Cooking everyday at home is a great way to cook on a budget. But sometimes, the habits that we picked up as a kid can be detrimental to saving money on food. Let me explain what Iím talking about Ė remember the end of most family meals when grandma would push the serving platter at your already loosened belt and waist-band?
"Eat it or itíll go to waste" sheíd always say.
"If itíll go to waste, what did you cook it for"? was my thought, even as a young kid. "Isnít there a way to figure out exactly how much you should cook?" I didnít actually say that sentence out loudÖI never was fond of the taste of soap. But, it only took my 8th grade math skills to figure out what grandma hadnít been able to for decades.
The precise portions you feed your family is the basis of cooking on a budget. When you know exactly how much each person will eat, youíll know how much to buy, and how much to cook, eliminating over-buying, over-cooking, wasting leftovers, or letting food spoil while in your possession.
The average cooked portion is 4 ounces protein, 3 ounces vegetable, 5 ounces starch per person. If your husband is a big eater, adjust upward. If your wife is petite like mine, adjust downward. But, with a digital scale and keen observation, perhaps a notebook, youíll arrive at the quantifiable amount that everyone in your house eats.
Now, you can begin saving money at the grocery store, or using the money youíve saved by buying more wholesome, exotic, or expensive ingredients because you know there will be little waste. Youíll also be helping the health of your family buy controlling the amount of food they eat.
In her everyday cooking, Grandma offered you more and more of what she prepared and she did it out of love for you. Today, when youíre cooking at home, the best way to show love to your family is by preparing a wholesome meal that is an appropriate amount for all to enjoy, while still being able to cook on a budget.