Eating Only Homemade Food for 10 Months and Counting...
Our last trip to a restaurant was back in February. That was also the last time I ordered a coffee from a cafe like Starbucks. Since then, we have not ordered any takeout from a restaurant, not even pizza. I almost ordered pizza one time for Halloween when I had a 40% online coupon but decided it was still much cheaper to cook a homemade meal. It's been one of those sacrifices we've had to make during the pandemic. For health safety reasons as well as for budgeting. We are still in conservation and rationing mode right now.
I'm used to living frugally since I was brought up that way. When times get hard and we need to cut back, I just do it. We don't feel deprived because I can cook and bake us special things. If you follow my blog, I have been making a lot of macarons during the pandemic. Lately, I have been making croissants. These are the sort of pastries and desserts we used to treat ourselves to at our fancy neighborhood bakeries. One of our favorite bubble tea places closed down but I can make us bubble tea from home. I do proper meals too, not just desserts. Lol. It's more work for me but we can still enjoy most of what we used to eat. The only thing I miss is maybe fish. It's something we had to cut down on because it's so expensive.
We do have kids and so variation in meals is definitely important. When I know that a meal will last longer than three days, I freeze part of it. That frozen bit becomes the kid's lunch a few weeks later. We don't eat leftovers for more than three days. Often the food only lasts us two days. Sometimes, I make new food out of old food so the kids are more interested. Our kids were raised to eat everything or at least try everything so that definitely makes my life easier. My husband is flexi-vegan and my daughter does not eat mammals so I do have to work around their dietary needs. But that also forces us to eat more vegetables, which is good for all of us and the planet. The kids are growing fast and eating more and more. It's amazing how much more I have to cook these days. I generally love cooking but during the pandemic I even found myself sick of having to come up with meals every single day. On top of attending Kindergarten and other stuff I have to do every day.
Here are some of the items we buy in bulk (mainly from Costco) to save on food costs:
- Pasta (only if it's on sale)
- "00" flour (to make my own fresh pasta)
- Dried chickpeas
- Dried kidney beans
- Can corn
- Can black beans
- Can diced tomato, can tomato paste
- Flour, sugar, nuts