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it's amazing

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
..... how much money you can save from cooking! Normally, we get takeout every day, but last Christmas (yes, 2001) my parents gave us a barbeque, and hubby finally hooked it up a few days before New Year's Eve! We barbequed hamburgers & hot dogs together, and it was so much fun! Not only was it fun, but we saved $10.00 for a meal! So, tonight we barbequed, again ...... Now, I just need to learn to cook simple meals ...... Not only does it save $$$$, but it's healthier.
post #2 of 35
Hey, welcome to the cooking club, Tigger!

I guess I just figured out your New Year's resolution.

Think of what you can buy with all that saved money!
post #3 of 35
Now I hate to cook, but . . . I used to grill lamb chops with just some garlic and they were wonderful. My father-in-law grills the salmon he catches, with the skin on to keep it in tact. My dad used to grill well into the winter months, so it ain't just for summer. But if you want to do fish or veggies, be sure to get one of those basket thingies so the bits don't fall between the grid. Cleaning the grill is icky!
post #4 of 35
Well, my husband and I live on a pretty strict budget. Since I stay at home, we only have his income. We are homeowners and have 2 kids, 2 cats, 3 cars.......you see what I mean. Anyway, what I am getting to is that cooking is a wonderful way to save some $$.

I cook 3 meals a day ,EVERYDAY!! We only go out to eat maybe once month or so....I can't imagine how much it would cost to eat out all the time.
My food bill is large, but there is always leftovers and the pantry and fridge are always full. And if the budget is really really tight, I buy stuff to make things like minestrone ( I can make a whole stock pot of minestrone that will last like for 3 days or I can freeze it ) for only about $5.00!!! Imagine how much 3 days of suppers would cost a restaurant for 4 people! YIKES!!
Not to mention, cooking becomes addictive! I watch the foodtv network and try lots of new stuff. Its great to make new stuff, and when your kids say "yummy, mom" that is soooo gratifying!!

Give it a try Tigger, I bet soon enough you'll be a pro cook!! Enjoy!!
post #5 of 35
It's called "Make Your Own Groceries" and let me tell you, it is fantastic! Everything from making pet foods, baby foods, health and beauty aids to freezer to oven meals. It saves money, but you have to have at least a day to make the meals in the book ahead of time, but once that is done- life is so much easier. Author is Daphne Mataxis Hartwig, she has 3 of these, I have volume one and two, soon to get three.
post #6 of 35
Cooking can be lots of fun. I LOVE to cook and bake. One of the magazines I have found very helpful this last year is quick cooking. Because I am somewhat limited on time during the weeknights, they have some awsome easy and cheap recipes. It gets sent out every 3 months, but there's recipes from cover to cover. You should check it out...www.quickcooking.com
Then of course you can buy something for the cats with all the money you save
post #7 of 35
I also try to cook for my family for each meal. However, we do go out on Sunday for lunch after church. It does get expensive for four people, and my kids are getting a bit big to be sharing their kids meal. My husband and I used to eat out a lot and get carry out before we had kids, but then it got too difficult. So now we eat in, as much as I LOVE to eat at restaraunts. My husband eats A LOT, so I ususally spend almost $500 a month on food, but that's still cheaper than eating out.
post #8 of 35
Tigger, I too have discovered the joys of cooking!

The SO and I eat far too many meals out (that or delivery) but we are getting better. I got a huge set of T-fal which is this really incredible cookware. It makes cooking so much easier when you've got the good stuff. The internet is a wonderful place to find recipes. We eat out probably 2 or 3 times a week.

I was the primary person who cooks around here until a couple months ago when I instated a new rule around. The SO is responsible for dinner on mondays, thursdays & saturdays. I have the other nights. He orders out at least one of his nights. In fact thursday we had take out from the pizza/sub place. On the weekends I like to actually take my time and try out recipes. I also will make pancakes for breakfast (cheap & easy!) or omelets and maybe some hashbrowns.

I don't know if you have a crock pot, but they are wonderful! you can put a roast, some carrots & potatos in, let it slow cook for 10 hours & voila! You have a hearty homecooked meal where there hardest part was putting it all in the crock pot. I also make chili in mine.
post #9 of 35
Invest in Wish Bone Italian dressing. You can marinate just about anything in it.
post #10 of 35
I like to cook, but I get frustrated with my hubby when all he says after dinner is, "it was ok ". No "yummy" no "Delicious" no "great", just "ok". If that's as much as he cares, why not just make baloney sandwiches? Actually, I know he really likes my cooking, but I just wish he'd be more vocal about it. How would he feel if he spent hours washing and waxing the car, and all I said was "it looks ok"? Ugh.

My new addiction is homemade waffles. Mom gave us a wafflemaker for Christmas and I looooove it. If you have fresh waffles you will never go back to frozen toaster waffles. Apparently you can make cornbread in the wafflemaker, too. I haven't tried yet, but intend too the next time we have chili.
post #11 of 35
AP... I just love T-fal! (although I don't have a set yet, I really want one! Maybe next Christmas! )

Tigger..the more you cook, the more you will love it! And AP's suggestion of a crockpot is a great one! I use mine alot!! I not only do roasts in it, but I throw in some boneless pork or beef ribs, and cook on low all day, then all I have to do is take them out, dump the grease out, put them back in with some BBQ sauce (sometimes I shred them with a fork, for sandwiches) and cook for just a little while longer, till the BBQ sauce is hot.
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
I have a crockpot that I got for my 21st birthday, that I've never ever used .....
post #13 of 35
use that crockpot!!! There isn't any easier way to make dinner. You can find a ton of recipes online. Just do a search for crock pot recipes.
post #14 of 35
Hey, and if you happen to find a really good website for the recipes, maybe you could post the link here, too! I could use some new crockpot recipes!
post #15 of 35
One of my favorite crockpot meals to to put chicken with a jar of salsa in the crockpot and cook all day, then take the chicken out and put uncooked rice in the salsa and cook for about 20 minutes. Then you have chicken and something similar to spanish rice. It's delicious.

post #16 of 35
I hate cooking. Fortunately I married a man who not only loves to cook, but is an excellent cook to boot. I maybe cook once every 3-4 months. He cooks & I do the clean-up. He works out doors for a living, so cooking to him is recreation. I am, however, the baker in the family - I love to bake. We get take out once every 1-2 weeks. It is a nice change.
post #17 of 35

Hop to it on those crock pot recipes. If you can come up with some decent ones, I will buy a crockpot.

