Our self-imposed "cook at home" challenge is going well. Here is what we have done to be successful.
Two posts ago, I mentioned that I added up what we spent on eating out and my jaw hit the floor. Since then, I resolved to eat many more meals at home. What kept playing over in my head was that I have to "be intentional" to do this.
I sat down, made a list of meals that we like (we tend to be picky). I made a second list of items that we needed to make things on the list. There were only probably five or less items needed to make the list. Since the day I made the list, I have added new dishes to the list--yay! Variety is the spice of life!
The next thing I did was to set a goal to meet on the eating out front. It is to eat out twice per week--once fast food and once sit-down. This may seem like a lot of eating out to some, but truly it does cut back a lot for us. It wasn't uncommon for us to eat out all meals on Sunday (or at least two). Since we have a good 7 or 8 roasts in the freezer, it is time to use them for those Sunday meals.
Josh laughed at me tonight when I told him to google "dinner ideas". He was no longer laughing and glad once we clicked the first link. It was chicken/potato bake. We did modify it a tiny bit. If I remember correctly, it was on kraft dot com. The dish was super easy and a huge hit!!! The modifications we made...we used chicken breast which I cut into cutlets and I used more italian dressing (in packet) and spice than called for. In order to make sure everything cooked in the time recommended, I kept it covered until the last 10 minutes as well as cut the chicken and the potatoes into small pieces.
Thus far, we are successful this week.
A few other tips:
I have always hated dishes and that keeps me from cooking with busy schedules. We use foam plates for many meals to cut down on dishes.
I try to think of things that we can make where we like the leftovers so that we can eat those for lunch/dinner on the fly. For us, lasagna is great for that purpose.
I know these are not new tips by any means, but this is something that is working for us right now.