Saturday, March 8, 2008

Save by Having Ready-to-Eat Food On-Hand

My favorite tip this month on's Frugal Sense contest comes from Eric Barnes of San Francisco. He says that having food in the fridge is a good way to save on making unplanned trips to restaurants, and I agree.

When I'm hungry, I want something to eat right away. I don't want to have to go to the grocery store and buy ingredients and then have to come home and cook. It really is much easier to go out to eat at that point, but it will cost more. Even if I already have the ingredients on-hand, sometimes I'm too tired or hungry or don't have enough time to cook.

The one way to avoid this problem is to have ready-to-eat food on-hand. Stock up on your favorite frozen or very-easy-to-prepare foods when they go on sale. Or make more than what you need for a meal and freeze the leftovers.

Sometimes I just need a snack before I can begin cooking. This happens to me a lot after work. So, having good (and healthy) snack food in the cabinet or the fridge is usually just what I need to give me an energy boost to make dinner. Again, try to stock up on fruit (canned or seasonal fresh fruit), string cheese, granola bars, etc. when they go on sale.

One of my favorite snacks or light meals to have in the freezer are mini pizzas. I'm not a huge fan of store-bought frozen pizzas, but I do like ones that I make on my own and then freeze. If you haven't read it already, check out my post on Filling the Freezer. The fourth point tells you about my mini pizzas. If you have kids, I'd imagine they'd really enjoy having this type of snack/meal available to them as well.

So, thanks for the tip, Eric! Good luck in the Frugal Sense contest!

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Erika said...

Those mini pizzas sound great. I just might have to make some of them for my freezer!

Betsy said...

Erika - they are really good! I also add a little Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to mine after I put the sauce on the English muffin before adding the topping and cheese. Kids might like them better plain, but I prefer mine with a a little extra flavor.