Simple Tricks to Save Time and Money on Homecooked Meals

If you were to take a survey of your friends and family members, you’d probably find that the one thing most people lament is the loss of the traditional family meal around the table. Perhaps it’s because more and more families now have both parents working outside the home and time is precious, or perhaps it’s because we are simply spending more time on our mobile devices on social media than we are conversing face-to-face with the people in our lives.

Although you know it’s cheaper to feed a family of four at home than going through a Burger King or McDonald’s drive-thru, it’s just easier than cooking every night of the week. Who wants to spend hours in the kitchen after working all day? There is no need to when you learn some simple tips and tricks on sites like to help you save time and money by cooking at home.

Make Family Meals Fun Again

Before going any further, if you are trying to get your family interested in sitting around the table instead of going off to the family room with their burger and fries, you need to learn to make meals fun again. Why not make at least one night a week international night? Pick a country and then look online for recipes from that country.

You’d be surprised at just how many ingredients you have right there in your own pantry and mealtime can be fun again. For example, did you know that the one main difference between Italian tomato sauce and Greek tomato sauce is one spice? Greeks have that unique flavor because of the inclusion of allspice and mint in their sauces. Look around at some of your favorite ethnic foods and you’ll see that often it’s that one spice that makes the difference.

Make the Slow Cooker Your Best Friend

It’s easy to add a bit of a twist to traditional family favorites and what could be easier than putting sauce in a slow cooker in the morning and then when you get home boiling a pan of water for pasta? Or, what about beef stew, pot roast or barbeque pork sandwiches on Texas toast? It’s a matter of setting everything in the pot, letting it heat on high while you get ready for work and then simply setting the slow cooker to low as you walk out the door.

As for peeling those potatoes? Don’t! Many of the nutrients are in the skin so just get the baby reds, wash them well and throw them in the cooker. For less than $10 to $12 you can feed a family of four a nourishing meal and that is certainly less than four value meals at a drive-thru. Freeze the leftovers and there you go – another meal for another night!

The Main Takeaway – Don’t Take Away!

The point is, most of us don’t realize just how expensive it really gets eating at those fast food restaurants. Add up what the meal costs including your time waiting in line as well as the gas it costs to get there, and you’ll see that it’s far less expensive to eat at home. The best trick of all is to make mealtime fun by switching up recipes with just a few basic ingredients and spices. Your family will start to look forward to what you’ve cooked up for them each night and see how easy it is to get the family back around the table.