Thursday, November 3, 2016

Alternatives to Take Out/Prepared foods

So many of us are living the crazy life. We run from one thing to the next - the list of things to do, between work and family obligations is ever so long - it feels like it's never ending!

And that leads all of us to the well known and dreaded "supper problem".

It happens daily - we need to eat and our kids need to eat, and supper is usually crunch time. It makes sense that we don't always have our act together and we end up scrambling for food - and that's when we buy take-out.

I get it. It makes sense. But I'm going to help you find your way out of this, because if you're reading this blog, chances are, you would like to find a way to spend less money (especially on food).

(You can still do take-out if your budget allows - just plan for it to be X # of times per month - I suggest 1-2 at most so that it feels like what it is - a luxurious splurge, and you'll appreciate it!)

Here are some of our very quick ways of dealing with supper when we're in over our heads.

My number one choice would be to take a few minutes to throw a one pot meal into the slow cooker in the morning. This can be all anything at all - black bean and tomato soup, mushroom barley soup, vegetable and chick pea stew... if you prefer meat, make that - almost anything at all made in the crock pot will be less expensive than a takeout meal.

My second option is sandwiches (you can use a sandwich maker to make hot, crispy, melty sandwiches!) and fresh or steamed veggies for supper. These don't take long to prepare. It may not feel like supper to you - sandwiches are often lunch food - but really, the point is to fill hungry tummies, not to be a gourmand.

Other quick meals that will save you from getting take out could include scrambled eggs - eggs are relatively inexpensive and cook up fast. Get the whole family involved making salads and you're good to go.

I like to keep some ready ingredients on hand, because it's easy to throw together food when I have chick peas or beans, rice, baked potatoes, and more already cooked and in the fridge waiting! Having bread and rolls in the freezer helps a LOT too. A bit of prep on Sunday can take us through till Wednesday so we don't have a crisis.

What tricks do you have that help you stay out of the take-out trap? I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. I make my salads in advance in Mason Jars-
    This way when I come home, we always have a salad. They last for about 4 days in the refrigerator. No matter what else we eat, at least we have a good green salad. I also take 1/2 hour a week to wash and cut up vegetable sticks like celery, carrots, cucumbers so when someone wants a snack- its ready!

  2. Keeping it simple is the best solution for me. I don't have to make a fancy lasagne or shepherds pie for dinner when baked potatoes in their jackets will do with butter, cheese, and tuna to top them or mash in yourself. Omelets are good and for a treat, pancakes spread with nutella. I am not against allowing the carbs to be a portion of crisps (tapuchips) even once a week.

  3. BS"D
    Chop up some tomatoes, plop them into a frying pan with some spices & sunflower or palm oil (they hold up best in high heat) cover & occasionally open to stir. Let it all simmer into an "almost sauce". Boil water in a suitable pot, dump in noodles/spaghetti (preferably Whole grain) stir now & then so they don't stick together. When ready strain them from the water serve with your easy-to-do homemade sauce. Voila food! If you can get kids to help you slice up fresh veggies for a salad too, all the better. For protein? hard boil or scramble some eggs.


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