Enjoy cooking? Save money too

Cook your own meals to save money, eat healthy and have fun too!

Do you enjoy cooking meals for yourself and/or your family! Making meals from scratch can save money and be healthy too! 

One way to save money when preparing meals at home, is to plan ahead of time. Preparing a menu and shopping list will save you money at the grocery store as well as avoid extra trips to the store to pick up ingredients. Having food on hand will also prevent going through a fast food drive thru or ordering food for delivery. Check the grocery ads too when preparing your menu; you can plan your meals around foods that are on sale. 

For menu planning ideas, check on line resources such as Spend Smart, Eat Smart or the What’s Cooking from the USDA or Healthy Eating on a Budget for easy recipes that are healthy and inexpensive. Healthy eating on a Budget even has a sample two week menu with a shopping list. There are countless recipes and menu ideas on line; Keep a close watch for recipes that contain easily obtainable, inexpensive ingredients and are low in fat and salt. 

For nights when you don’t have time to cook, prepare fast, easy to grab and go, foods such as sandwiches, salads, or wraps ahead of time. Remember to keep cold foods cold by using a small cooler with a gel ice pack or ice cubes sealed in a bag. 

Slow cookers can also be a great way to have a hot meal ready to eat when you arrive at home. Michigan State University Extension recommends always thawing meats before cooking them in a slow cooker to avoid potential foodborne illness. Choose high moisture foods like chili, stew, or soup for the best results. What could be better than a tasty stew from the slow cooker with a hearty bread for a cold winter night!

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