Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Five reasons Busy Families should make meals at home

We are all busy. Sometimes, I think it's a competition to see just WHO is THE busiest person. LOL! Various Sports, Music Lessons or Band Practice, Martial Art Practice, Second Jobs, Various Volunteer things, etc. The thing I hear over and over again is "I don't have time to cook at home".  Having no time to cook, every single night, should not keep you from eating at home, though. With a little prep work, you can STILL enjoying the benefits of eating at home.

 Let's discuss what those benefits are:
  • Save money - the average family of four will spend at least $25 each time that eat out. Even more at a sit down restaurant, as that number is for FAST FOOD. Cheap Fast Food, at that. If you go to the "better" places, and you know which I mean, then it's more like $30 that you are spending. Some say "I can get a 2 pizzas from the "pizza pizza" place (you know who) for $10. That might be true, but are you going to do eat cardboard pizza (what my crew calls it) every night? If so, then see the next point.

  • Healthier for you and your family - Let's face it - eating somewhere other than your kitchen, you are completely NOT in control as to what you are eating. You have no idea what's in the seasonings or sauces, that are covering the food, you are eating. When you eat at home, you have the Nutritional Information (for the most part) in front of you. You are able to tailor the meal to not only what you and your family likes, but needs. If for some reason you are not worried about what's in the food you eat, then see the next point.

  • Peaceful environment - well, maybe I should said familiar environment. LOL! You can have a conversation with your family, in peace, without outside distractions. You know, someone else's kid screaming/crying OR the loud talkers in the room OR the wait staff around you OR maybe even the kid's area that takes your kids from the table. You get the point. Families need uninterrupted time to  talk about their day, as they eat dinner. It's amazing what it can do for the dynamic of the family. If you say "well, we get take-out and just eat at home", then see the next point.

  • Developing responsibility in your children - What does cooking and eating dinner at home do for that? LOTS! Having your older children help you cook will give them much needed skills, for when they leave the nest. It's AMAZING just how many Young Adults lack the skills to cook dinner for themselves. What a great bonding time that you can have with your kids - daughters AND sons - as you make dinner. Plus, beyond the much needed skills of being able to cook for themselves,  think of the chores that can be done: doing the dishes, setting the table, clearing the table, cleaning the kitchen etc. ALSO - minding manners, saying grace, learning communication skills. Yes, the "alsos" can be done eating out, but it's more effective in the beginning stages to do it AT HOME. If I still haven't convinced you, then see my last point.

  • Keeping your money LOCAL - Yes, when you eat at local places, you are keeping your money in town. OR Are you? Depends on where you are eating. Mom and Pop places - ABSOLUTELY! The Fast Food and Corporate Chains - NOT ENTIRELY. Yes, you help the wait staff, cooks and managers, however a good portion of your money will be going OUT of your local town. (exceptions are when you are eating at a place that has headquarters in your town). However, when you buy groceries it gets a little better. More money stays in your town, especially with local grocers. {Stay out of "Mall-Mart", as my oldest coined it when she was a toddler.} What REALLY helps is when you shop Farmer's Markets and Local Meat Packers. Yep! Now that's ALL staying here and you are helping families and small businesses earn a living. Have you ever thought about cooking and eating at home that way? I know many people are ALL ABOUT shopping local, yet they haven't connected the dots to see that cooking and eating at home, follows that agenda. 
So what do you think? Have I made you realize just WHY we need to cook and eat at home? There are five reasons that look pretty darn convincing to me. I know, I know, I know what you are going to tell me. "I don't have time between working full time and all the kids after school activities".  Yes, you do! You just need to Meal Plan. That's why you are following Meal Planning Tips, right? You really want to do how. I'm hear to tell you that Meal Kits are HUGE helpers with this task, that might seem daunting and unattainable. My favorite ones are Tastefully Simple. Many of you know that about me.

Here are just a few reasons why:
  •  I can control what's in my meals since I can shop local for my fresh ingredients.
  •  I can prep a few meals at a time for the fridge or freezer. This is extremely important as my family is heavily involved in various week night activities.
  •  I can swap out proteins or veggies in the recipes. 
  • They are cheaper than the other delivery boxes.
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