More than $3200 a year on take-out food?!

Last year the average American spent OVER $3200 per person on take-out, dining out and specialty coffee!  That is much more than they spent on groceries!  I personally sit here and IMAGINE the Incredible Gourmet meals I could make with the extra money in my grocery budget!  Can You Imagine? $3200 a year is $62 a week per person, if there are two of you, that means it is about $125 a week!

So, I am sure that you are expecting this to be all about money, but it is not.   It is about Food and my Love of cooking from scratch.  Truly from scratch, not opening a box or pulling a pre-made dinner out of the freezer and heating it up.

So, don’t get me wrong! I realize that opening a box or pulling something out of the freezer is now considered “Home cooking“.  My sister made the Best “Homemade” lasagna by pulling it out of the freezer and putting it into the oven that you Ever tasted.  She hated cooking but saw the need for it.  But loved when we lived near each other and I would do the cooking.

Cooking from scratch is actually pretty easy once you begin keeping the ingredients on hand, have the pans you need and the RECIPES!  So this is where I come in and help you out with the basics.

I have Already posted 3 video’s on my YouTube channel (the link is above) and am posting more regularly.  You will find some of these recipes right there on my channel.

Roast chicken & Vegetables
Cheesecake with strawberry top

So, you Do Not need to go out and spend a fortune on some celebrity endorsed set of pots and pans to cook and bake some mouth-watering meals for your family! 

Here are a few of my tips on saving money to set up your kitchen to cook and bake!  If you have either just moved into your own place or simply do not have the things you really need to cook and bake.  Here are the basics and where I would go to buy them (& have) !

    • A set of dry measuring cups
    • At least one good size (4 cup) liquid measuring cup
    • A set of measuring spoons
    • A set of utensils, (bare minimum) wooden spoon, flat spatula for turning food, rubber spatula for use with mixing, a wire whip or two
    • At least one good size bowl for mixing in (watch one of my video’s you will see how big of one I use.  I also use plastic)
  • BIG BOX STORE (you know where I mean…lol)
    • A mixer, a nice hand held one will do just fine, you shouldn’t need to pay more than $20.  You can find them for under $10
    • a set of pots and pans that has two skillets, two different size pots with long handles in them, a larger stock pot (it has two little handles, one on each side) and at least one cookie/baking sheet.  IT DOES NOT have to be bought as a set!  Sometimes you can get a better deal finding the individual pieces.  CHECK ONLINE! 
    • A Crockpot!  It can be your best friend!!!

If you need more help in finding these basic items and setting up your kitchen to do some great cooking,

write me here



If you keep some basics on hand, you will always have a good, fairly quick meal for your household!  If you have room and the budget for a small chest freezer (Under $200 at that Big box store) you can Really save your budget and make Yummy meals!


Here are a few of my tips for meals for a week if you are super busy!

  • First off here are a few groceries to buy to keep on hand to make your meals.  My first tip for a busy person is, PREP! Pick a day, usually for me it is when I grocery shop.  A basic grocery list would include:
    • MEAT...Hamburger, chicken (whole or pieces), a beef roast, a pork roast.
    • Frozen vegetables ~ I like the mixed one’s and buy them when they are on sale.  Pay attention to the price per ounce, not per bag.
    • Some type of starch if you eat them, like real potatoes, rice, quinoa, pasta
    • Onions, either fresh, (whole) or dried in a jar; minced garlic
    • Spices, here is my basic list: tajin, italian seasoning, chili powder, basil, paprika, parsley, barbecue seasoning, taco mixes, salt, pepper
    • bean with bacon soup
    • ketchup
    • oatmeal
    • Shredded cheese, I usually keep a mexican blend, parmesan and mozzarella on hand.
    • Sliced cheese, whatever you like
    • Butter or margarine & milk, eggs
    • And until you are ready to make your own, refrigerated pie crusts.
  • With the ingredients above, you can prep a lot of meals in one day, cook some of them and freeze.  Or freeze then thaw in your refrigerator the day before you want to cook and cook the day you want to eat them.
  • Here are the meals I would make in advance (or day by day) with these ingredients!
    • Beef roast with a bag of veggies and potatoes, onions, garlic & spices in a pan in the oven.  After cooked, you have the basic roast with veggies & if any meat is left…
    • Hot roast beef sandwiches.  Just make gravy from the drippings by adding a Roux made of flour and butter.
    • While that is in the oven I would put the chicken with similar veggies, potatoes, onion, garlic & spices along with some wine (1/2 cup along with 1/4 cup water)(or liquid of your choice) in the crockpot on high.  This will give you at least two meals also.
    • While those are cooking, put 1lb of your hamburger in a skillet on the stove, cook it with some of the dried onion or a diced onion, once cooked, drain the fat, add chili powder, garlic, ketchup, tajin & bean with bacon soup.  When it is all cooked, you can either refrigerate it for about 4 days or freeze it.  This is a very filling sandwich.
    • Next up, take another 2lbs of hamburger, onion, garlic, ketchup, tajin, parsley, steak sauce (if you  have it) 4 eggs,salt, pepper, basil and oatmeal.  mix well, form it into a loaf and put in a pan.  bake this in the oven for about 90 min on a medium heat.  this can be frozen raw and cooked once thawed.  Or cooked then frozen and thawed and heated.  This should give you one meal with frozen veggies and another meal as grilled sandwiches.
    • You can cook your pork roast in the oven with veggies.  Or in the crockpot, or out on the grill.  Try mixing oil, wine (or beer) and taco seasoning together in a bag and using it as a marinade on the pork.  After marinading for a day, it will come out fork tender.  You can pre-cook and freeze this also.  If cooked in the crockpot, try it with rice!  Very good when chopped up and wrapped with some salsa and sour cream in a tortilla.
    • If you  have more hamburger left, form it into balls about the size of your palm.  Then flatten them and round the edges.  Separate your patties in the freezer with parchment paper or foil then put all in a gallon ziploc.  Hamburgers for later in the week.
    • Ok, the pie crust, if you have a pie pan in your set, put one crust down in it, don’t worry that it hangs over the edges.  Take whichever meat you have the most of and pull some of it out.  Like the chicken, dice it up, add a bag of those frozen veggies, a diced potato or two (depending on how big they are).  Take some of the juice from the crockpot from cooking the chicken, put it in a saucepan and add a bit of a Roux to it to make a gravy.  Pour the gravy over the chicken and vegetables in the piepan.  Then put the other crust on top.  Pinch the edges together, folding the excess up on top.  Then make a few small slices in the top crust for venting.  Bake this in a medium oven for about an hour.  If you want the crust to brown nicely, beat an egg yolk and brush it across the top, especially the edge.  Once cooled, this can be frozen, then later thawed and reheated…family size chicken pot pie.
  • OK, SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! Over a week’s worth of meals right up there!  If you need help with these….

just hit me up

Have a Blessed Day ~ Namaste’ ~ Momma Janet

17 thoughts on “More than $3200 a year on take-out food?!”

    1. Thanks you So Much! I am working on increasing my base of readers and appreciate the comments! I think our next vacation is going to be to go to the people who are commenting and have restaurants (like yours) with these terrific menu’s! The drive will be Sooo worth it!!!

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  2. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.

    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to

    1. Hi, No problem, I use WordPress. I like it partially because you can customize so much within it. I changed the color schemes, the layout of the blog how the picture align to the paragraph, everything. You can mix it up and test it and preview before you ever publish it I hope this helps! ~ Momma Janet

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