Saving money and cooking at the same time
My wife works as a hairdresser and so therefore we have very crazy eating habits, She might go all day without eating because she has been busy, and then she is straight into dinner then off to bed – especially as she has at least 2 late nights per week and they can have her finishing at up to 8.30pm/9pm.
Now on the days that Renee isn’t around I will cook for the household – including Pyper and she is relatively easy because it’s the same food different day, just a variation on the selection as such.
So this week because we are such budding chefs, I have been personally sick of the same boring food, and we wanted something a little different and healthy. Something that could be prepared in a smallish amount of time with minimal amount of ingredients. Well we managed to come up with a new system, and one that didn’t include chilli mince in either tortillas or taco shells. We seem to have a hundred weight watchers menu books or healthy menu books lying around gathering dust so we got them out and did what most smart people would do and read them looking for good recipes of which 95% of them are it was fantastic to see.
Ok so your thinking what’s the point? – hmmm ok good question! As fathers or men we tend to be less than satisfactory in the kitchen well I know that I am, and once again when we don’t know we just don’t do! We looked at all the recipes in the book and then wrote the titles down of what we liked the look of – very important to have pictures for men. Writing down the menu and then deciding if there was overlap in the ingredients, now unfortunately getting something with only 3-4 ingredients usually consists of toast, butter and a spread if you’re lucky not so great for tea.
Then we crossed off the recipes that had say 10 ingredients with prep time of 30 mins and cooking time of 30 mins, that 1 hour and really when you’re a man and looking after a small child who is hungry 1 hour is around 40 mins way too long. So our list goes a little like this for example:
Spaghetti with tomato, onion & feta
Page 12 WW (Simply Dinners 2006)
Hoisin Beef Stir-fry
Page 49 WW (Oct 08)
You get my drift……..
Our groceries are brought on what we are having for the week, and usually we can get 2 meals out of a 700gm of chicken and then 500gm of beef etc so we can buy in bulk knowing that we will just find a recipe with beef or chicken etc if need be. We make our grocery list in accordance with the ingredients for the week, not buying a whole lot of food that may or may not get used, so we save money there also!
The trick is as you know is to not have to buy a singular item like for example Fish Sauce that you might not use in another dish again, so just substitute where you need to.
I look at cooking in a whole new light, I am more confident as I know what I am cooking and I just go to the fridge look at the day and get the recipe book out.
It’s that simple even I could do it! We have eaten more variety of food in the last week then in the last year of cooking at home! I even get brownie points from my wife who loves the more nutritional food.