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How cooking dinner at home saves you money and keeps you healthier

Friends and family frequently tell me that they eat out because it's cheap and easy.


It's absolutely true that picking up a pizza from Little Cesears is easier than

  1. meal planning, and making a plan for one night of pizza

  2. lugging kids through the store to buy all the ingredients

  3. trying to cook with little kids at your feet

  4. cleaning up the mess afterward


But eating out is NEVER less expensive than cooking at home.


Dont believe me? Here's proof:


 

Pizza


The ultimate cheap dinner is a classic pizza from little caesars which costs $6.99


A homemade pizza costs about $3.25!


yeast: $0.62

flour: $0.12

cheese: $1.87

pepperoni: $0.37

red sauce: $0.25

total: 3.23

(cost for homemade dough with prices at walmart.com)


How is homemade pizza healthier?

  • lower amount of salt in the sauce

  • using whole wheat flour in the dough adds fiber

  • you control how much cheese and pepperoni

  • adding veggies to the top or the sauce adds nutrition


Looking for a great whole-wheat pizza crust? This is my go-to recipe: https://cookieandkate.com/easy-whole-wheat-pizza-dough/


 

Tacos



1 regular beef soft taco from taco bell = $1.69 (for a small 6-8 inch taco)

1 ground beef soft taco made at home = $0.65 (for a 10 inch taco!)


tortilla: $.20

ground beef: $.30 (per oz)

cheese: $.10 per tablespoon (about what's on a taco bell taco)

seasonings: $0.05

shredded lettuce: $0.05

total: $0.70


How are homemade tacos healthier?

  • lower in sodium

  • more fiber if made with whole wheat tortillas

  • add beans and vegetables for added vitamins, minerals and fiber!

  • use lean ground beef or turkey to cut saturated fat

  • try lentil tacos to add fiber and save even more money!


 

Hamburgers and French Fries



McDonalds Quarter Pounder with cheese: $5.09

1 quarter pound hamburger made at home: $1.72


1/4 pound 85% lean ground beef: $1.18

1 bun: $0.17

pickles, lettuce, ketchup, mustard: $0.25

cheese slice: $0.12

total: $1.72


1 order of medium French fries at McDonalds: $2.69

Ounce equivalent of roasted potatoes: $0.98


How are homemade burgers and fries healthier?

  • Sodium is bad for your heart. 1,140mg sodium @ McDonalds, only 600mg @ home

  • Lower Saturated (bad) fat (roast potatoes instead of fry them, use lean beef)

  • More fiber (whole wheat bun)

  • More nutrients (add spinach, mushrooms, avocados)

 

Orange Chicken and Rice


image from budgetbytes.com (link below)

1 bowl orange chicken and ham fried rice: $7.90 (per serving)


How is homemade better?

  • less salt (if you use low sodium soy sauce)

  • less fat (pan fry instead of deep fat fry)

  • Add more vegetables with the extra money you saved!

 

We rarely eat out. Partially because it's so unhealthy, but mostly because it is so expensive.


I also rarely make burgers, fries or orange chicken at home. Not because they are unhealthy, but because meat is expensive.


So what do I make?


Subscribe to my blog to find out. It's free and starting in May 2023, I will post a weekly menu (including photos and recipes). My intention is to help you get an idea of what a healthy, budget friendly menu looks like.


Remember, eating healthy can be more expensive, but it doesn't have to be! Especially if you cook your meals at home!


Subscribe to my blog (free menu to your inbox once/week)
















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