Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 18: Eat at Home

I love eating out as much as the next person, but eating out can get so expensive! Especially in DC where the restaurant tax is 10% on top of already expensive meals, a dinner for two easily runs between $30-$50. That's why as our New Year's Resolution, the hubby and I are resolving to eat at home more. While we will still go out for special occasions, we are attempting to cook as much as we can at home.

Tonight we decided to have a romantic at home date night, complete with lasagna and garlic bread. The lasagna cost less than $15 for all the ingredients (including 2 pounds of extra lean ground beef) and we have enough leftovers for a few more meal servings. A dinner at Maggiano's would have easily been triple that amount and far less romantic.

Eating at home not only saves you money, but it's also a chance to spend time with your family and bond. And cooking doesn't have to be a chore! Find new and fun recipes to tryout or challenge yourself to try and come up with a delicious meal with the ingredients you have on hand -- I'm sure you'd be amazed by your creativity.

One of the biggest challenges of cooking at home is ensuring that you have the ingredients you need when you need them. This requires a bit of planning before hitting the grocery store for what meals you will be making and what they require. I always to try to find meals with similar ingredients to cut down on the list.

Soon, I will be posting how to make a menu board for your home, a sample meal plan and shopping list, and some delicious and easy frugal recipes. For now, be sure to check out my Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe -- simple, hearty, and so flavorful. 

If you want to start finding great recipes to try out, my go to cook book is the Joy of Cooking. I always tweak them to my own taste, but this provides an excellent starting point.

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