At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about how I plan to save money this year and I got a lot of response from it. Because of that I thought I would follow up with a few posts on how I am saving money.
Many people don’t deny that cooking at home saves you money, but do you know all the different ways cooing at home can save you money or just how much money you can save? Many people don’t realize just how much they save until they are faced with the figures.
There are many ways that cooking at home can save you money.
First, cooking at home saves you from eating out. If I just give you some figures from my own family, I can give you a small idea of just how much we save, and how much you can potentially save. There are three people in my family, myself, my husband, and my daughter, and we can all put away the food!
For the three of us to go to McDonald’s it costs between $15 and $20 dollars, for just one meal. Let’s say we eat at McDonald’s every day for a week (I would NEVER suggest this) and we spend $15 each time, that is $105 a week, for just one meal.
If we eat pizza, it costs about $25, because my daughter can’t have pizza and we have to get something else for her, so pizza for a week would cost $175. Again, keep in mind that this is just for one meal.
If we aim for a healthier and heartier meal and go to a sit down restaurant we are looking at anywhere for $30 to $50 for a meal.
I go grocery shopping every week and spend about $200 on groceries and household supplies. This means that my $200 shopping trip may include wipes, cleaning supplies, detergent, body wash, and other items that are needed. I also do my grocery shopping at Walmart, so if I find clothes on sale or clearance for my daughter I will grab them. I would estimate that I spend $20-$50 every week on non-grocery or food related items, but even it I say I spend $200 a week on groceries that is still less than if we were to go out to eat every day. This also gets up 3 meals a day, so I am easily saving money on food. (You can read about another mom’s experience on ABC News.)
With a family of 3, if I make a meal, chances are there are some leftovers. Some days I just don’t feel like cooking, so having some leftovers at home helps keep me from ordering that pizza.
It is easy to see how cooking at home saves you money, but there are many other ways that cooking at home can save you money. There are also some tips that will help you save even more money.
If you cook at home you will be healthier. Even if you still eat hamburgers and fries, they will be healthier than if you go out to eat, though you shouldn’t live off hamburgers and fries everyday. Being healthier means fewer trips to the doctor, fewer health issues, and a longer life.
Many moms throw out that it just takes too much time to cook at home and that fast food is just easier and more convenient. The fact is that fast food really isn’t faster. It takes longer to get into your car, go through the drive thru and get back home than it does to cook a simple meal. What’s more, you can even take 15 minutes in the morning and throw your food into a slow cooker and have the food ready when you get home. If you have to go to the grocery store every day to buy ingredients you will waste more time, but if you plan out your meals and go grocery shopping one day a week you can even save time in the grocery store. Hows that for quicker?
I mentioned planning your meals and going grocery shopping. Making a list and sticking to it is the best way to ensure you buy everything you need for each meal, and you don’t have partial meals, making you go back to the store and wasting time. Also, not knowing what you are cooking for the week can end up in you buying more than you need because you are not sure how much you need. This isn’t a big deal with some things, such as meat that you can freeze, but for fruits and vegetables you can end up throwing away rotten food and wasting money.
Make sure you shop your pantry before you go to the store as well. Many people buy things at the store they think they need, only to discover they have it at home later, meaning you spent money you didn’t need to.
Are you wondering where couponing comes into play? Well, let me tell you, I hate coupons. I have tried them many times in the past, but I found that they actually cost me money. Some people are great at couponing and can benefit from it. If you are one of those people, please feel free to share your secrets, but for me, I spend more money when I have coupons.
You may even say that you are not a good cook or don’t know how to cook, but neither did I. You can easily learn how to cook online. There are a lot of simple and quick recipes on Pinterest. There are even pages on Facebook that show you in a video how to cook a meal, such as Tasty.