realistic
Take small steps at first. Do what you can. Tweak the plan until it becomes comfortable for you. Maybe you still choose one day to eat out. Or maybe you have to buy pre-cut veggies and prepared additions for your meal.
The whole point of eating at home is to save money and spend more time with your family. Don’t stress yourself out to the point that you give up altogether and revert back to your old ways. It has been said that it takes 21 days in order for something to become a habit. Give this a month and look for great results at the end.
Final notes of encouragement
Ladies, this may seem absolutely impossible to implement into your routine, but it is doable. Remember that as the keeper of our home, especially those of us living on one income while our husband works; that it is important to be frugal-minded.
Learning how to manage our money, cutting corners whenever we can, and cooking at home will be a huge blessing to our family. Not only do we do show that we are good stewards of what the Lord has given us, but we are also teaching common sense and practical living tips to our children. Our children will learn how to become more content, the more economical we can be.
By eating at home you can save money and maximize your savings and reap the benefits of eating together as a family.
Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home