I hate how our culture showcases candle light dinners, steak, lobster and the like as if it is something you MUST have if you want to have a good date, or even just a dinner out. Spending $50 or more for one night’s dinner is very hard for me as that is one weeks worth of food for our family! Now, have I done it? Yes, but only a few times. Unlike many people, I would much rather go to the grocery store and buy food and cook a fancy dinner at home. I know that it doesn’t have quite the same feel as a restaurant, and you do have the work of cooking and clean up after, however it is so much more enjoyable to me when I know that it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg for a feast fit for a ladybug (you catch my drift?!).
I heard a great sermon this last Sunday that talked about money and our culture; how we think we are broke and yet if you make $25,000/year, you are in the top 2% richest people in the world (according to Global Rich List). How crazy is that?!?! It got me thinking about what I am responsible for in our budget: food. Where I strive to make sure each meal is around $5 or $6 so that each serving is $1 or less, there are people living on $2/day for all of their living expenses. I can do better than that, right? Learning about the real numbers of our world’s poverty made me come to a realization in the realm of preparing meals for my family.
Food is a energy source for our bodies; it’s prime purpose is not meant to be an emotional experience.
Okay, Okay, yes I think that food should taste great, but I think that too much time and effort is put into finding the perfect blend of flavors so that when you take a bite your whole world is made better. While I already knew this to some extent, it really clicked when the preacher was talking about the money aspect of it. Keeping this in mind, I hope to think twice before I pin the “Buttered Lobster, Pillowy White Rolls, with a side of Succulent Lemon Green Beans and Decadent Molten Chocolate Cake with Taiwanese Blueberries” recipes on Pinterest, for example. Sure, I think that all sounds wonderful (I wonder if it even exists…), but I can probably get more nutrition out of a different meal that costs me a lot less. I think there are times when a fancy dinner is okay, but fancy AT HOME dinner is so much cheaper! Try it some time 🙂 With all that being said, I would like to share with you some sites that I visit often to find inexpensive, nutritious meals to prepare for my family. These particular two sites also break down the costs of the recipe so I know exactly how much I’m spending- which also helps a lot!
Both of these sites have whole wheat options if desired, and really try to create wholesome recipes on a tight budget. I’m very thankful for these sites as they do a lot of the work for me when it comes to figuring out what recipes fit with the ingredients I have on hand and also what fits into our budget. Below I listed a few of our family favorites from both Budget Bytes and P&P. I hope you like them as much as we have!
Chili Cheese Beef N Mac (we use ground turkey)
**If you are interested in hearing the sermon I talked about, definitely click the link 🙂 It was a great lesson about breaking free from the bondage of debt in our lives…and much more!