I have been around quite a few stay at home moms, and I have seen a variety of coping mechanisms. For my mom, anytime she was stressed out or just needed some time, she would go shut herself in her closet and we knew not to bother her. It was her way of calming down and doing something for herself.
We all need something like that, and preferably something that doesn’t cost money! Goodness, if I shopped everytime I got stir crazy, I’d be broke!…. Oh wait… I am lol but for other reasons haha! Anyway, I needed something that I could do that made ME happy and was fairly doable, so I have chosen food! Sure I have to watch what I make or I will gain 10 lbs, but that’s part of the challenge and makes it fun. I have to find ways to cook healthy for my family, but make stuff they will actually enjoy. I also have to find a way to make it feasible, and I have been having so much fun!
Here are some ways I have been cutting back cost wise.
– I make homemade when I can. I make homemade flour and corn tortillas, pancakes, pudding (sometimes), laundry soap (which isn’t actually food but it’s definitely a cost saver), and several other things.
– I buy off brand of everything. Sure there are certain times when the more expensive brands cannot be replaced, but for the most part, you can get over the fact that it doesn’t taste exactly like your favorite brand.
– I cook in bulk. When I make something like soup or spaghetti, I will make a lot and we will eat off of it for a few days. A pot of stew will feed us dinner then lunch for several days. Not in a row, but it will last in the fridge about a week.
There are other ways I cut costs, but these are the main ones. Now, it’s not easy to be cost mindful and eat healthy at the same time, but sometimes you can go for the cheaper healthy. Sure, you could eliminate eating fresh veggies (because we all know that’s not cheap), but instead, you should try some of these methods.
– Buy lettuce by the head and cut it yourself for salads. Not only is it about $2 cheaper than a bag of salad, but you get more as well.
– Stick to the less expensive fruits such as bananas, grapes when they’re in season, certain brands of apples, and pears. Also, if you eat a lot of apples for example, a lot of the time you can buy them by the bag and pay less. Stay away from citrusy fruits like lemons and limes because those you will end up spending an arm and a leg on.
– Buy generic brand wheat pasta. It’s only a few cents more per box than white pasta, but it is so much better for you! I have found that there really is no difference in flavor between generic and name brand when it comes to pasta, so don’t be so picky.
– Make your own sauces. Our family loves spaghetti, but sauce is not cheap. One day I was forced to buy the cheapest can of tomato sauce I could find, and we ended up loving it! It was over $2 cheaper which meant I could buy more, and tasted much better. We also make our own gravy, white and brown. We make our own cheese sauce as well.
– Find a good bread recipe. It’s so much tastier! Here’s the one I use http://laughingspatula.com/easy-homemade-rolls/
The best way to go is to Pinterest for recipes if possible and try to cook at home.
Since I’ve started cooking more, I’ve been experimenting with new recipes and things I’d never tried to cook before. I have gotten more confident in the kitchen, and we have been eating pretty great lately. The best part is that we eat cheaper!
Today I made cream puffs! I’ve been afraid to cook things like that because I had never tried before. They came out great! Don’t be afraid to try new things, you might just be surprised!