If you’re human, you breathe and eat. That’s the deal.
Breathing is free; eating not so much.
In a household with two working parents, finding time to grocery shop and prepare healthy meals can be difficult. It’s a mistake to not try though.
Want to burn through cash faster than a no-revenue Silicon Valley start-up? Go out to eat every night.
Want to have emotionally distant and disconnected children? Make meal eating a you’re-on-your-own free-for-all, with members eating at different times and in different places.
So for us, we’ve made a concerted effort to eat the vast majority of meals at home – together.
Nora leads this effort and she has a few tactics:
1. Frequent the same store every time
This is more about efficiency than cost, since time is so critical. We use Safeway, but most groceries will do as long as it isn’t one of those specialty (read: expensive) places.
2. Start with the grocery store sales flier
Everything flows from this. Scan for familiar key ingredients that are being offered for a great price. Buy even if you can’t use it for a while – that’s what the pantry and freezer is for.
3. Look for manufacturer coupons for the same items
If you can increase your savings on items you already plan to buy without too much extra effort, why not go for it? Utilize Sunday newspaper coupons or e-coupons.
4. Stick to a handful of go-to dishes
Nora has about 20 dishes that she makes regularly. That’s enough variety to keep things interesting, yet she can make these with her eyes closed practically. Potato soup. Cheeseburger pie. Pesto pasta. Garden salad. Quiche. Lentil soup. Meatloaf. Macaroni & cheese.
5. Go big when you cook
She doubles and triples recipes to ensure lots of leftovers for lunches. ‘Go big’ also means cooking multiple dishes at the same time. We have four stove top burners and sometimes she has a soup on each one, with just one scheduled for consumption that evening.
6. Don’t stress about dessert
If you are tense about meals already, dessert will put you over the edge. Skip it. Or even better, eat ice cream on a regular basis!
Here is the recipe Nora uses for an easy and delish Egyptian Lentil Soup. Make it only when the lentils are on sale!
Serve and enjoy!