TAT Tip #2: Cook at Home

I’m just going to be honest with my meager readership and say, I’m lazy…at least when it comes to cooking. I didn’t pick up the whole domestic goddess thing. My apologies to my future husband, because home-making will NOT be my strong suit. I will be a bread winner, I will be a supportive wife, I will be many things…but I will not be hosting any dinner parties — unless it’s a wine and cheese party. I can do both of those really well.

Not Shanee
I have other redeeming qualities...I swear

True story: While out to dinner with my mom she told me she saw my ex, and that (miracle of all miracles) he had gained some weight. She attributed this to his new girlfriend, who, in fact, knows/loves to cook. *sigh* I was the cause of my ex’s skinnywhiteboy physique. Poor guy, he was just hungry.

But, I will not be deterred from TAT goal #1: Do Not Go Out To Eat. And, we all know that I’ll never go hungry so a happy medium must be achieved that consists of easy and healthy recipes that won’t break the bank.

Some tips if you’re trying to cut down on eating out:

1) Shop at Trader Joe’s: SO MUCH CHEAPER THAN SAFEWAY. And if that’s not enough incentive, check out their:

  • pre-made salad selection. Bam, your lunches for work are taken care of (just make sure you check the calories on those babies, they tend to vary pretty widely. All the salads are delish though, especially the one with tofu. yum.)
  • marinated fish. you can get sole, salmon, tuna, all with easy to cook directions on the packages. These are a little pricey, but if you’re getting bored with the food you’ve been making and you don’t want to break, this is a good way to go.
  • Wine. Pretty damn good selection of smaller vintners and, of course, good prices. If you’re into beer, there are a ton of international brews.
  • Morning star. Seriously, this is the best part of Trader Joe’s. You know those morning star patties (tomato basil, asian, vegan, breakfast sausage) they’re like $2.5 at TJ’s versus $5 a pop at Safeway. WIN.

2) Another pearl of wisdom from my mom is your local asian supermarket, she swears by them for:

  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Tofu, “and stuff”

3) Recipes and grocery lists. I’m still on the hunt for the best shopping list/easy recipy resource, so if you have them, let me know in the comments. So far, I’m liking Rachael Ray’s Weekly Menu Planner. Some of her recipe’s just aren’t for me (yea, I’m talking you to Sausage Flapjack Stacks) but it’s a great concept for easy cooking/shopping. Otherwise, I tend to wander the supermaket aisles aimlessly, and leaving with enough food for a small family and a $200 bill.

Real Simple Magazine did a roundup of weekly Menu Planning sites, but they’re all pay for use…and that defeats my goal of saving money.

Got any tips for healthy, cost effective and most importantly EASY recipes, please share them in the comments.