Making healthy and enjoyable meals for the family is a wonderful yet often undervalued skill. You can save your family a fortune by making home made meals, not to mention the many other benefits of home cooking. You don’t need to make a major production of cooking gourmet meals, just develop some good old fashioned skills which a couple of generations ago were common place and valued.
By putting some thought into what your family will eat for the week, you can save all sorts of stress and money. I find it good to have a quick look at my diary at the beginning of the week and look at what I have on, from there I decide what meal we will have accordingly. For example, if I am going to be out most of the day I will plan to use a meal from my freezer stockpile, or something with minimal prep. If I have a home day, I will cook something which takes a bit more lead time. I often cook double quantities of things which I know freeze well, so that I have a store of “fast food” in the freezer. The slow cooker is a favourite tool for me too, I love meals which can be just thrown into the slow cooker and then left to cook themselves. I think the slow cooker is a fantastic tool to use particularly when you have a family. You can prepare the dinner earlier in the day when things are usually calmer and then come dinner time dinner is ready to go! Slow cookers are fairly cheap to buy and very economical to run, I think they are a great investment.
With a little planning you can really cut your costs and your stress regarding what to feed your family. I am amazed at the amount of money that can be wasted on last minute take away meals. Also, what could be a better gift to your family than an atmosphere of peace and order around dinner time, rather than chaos and disorder. The simple things like meal planning and preparation really can make the world of difference to the atmosphere in your home.
Here’s a list of simple family meals which don’t cost an arm and a leg and don’t have a bunch of exotic ingredients.
I hope these ideas have helped with developing your own repertoire of easy, healthy and frugal family meals.