What we eat and how we eat it is another great way to control the budget and shift your money towards what you value. Obviously, cooking your own food and avoiding as many convenience foods as possible is a fantastic way to decrease your out flow of cash; followed by not eating out or getting carryout from your favorite restaurants. I have included some of my ideas below, as well as debuting the cover for my cookbook! Once you get going, you will start coming up with great ideas of your own to create cash while feeding yourself and your family.
- Think ahead. One day a week spend some time in the kitchen preparing foods for the week. Prep vegetables for quick salads at the end of a busy day. Cook soups, chilies and casseroles, as well as beans, rice, quinoa or even pasta. I've also been known to cook a whole chicken, or roast a bag of breasts to have ready to go. All of these items keep in the refrigerator for days at a time and you can freeze what doesn't get used.
|Here's the cover! Out in early 2013!|
Cover art by Kelly Martin
Cover text by me :)
- Explore crock-pot meals. You start them in the morning and when your family arrives home in the evening, dinner is ready. This is how it used to be. These days I keep hearing how the heat has increased on the newer crock pots. This means you can still do crock-pot meals, but maybe save them for a Saturday when you'll be out running errands and won't be gone from the house for so long. Regardless, this is a great way to avoid convenience food and keep dinner sustainable.
- Freeze meals a month at a time. Whether it's making extra food in the crock-pot, baking a whole bag of chicken breasts at a time, or using an extra large sauce pan to make your soups, chilies, or even mashed potatoes, doubling, tripling or quadrupling your recipe will put all sorts of extra money in your control. Freezing these extra portions will put a variety of sustainable, healthy and quick meals at your disposal. Thus, keeping you away from expensive carry-out and fast foods.
- Let's Do Chinese! If you're dying for Chinese food, go to your local Chinese buffet. Fill the carryout container with meat and vegetables only. Make rice at home, and purchase soda by the two liter at the grocery store. There's no tipping involved, it's enough for two people and it's usually under $8 for a carryout container. If you go during lunch, it will be even cheaper.
- "I'm Lovin' It!" If you have to have fast food, stay away from the Value Meals. Buy a sack of burgers and purchase potato chips and soda pop at the grocery store.
- Drop Starbucks. Make your own coffee in the morning and put it in a travel mug. That's coffee for pennies on the dollar. We even keep special creamers and chocolate syrup in the house for Ken's morning joe.
- Skip that fast-food breakfast. Again, for pennies on the dollar, I make egg, bacon and soy cheese sandwiches on whole grain toast. I even make these a month at a time, individually wrap them and put them in the freezer. You can do this with breakfast burritos (or even regular burritos), as well.
- Pack your lunch. One last time. Really. Why would you spend three times as much as you need to on lunch? It's more sustainable to pack a lunch. Simply pack up leftovers to take to work, freeze some food in advance, or do like my coworker does. She keeps bread, lunch meat, cheese and mustard in the fridge at work. For the price of a foot-long Subway sub, she eats lunch for the whole week. Heck! Lately I've just been eating peanut butter and jelly with an apple. Talk about energizing and filling. Plus, the money I've been saving for what I value has been awesome!
If you've been following this series, I would love to hear how your money shifting has been going. Leave me a post on Facebook, send me an email or Tweet me. I can't wait to hear about what values you now have more money for!
P.S. ~ Not Sure What It Is You Truly Value? Click Here For Three Free Worksheets I Created To Help You Out! :)