When Jason and I first got married we both were so excited to try as many restaurants as we could find. However, we were very unwise in not keeping a budget and we avoided eating at home. We not only saw our weight go up on the scale but we also saw our the balances go up on our credit cards. We made very poor and unhealthy choices and whenever we decided to go scorched earth on debts and organizing, we decided it was time to change our eating habits.
The best plan we discovered when eating healthier is simply eating at home. Not only will you see positive results in saving money but you also see better results during your doctor checkups. Now, when eating at home I don’t mean buying and eating only frozen pizzas, microwave dinners, cans of soup, etc. While these food choices are ok every now and then they can become very expensive and unhealthy. One of the biggest issues we discovered was making time to prepare homemade meals whenever you have a busy schedule.
Below, are listed some tips that have really helped us to eat healthier meals at home. Following these steps can save you so much time and money on your food budget!
#1 – Take your Time
The worst mistake most people do when developing a new habit is they try to do everything at once. They set up intricate and time-consuming plans and after about the 1st or 2nd week they become overwhelmed and fed up and then quit. With all the life changing habits Jason and I have started we took time to sit down and think it through and start slow. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef when you start to cook from home for your family. Don’t be afraid to ask family or friends for help. Also, there are some wonderful step-by-step videos to teach you how to make meals. If you’re a novice at cooking, start with a simple recipe, so its not overwhelming. I’ve learned that crock-pot meals are you best friend when you are a beginner! Just take your time!
#2 – Purchase What You Need to Get Started
Before making any recipe, write down the utensils and ingredients needed for making the recipe. That way you avoid the aggravation of being in the middle of making a recipe for dinner and realizing you don’t have what you need.
#3 – Organize Your Kitchen
I may get a little carried away on this one at times, but let me tell you this has saved us so much time, frustration and food waste! When you keep your utensils and foods organized you know where items are for when you need them and when its time to restock on certain foods and spices. This can help reduce clutter by not purchasing items that you don’t need only to have it sit around and go bad. This will save you money and increase shelf space so it’s a win-win.
#4 – Build Up a Collection of Family Favorite Recipes
Since we’ve been married I’ve had some recipes that turned out wonderfully, and then I had some that were downright terrible. The ones that my husband looks at me and says “honey this one is a keeper!” I save that recipe and put it in a binder. I recently upgraded to the Family Recipe Binder from Emily Ley. What I love about this binder is it’s so personal, simple and organized with foil press dividers. This recipe book came with a keepsake box so that I can keep it protected when I’m not using it. One day when I have it all filled I can pass it along to my children. Below is a unboxing video I made of the Emily Ley binder to show just how wonderful it is. I highly recommend investing in a family recipe binder like this one shown below if you enjoy cooking. Starting a collection of recipes that you know your family will enjoy will save you so much time and frustration from the picky eaters you may have through the years.
Disclosure: “We were given the Emily Ley Family Recipe Binder as a gift to review, our opinions in this post remain our own and we were in no way influenced by the company. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.”
#5 – Create a Meal Plan
When planning out our meals, Jason and I sit down on Saturdays and go over our meal plan together. Whenever works best for you and your family, taking a few minutes of your day to plan out your meal for the following week and creating a grocery list can help you day after day when wondering what to make. This is becoming more of a better habit for us and I can see this becoming very handy in the future when children come along. I love knowing what to make and what to buy before hand at the grocery store because I personally really dislike grocery shopping! The sooner we can get in and out, the better! And what is even better about meal planning are the leftovers! When creating a meal plan we try to have at least 2-3 large meals a week. Whether a crock pot meal or a casserole dish this makes many leftovers for lunches, weekend meals, or if guests come over you have plenty. (Bonus: with a meal plan, the odds of you getting disgusted trying to figure out what to eat and then just going out to eat will drop significantly!)
Click HERE for free Meal Plan Template Download
#6 – Try New Recipes Every Week
Yes, this takes time and some research but it is so worth it in the long run! My advice is rotate food styles and have fun with it! Try different methods of preparing, cooking and serving so it’s always fresh and exciting. Seriously, it’s important to try new foods because you never know what your next favorite will be. Eventually after many trial and error recipes you will have a collection that just works for you and your family! Pick a day of the week that works for you and your family and try a new recipe.
#7 – Where to Find Recipes
Let me start by saying this, Pinterest has just as many recipes as they do Pinterest fails. So, be very cautious on choosing your recipes from Pinterest. The best place I have found recipes is by, asking my family, Internet resources like allrecipes.com, thrift stores have many cook books for cheap, deli markets or bakery’s. When you have these cookbooks and Internet resources, find the recipes you think you and your family will like and give them a try. If they turn out and it is a hit write them down and put them in your binder. If they are a flop, cross them off or put a mark on the page of the cookbook and avoid it from now on.