On Monday, I posted my proposed weekly menu, but when I did, I certainly didn't expect my Pork ribs (country style ribs) to go so far. It looks like we are going to be eating it for lunch and dinner at least 2 or 3 days this week. That helps stretch my food budget even farther. We will have the spinach lasagna this week and most likely the Taco Soup or Meatballs as well since I have a fresh pack of ground turkey waiting to be used or thrown in the freezer.
I love when meals make more than you expect and end up pushing your budget farther!!!
Country Style Pork Ribs can be very fatty and not so healthy, but this time I slow cooked them in the crock pot rather than parboiling, dipping in sauce and grilling like normal. It turned out really good and I was easily able to remove a TON of the fat this way! The meat slow cooked and just fell apart when I pulled it out of the crock pot. Any fat attached to the meat fell off right away and the fats that had combined with the sauces were easy to remove after it chilled. Last nights meal may have had more than I wanted, but our leftovers will be a lot less high in fat due to the excessive amounts I skimmed off the top after it chilled
I am finding that it really isn't as hard as I thought and as people say, to have 3 decent meals per day that are lower in fat and calories, rich in good foods yet easy on your budget. It simply takes preparation, willingness and the desire to make it happen.
It would be super easy for me to tell my Love I don't feel like getting up each morning, and just sending him through the drive through for breakfast. But each morning at McDonald's, even eating off their Dollar Menu would still end up costing more than it does for me to get up, spend 1 minutes in the kitchen, and make him breakfast. I am blessed, he doesn't mind eating the same thing almost every day. Throughout the work week, he has a breakfast sandwich.
Home Made Breakfast Sandwich:
"Everything" Bagel Thin - 100 Calories
1 Egg - 80 Calories
1 1/2 strips Turkey Bacon (sliced to fit on sandwich) - 40 calories
1 piece of 2% American Cheese - 50 calories
Homemade Total: 270 Calories
8 count Pack of Bagel Thins, 1 Dozen Eggs, 1 package Turkey Bacon, 1 package sliced cheese: Cost $10 or less and makes minimum of 8 breakfasts plus eggs, bacon and cheese can be used for other cooking needs.
McDonald's Egg McMuffin
1 Piece Canadian Bacon/Ham
1 piece Cheese
McDonald's Total: 300 Calories
McDonald's Cost: $2.50 per sandwich, $12.50 for one work week.
It's pretty simple to do the math. Over the course of one work week (5 days) if my Love were to stop at McDonald's and buy ONLY the Egg McMuffin he would spend a minimum of $12.50 on breakfast and that does not include taxes or a beverage. If he takes with him the breakfast sandwich I get up and make, we spend $10 or less on ingredients, over half of which are usable for things other than breakfast.
That's simply a flat $2.50 savings per week minimum or at least $10 a month. That $10 over the course of a year is $120. That $120 is for us, several movie nights, or several new DVDs to add to our collection. Or perhaps, as we found out tonight, more than enough to buy a used deep freeze with.
But there is also a matter of caloric savings. 30 calories a day. That's 150 calories a week or easily 600 calories a month. It may seem trifling, but every calorie adds up and over the course of several months, you've managed to drop a few pounds.
To me, it's simple. By getting up and taking the 10 minutes to make a home made breakfast for my Love before he goes to work each day, I am saving our family money and helping him reach his weight goals. If I do this for breakfast and lunch and include healthy snacks for him and cook a healthy dinner, not only will I save loads of money, I will make it easier for both of us to lose the weight we need to lose to be healthier.
What meals do you make now that you "use" to just go out and eat or buy? How do you cut corners to save money and calories?