The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Time is elusive. We are either wasting it, taking too much of it, or not taking enough of it.
One thing I seem to hear on repeat is I wish I had enough time to eat at home. Eating at home will not only improve the health of our bodies, it can also improve the health of our pocket books. In August of 2015, I calculated that our family spent over $600 in one month on eating out, including lunches for my husband and me. Since then, we have become more aware of where we eat.
For the last three years, these are things we have incorporated into our life that have become part of the routine.
- We select one day a week we will eat a meal out. Currently attending a small group on Wednesday nights, we know this will be the night we eat away from home. Chik Fil-A is the go-to for Wednesday night dinner.
- Every Friday, I take 15 minutes of my morning and plan the menu for the upcoming week and make a grocery list. I also utilize the grocery store pickup that is now available. I schedule it for Saturday morning before our day gets going. The person who created this option needs a BIG HUG!
- Keep things simple. There is only one Julia Childs. We do not all have to aspire to make her or the Barefoot Contessa meals every night. It will also help keep your sanity. Sometimes dinner is a bowl of cereal or a good grilled cheese sandwich.
- Invest in a crock pot and a pressure cooker. These two kitchen appliances have become my life-line. The fact that I can put a 5-pound pork shoulder in my Instant Pot and it is ready within 90 minutes still blows my mind. An added benefit of using these appliances is you will almost always have left overs for lunch the next day.
- Don’t stress. There will be some nights when you have the meat thawed out, but you cannot muster enough energy to make a burger. It is OK. Go through that fast food drive -thru.
We implemented the above in the beginning to help cut down on our food expenses. I found the added benefits were teaching our boys lessons in cooking, spending time with my husband while we cooked together, and the chance to sit as a family sharing a meal, something that unfortunately seems to be a lost art. This time at the dinner table has given us the opportunity to have important chats over a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes that would otherwise not have happened.
What are ways you save time and money?
Nicole Collier grew up in Montgomery, AL. She now lives in Helena, AL with her husband, Matthew, and 2 boys, Ethan, 10, and Russell, 6. She is a lover of all things creative, including photography and music. Nicole and her family are involved with The Just People Project non-profit ministry serving the homeless throughout the city of Birmingham. Her life verse is Romans 8:28, God will use your story to turn it around, bringing Him the glory through it all.
You can find Nicole now as a contributor on The Something More Ministries Blog.