4 Dinner Ideas for Hot Days

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

When you get home from a long, hot day at work (or at play) in the summertime, the last thing you want to do is cook and heat up your home (which may not be air conditioned) even more.  This is why it’s good to have a number of go-to foods and meals available or prepped so you don’t just give in and order take-out.  You shouldn’t feel like planning and preparing cold meals is a cop-out, either. It’s a way to save money on utilities used to heat your stove and cool your home, while also saving yourself a little time.  Since dinner options often become monotonous, especially when you’re limiting yourself to cold choices, here are a few frugal and healthy cold dinners for those hot days of summer.

  • Creative Salads

I’m not talking about the kind drenched in mayonnaise, potatoes, or macaroni. I’m talking about the fresh kind. While those kinds of salads are fine in small portions on occasion, they’re also loaded with fat and carbohydrates. Keep it simple and healthy — spinach or romaine, chicken or tuna, chopped veggies, low-fat cheese, chick peas or beans, dried or fresh fruit, and nuts are a few topping ideas. =  Shop at your local farmers market if  you want to stay local and organic, while making use of the freshest possible ingredients. Get creative. See what’s leftover in your fridge from last week’s cooking, and consider if you can make it into salads for your family’s dinner.  Do you have leftover burgers? Crumble them up and toss them on some greens to make a taco salad.

Bean salads and ‘cowboy caviar’ recipes are also a great alternative to a traditional salad. They utilize healthier dressings while packing a hefty punch of protein.

  • Crockpot Meals

Crockpots don’t generate a lot of heat, but if you’re concerned, you can always place them in an outlying room such as the garage or patio. This keeps you from slaving over a hot stove or oven, and you’ll still be able to enjoy a warm, cooked meal. This also save you time because you can get the ingredients together the night before, get it going in the morning, and let it cook while you’re away.

  • The Grill

Do you only use your grill when you’re throwing a party? Why not all summer? Yes, a grill generates heat, but at least it’s outside, where you can enjoy the fresh air as well. Grilling is fast, and arguably one of the healthiest ways to cook meat; not to mention one of the tastiest ways to cook corn, potatoes, fresh veggies, and even fruit.

  • Sandwich wraps, yogurt, and fruit

Just because it’s dinner doesn’t mean you have to eat ‘dinner foods.’ A variety of what we usually consider lunch foods are perfect for hot weather, because they require little prep and are served cold. Make some healthy tuna or chicken wraps and serve them with fruit or yogurt. This type of lunch dinner creates the feeling of a picnic, so you might even want to capitalize on it by breaking out a checkered table cloth or eating outside.

Don’t let your ideas of what’s appropriate for dinner limit you to slaving away over a hot stove during the summer months. Get creative, utilize coupons, and stay cool!

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

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