Find Time to Save Money on Meals: Part 2

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Modern lifestyles just keep getting busier and busier, and all too often, mealtime becomes more about convenience and speed than nutrition and grocery budgets. Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tips in this hectic lifestyle that have helped me keep fast or prepared foods to a minimum while saving both time and money. In a recent post, I discussed ways to save money on your lunch and daily coffee fix, two things you are more likely to fall into the convenience trap for because you’re on the go. This time I’d like to focus on the other two meals of the day: breakfast and dinner. While most people are able to take these meals at home, there are still ways you might be wasting money. Here are a few things I’ve learned about saving money on the bookend meals of a typical day.

Breakfast: Not Eating it Doesn’t Save You Money

Some of you might be skipping this section because you’re thinking I don’t eat breakfast. That’s precisely why you should be reading this! The problem with skipping breakfast (other than the obvious detriment to your metabolism, blood sugar levels, energy, and overall course of your day) is that you’re more likely to grab a convenient and unhealthy snack mid-morning to hold you over until lunch time. Even if you packed your lunch, not eating breakfast could mean you’ll still be spending money on a muffin, doughnut, or some other selection of junk from the vending machine. So, in the end, not eating a healthy, sustaining breakfast at home will not save you anything. Here are some suggestions for quick, inexpensive breakfast foods:

  • oatmeal
  • toast with peanut butter
  • smoothies or protein shakes
  • yogurt with fruit or granola
  • protein bars
  • eggs

You might be surprised I put eggs on that list, but honestly, they only take a few minutes to cook, and are full of protein. Either boil them ahead of time, or scramble for the quickest results. If you have vegetables pre-cut, you can add them in for a little extra nutrition. Another option you can prepare ahead is serving-size quiche or egg scrambles using a muffin or cupcake tin.  Personally, protein shakes are my favorite because they are quick to whip up fresh, and can be placed in a to-go cup if I’m running late.

Who Has Time to Cook Dinner?!

Dinner is perhaps one of the hardest meals because it requires coordinating the family’s schedule, meal planning, and or even (gasp) hovering over a stove for 30-60 minutes.  I admit that I often don’t have time to cook dinner, even if it’s just for two people. On top of that, I’m sometimes just tired, hungry and impatient. Thankfully my husband often steps in and cooks what I’ve prepared or planned. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to make dinner preparation a little easier, faster, and timely.

Crock pots are your friend. I’m really starting to enjoy the routine of finding a new crock-pot recipe and forcing myself to prepare it the night before, because the convenience is incredible! Who doesn’t want to come home to the smell of dinner already simmering on the stove? Crock pot-friendly recipes are extremely popular and varied, ranging from soups to casseroles to entrees, and even desserts. I use a great app. on my phone called healthy recipes from that allows you to browse by category.

Stock up on the basics. Since I know there will always be times when I don’t have a plan for dinner, keeping certain basic items in stock helps us resist the temptation of take out. One of our simplest, easiest dinner is baked or stir-fried chicken with frozen vegetables and rice.

Be willing to think outside the box. Who says you can’t have breakfast food for dinner, or just sandwiches and salads? Mixing it up when you don’t have time to cook is perfectly fine, and helps break the monotony of always eating the same foods at the same time of day.

Don’t let your lifestyle ruin your food budget or eating habits. You do have time to practice these simple tips to keep meals inexpensive, healthy, and convenient.

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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