That would eliminate a lot of "what do I eat" hassle, especially when I get home after 8 p.m. on the nights I have class.

Although, they have to be easy to start. I can't be getting up much earlier than I already am.
post #18 of 35
post #19 of 35
those sights were great Sandie!! thanks
post #20 of 35
Thanks ,Sandie, for the links :chicken: ! I added them to my favorites....now all I need is a crockpot
post #21 of 35
My favorite Recipe site is www.allrecipes.com ...its got tons of good stuff, most have been rated by readers so you know what others thought of them ,and its very easy to find what you want.

Let us know what you try and how it turns out!
post #22 of 35
Allrecipes.com is a great site!

I use it all the time in my work. I am a personal chef, which is a great service for busy people. I do menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking for people in their homes, and the cost is about the same as eating in a medium-priced restaurant (like Denny's or TGIFriday's, for example). I go for the whole day about every 2 weeks and leave the freezer and fridge full of home-made meals, plus instructions on how to use them.

I'm not trying to advertise here, just spread the word about a growing service that not many have heard about. I am not on this website, but you can see if there is a personal chef in your area by going to http://www.personalchef.com/pclinks.htm

post #23 of 35
Ooooh, I tried 2 new things tonight out of sheer boredom with the normal dinners. The first was buying the Betty Crocker AuGratin Potatoes. I made them on the stovetop and then put them in a casserole dish and sprinkled them with those fried onions in a can and broiled just until the onions were brown. They were really good and a change from the "norm".
I knew about this one, but never tried it. I cooked some frozen broccoli and then added a can of cheese soup...it was also exellent. I even got Ken to eat broccoli!!!
post #24 of 35
those both sound wonderful Sandie!!
post #25 of 35
Sandie, Thanks for those great crockpot sites, I saved them all, and will check them out when I have more time!! Thanks! And Cleo....I also saved the link you gave, It sounds great! Thanks guys!
post #26 of 35
I had this for dinner tonight and it was pretty good, so I thought I would share it. Take a boneless pork roast and put it in the crockpot. I used a peppercorn marinated one tonight, but sometimes I just use plain ones. Leave it alone until it is thouroughly cooked. Drain the liquid into a measuring cup. Take Lipton Noodles and Sauce Butter flavor and cook according to package, using the liquid off the roast and enough water to make 2 cups. Don't use the butter, you won't need it. It is definitely not for dieters, but it is really good. The noodles, thin slices of the pork roast, and a veggie or two. YUM!
post #27 of 35
I eat the same thing day in and day out...blah, but it's very good and nutritious, so, I really don't care....food's not a big deal to me.

post #28 of 35
These cooking sites all look great! I got married a few months ago and I'm still getting into the cooking thing. Before we got married, we used to eat out 2-3 times a day and that was EXPENSIVE! So we are trying to eat at home everyday and only eat out once or twice a week.

For Christmas we got a crockpot, bread maker, waffle maker, baking dishes and all kinds of kitchen stuff. Now I just need to find a whole bunch of good recipes to make.

I don't really have much time during the week since I work full time and go to school full time at night. I subsribed to the quick recipes magazine and I can't wait to get my first issue!

If anyone knows of any good low-fat or healthy recipes, please share them!
post #29 of 35

the internet is the best for finding recipes! If you did a search for healthy recipes, you'd be shocked by how many sites came up!

I really enjoy cooking. Especially on the weekends. I find it very therapeutic. It's just me, and I'm concentrating on creating something. My job can get stressful, so when I'm trying a new recipe I'm able to clear my mind of all the clutter and focus on what I'm doing. It's almost peaceful for me. And it's so satisfying to make something and my SO flips out over how good it is. And he'll actually request certain things. I guess I am WAY to domestic!

you're going to LOVE your crockpot! check out those links that Sandie provided. They are really good.
post #30 of 35
I have a crockpot that I love, though I'm still learning how to use it.

The other really cool appliance I use all the time is a rice cooker. I probably make a pot of rice twice a week. Just chop and toss some veggies and any kind of meat into a non-stick pan, cook the meat the thoroughly and the veggies to taste (some people like them soft, others say crunchy) and add some kind of sauce. Salsa makes it Mexican-ish, soy makes it chinese, but other bottled sauces are good too. You could also try adding wine or beer or broth. As soon as it's done, dish the meat and veggies over the rice.

Or, you could do the meat and veggies in the crockpot and make the rice when you get home (about 5 minutes prep and 20 minutes to cook). Then freeze the leftovers for later.

The rice can be reheated in the microwave, though I find it's best to cover it with a damp paper towel to keep the grains from drying out. Plus you can do other grains like quinoa or couscous in the rice cooker. I've even done packaged rices (like Zatarain's) and rice & beans mixes. Or you can add broth or tomato juice instead of water. Mine also came with a steaming tray, but I never use it.

I hate to cook, so any time I can take a short cut, I do.
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