Food dollars under siege: Stop them from seeping away

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By: Phil Bradford
on 4th Jul,2014

There are many suitable foods to choose from and you can do so keeping your family in your stride.
Food dollars under siege: Stop them from seeping away

Today, with the ever escalating price of the restaurants and take-out food outlets, you can try preparing your own food to keep your food dollars under control. There are many suitable foods to choose from and you can do so keeping your family in your stride. And if you're lucky, then you can cook for them together. This way you get to prepare and eat what you love, affordably.

So, to get your entire family involved in the play - from planning the menu to chopping the veggies to preparing the meal. Everything's is in your control when you make it at home.

How do you save money through home-made food?

For instance, the cost of a 12-inch pizza would be as follows:

Home made - $3.00
Take-out - $10.00
Frozen (ready to eat) - $3.89

(a) Homemade burritos

You too can make your own!

Ingredients required:

Cooked chicken or canned beans
Tortilla (a thin, flatbread made of grounded wheat flour or maize)
Chopped tomato
Lettuce leave


Step 1: Heat chicken or beans.

Step 2: Next fill the tortilla with a little bit of prepared chicken or beans.

Step 3: Now, add toppings of your choice.

You may serve burritos with a glass of nonfat milk, besides a piece of fruit with it.

(b) Homemade pizza

Pizza is a great, fun-filled way to connect with your kids and let them understand the nutritive value of homemade foods as well as appreciate their money-saving attribute. To prepare one at your home, you can purchase a ready-to-eat crust, sauce and cheese.

Chop up the veggies and/or fruits to be used as toppings. At this stage, you can let your child help you out in decorating the pizza as per his or her liking. Bake it and enjoy that with your family.

(c) Homemade sandwich (sub)

You can make some of the most healthy and delicious sub ever in your home. You can prepare them to take to work or pack them up for your kids as their school meal. To make sandwiches, you can either buy pita bread or sub rolls.

To fill your subs, you can make use of some of the following:

  • hummus
  • tuna
  • lean meats like turkey
  • peanut butter, etc.

Similarly, to add some crunch to your sandwiches, you can fill them up with:

  • celery
  • lettuce
  • shredded carrots
  • cucumber slices and the likes.

(d) Homemade coffee

Its quite easy to get lured into buying a cup of coffee from the nearby Starbucks store or any other beverage when you out. But, with a little bit of prudence from your end, there's a lot that you can save here too.
For example, if you buy five coffees a week, then that'll cost you above $325 per annum. But, if you make the same coffee at your home and carry that with you while travelling, then that would amount to $26 a year!

Just look at the magnitude of the savings you get to incur by reducing just one of your discretionary costs. Then, imagine how much more could you save in a year by studying your spending behavior and making necessary changes in your household budget accordingly.

(e) Tap water

As far as water bottle is concerned, then a single bottle would cost you around $3-$8. You can reap the returns within three to eight of its purchase. If you carry your own water bottle and drink tap water, then that too will save you not less than $250 per year.

Let your kids participate

This is very important since it helps foster a sense of responsibility in them. When you get your kids involved in preparing the food, then that will make them appreciate the meal prepared. This is because kids happily eat foods which they've helped prepare.

Hence, you can let your kids participate in the food preparation process:

  • You can ask your kids to tear lettuce leaves.
  • Make them mix ingredients together.
  • Ask them to cut/chop veggies and wash fruits.
  • Let them arrange all the necessary ingredients for the respective recipes.
  • Allow them to measure salt, flour, spices and different other ingredients.

Yes, its true that everyone wants food on the table fast. But, to fulfill such a demand, it's never advisable to opt for convenience foods all the time. The fact is convenience foods can be costly. Therefore, if you run short on time or want to get your meal in a hurry, then you can make your own affordable convenience foods. This way you'll get your food on time and also save money in the act - best of both worlds.

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