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A Night Out from the Kitchen

Last post Thu, Jun 27 2013 10:18 PM by MarthaMFI2. 25 replies.
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  • Thu, May 12 2011 10:27 AM

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    A Night Out from the Kitchen

     We all have days that are hectic and dinner comes around before a meal is cooked or we just don't feel up to cooking. It's ok to give yourself some time to relax and serve up a quick meal. So you get in the car and head out to the nearest fast food place or pick up the phone to call for delivery..

    STOP! With some planning ahead on a day you are not worn thin, you can avoid this costly option. 

    One of my favorite ways to have a homecooked quick dinner is to cook in large batches and freeze portions that can be easily reheated later without the fuss of preparing a whole meal.  I also will buy quick fix items when on sale to put aside for times like these because it is less expensive than eating out but they are not as healthy as cooking extra batches of food.

    Another option I have recently discovered is a night for leftover buffet. I am ending up with a lot of tiny or single portions left after a meal. These can pile up and end up in the trash. Instead of wasting it, I give myself a cooking break and pull all these little bits out and let everyone choose which items they want. This may not work as well for families with children who may argue over one serving of a food. I would love to say this is because my teen is so gracious but I think it's more than he will eat most things I cook so long as it stands still long enough to be put on his plate.

    Do you have other ways of having take out from your own kitchen?

     

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, May 12 2011 11:18 AM In reply to

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

    I try to plan ahead for a break by asking DH to make one of his "special" meals.  Everyone has something they cook that they are really good at.  So once or twice a month I'll say to DH, "Do you think one night you make schnitzle or goulash or <fill in blank>?"  It gives us something to eat that we don't get on a regular basis and lets me out of a night of cooking.  I'm waiting for DD to get old enough where she can plan and prepare a simple meal pretty much single-handedly.  That will be nice for the adults and a great skill set for her to have as well.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Thu, May 12 2011 11:32 AM In reply to

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

    I also try and cook in big batches to have things in the freezer for those hectic nights. We also do the "leftover buffet" and actually did that on Monday. Like Brandy, sometimes it is just a single serving of several items. We usually let the boys pick first and then DH and I eat what is left. I don't like to freeze or throw away a single portion or a couple tablespoons of something so having a leftover buffet night helps eat up those items and does give me a night off from cooking.

    And (how lucky have I been) last night was a "DH special" night. DH makes great fajitas and was happy to make that for us last night. I made a simple salad ahead of time and DH did the meat, peppers & onions while I was at Pilates class.

    DH and I do not like fast food so that is usually our last option on a busy night. 2 weeks ago, I did go through the drive through after work--one of the worst and busiest times. I had 3 hungry kiddos (one which was a crying 14 month old) and the line was slow. I spent 19 minutes in the drive through (it was a way to keep my oldest son occupied by counting the minutes) plus another 5-10 minutes driving home! It didn't save us any time at all! I would rather heat up a frozen pizza and make a tossed salad. I do keep several frozen pizzas and other convenience foods (like rice mixes) so I have some fast options. While they are not as healthy as i would like, IMHO, they are healthier (and cheaper) than typical cheeseburger/french fries or burrito/tater tot fast foods.

    Erika
  • Thu, May 12 2011 12:20 PM In reply to

    • brenl
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jun 4 2008
    • Wayne county
    • Posts 2,426

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

    for those nights that I don't want to cook. I try to have a frozen pizza or a frozen meal in the freezer that every one will eat and have a easy veg to go with. Salad if we have it.
  • Thu, May 12 2011 2:25 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

     

    mamasjob:
    I don't like to freeze or throw away a single portion or a couple tablespoons of something

    I have tried to freeze them but they get lost and end up tossed when I clean the freezer out.

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Thu, May 12 2011 5:25 PM In reply to

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

    If I know that there is going to be a hectic day, I will let my crockpot do the cooking so it's ready when we get home. Another quick meal for us is bean burritos and a salad.

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • Sat, May 14 2011 6:07 PM In reply to

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

    I also keep quick-fix items on hand. We will either eat some of that, or some leftovers that were frozen for lunches, or something else. I've been known to make grilled cheese sandwiches. We do go out, but usually not more than once (or sometimes twice depending on schedules) a week, although we both bought breakfast at work last Monday because the weekend was so hectic.

    Jill

  • Tue, May 17 2011 6:03 PM In reply to

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

    After I come home from a shopping trip, I cut up the meat portions and marinate them overnight. The next day, I cook them in 2 stew dishes. We will have a fresh stew dish for dinner. I save a dish and further divide them into meal portions and freeze them in baggies. I cook the same way couple times a month. I'd have plenty of ready meals in the fridge. When I have time, I will make pot stickers ahead of time and freeze them. Ususally, I don't want to do heavy cook after the day spent outside. I just look in the fridge and make something easy like rice, noodles, pastas to  go with the premade food.

  • Wed, May 18 2011 7:37 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

     Welcome to the community, sffish8!

     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • Wed, May 18 2011 11:08 AM In reply to

    Re: A Night Out from the Kitchen

     Thank you. It's nice to see frugal tips and be able to share.

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