Long gone are the days when the majority of us used to be able to spend money on what we liked. Nowadays we are all having to look at tightening our belts and learning about frugal thrifty living. The word “frugal” seems to conjure up a miserable picture of starvation and depravation, but it needn´t be like that. In fact frugal living can often mean living better for less.
A good area to cut back on is food. Did you know that the average American spends at least $ 2,000 a year on eating out? A good tip on living frugally is to obviously spend less money on eating out but this doesnÂ´t mean starvation. Let´s take a look at the reasons why we choose to eat out:
We like to eat out because we like the food being cooked for us
We enjoy the atmosphere in the restaurant and other people´s company
We enjoy the occasion
Well we could turn this around and make “eating in” more fashionable. Why not invite friends round for a delicious home cooked meal. You can create an ambience in your own home by setting the scene with a nicely decorated table, soft lighting or scented candles and flowers. Make the occasion feel special and your guests feel comfortable. You could take turns with your friends, say once a month, so that they return the favour and do the cooking and this would give you something to look forward to.
Another good frugal living idea regarding food is to take packed lunches to work or school. These can be more nutritious than the fast food options and definitely cheaper.
Below are some great adult packed lunch ideas:
Pack your own charcuterie plate in a box by wrapping up slices of your favorite salumi: prosciutto, Spanish chorizo, maybe some jamn serrano or even lomo if you can find it. Then add a little container of cornichons, another of whole-grain mustard and some slices of baguette.
Make simple spring rolls by rolling up in rice paper romaine lettuce, julienned carrot and daikon, grilled tofu (or cooked shrimp if you have the option to refrigerate your lunch) and some fresh mint and basil. Pack a container of peanut sauce for dipping.
Pack a lunch with a Middle Eastern spin: Include small containers of hummus and baba ghanouj, pita toasted with a bit of cumin, a container of diced tomatoes and cucumbers, and some good marinated olives.
To go with a sliced bagel, include fillings packed separately so the bagel doesn’t get soggy: a container of cream cheese (mix in some chopped chives, freshly ground black pepper, minced cilantro or capers), slices of red onion and cucumber and some lox or smoked salmon
Compose a cheese plate in your lunchbox: Wrap a wedge of three of your favorite cheeses — Manchego, a chevre, maybe smoked Gouda, probably not a blue considering the closed environment — then add half a baguette, an apple or pear and a handful of Marcona almonds. Be sure to include a cheese knife.
Pasta salad idea No. 1: farfalle pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, fresh parsley, torn basil and toasted pine nuts.
So you can still have fun and enjoy your food when you adopt a frugal lifestyle
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