Did you know that every family throws out approximately 15 % or more of the food items that have been purchased each week? If you spend $400.00 per month times 12 months, that is $4,800 per year in groceries times 15 % that you throw away; this equals $720.00 per year! Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t like throwing away my hard earned money. Here are 4 reasons to eat at home tonight:
1. Much Healthier! The average meal from a fast food restaurant not only costs you more per serving, but has more calories, more saturated fat then what you normally would prepare at home. Meanwhile, you know exactly what is in the meals you prepare at home. By shopping carefully, experimenting and cooking regularly, you can learn to make satisfying, filling and appealing meals that are both fun to cook and healthy to eat.
2. Get rid of leftovers. Every family has a fridge full of leftovers, but they often just sit there getting moldy because no one wants to the same meal experience twice. Well, if you learn to spice, dress or jazz up your leftovers you can make them appealing as well as use them for a second meal. For instance, two pieces of leftover meatloaf may not be enough for a full meal for four, but if you make macaroni cheese and add meatloaf crumbles you have a nice casserole that, with a salad and rolls makes meal # 2 from the week – mostly using meal # 1!
3. Family time. Use this time to be creative with your family using your leftovers. Make sure you get your family involved because, believe it or not, the family who cooks, eats and cleans together is more likely to stay together.
4. Most importantly it saves money. Remember the 15 % that is thrown out, well, use it! You have already paid for the food, so why throw it out? See menu suggestion below for a simple way to combine leftovers (like chicken or broccoli) with quick fresh items (like pasta and butter) to make a meal that will not only stretch your food budget but fill you up:
Recipe of the Week: Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
• 6 oz uncooked fettuccine (or whatever pasta you already have)
• 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets
• 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, already cooked and cubed
• 1 can (standard size) Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
• ½ cup milk
• 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
• ¼ teaspoon pepper
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli for the last 5 min of cooking time. Drain.
2. In Medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat butter, add chicken, heat until chicken is browned.
3. Add soup, milk, cheese, pepper and pasta mixture; warm until warm all the way through; make sure to stir often to prevent sticking.
4. Then serve.