Entertain at home, save a bundle - MoneySense

Entertain at home, save a bundle

After years of dining out and driving through, we’re going back into the kitchen to plan our meals, shop with a list and cook at home.


Yup, we’re finally getting wise to just how hard eating out and ordering in really are on our budgets. Hey, you can even turn cooking at home into entertainment and save money on that category of your budget too!

In my house cooking isn’t a chore, it’s an activity. It’s something we do together. Even if I’m the one stirring the pot, the kids are there chatting their heads off, doing homework, or skylarkin’ with each other, and the whole thing is fun.

Let’s face it folks, if you can read a cookbook, you can make a meal. It’s not rocket science, particularly with the great instructions we now get in recipes. Anyone else remember when measurements were “a pinch” of this and “a dash” of that. Once you get really good, you can start improvising, and then the fun really begins. To this day, I don’t measure. And whenever my kids say, “This is great Mom” I respond with, “Enjoy it!” meaning it isn’t likely to happen just the same way again.

Ever wondered how jerk seasoning would taste mixed in with basil pesto? (It’s fabulous.)  Now I make world-class cuisine to entertain my friends, and I spend only a quarter of what I would if we went to a restaurant and paid premium dollars for food, drink, taxes, and tip.

The trick to making cooking at home interesting is to experiment. The trick to making it a money-saving strategy is to use whatever is on special to inspire you to create something new. When my local supermarket had fruity salsa on sale for $1.29 off, I immediately thought how lovely that would be combined with some jerk seasoning (yah, I’m a jerk-freak) over chicken. Slice it up and top a fresh salad of spinach, dried cranberries and mushrooms and not only will your friends think you’re a genius, you’ll save money too!

Get out your imagination and start playing. You’ll not only save money, you’ll have loads of fun.