Money Tip: Budget Eating Out

I huge advocate for eating at home.  And if for no other reasons than your bottom line and your waistline.  Eating at home saves money and worry.  Never once do I have to worry if I unknowingly pissed off the waiter asking him to take back my food.  And dinner can easily be served as lunch for the following day.

Trust me, I’m a leftovers lover.   Mmmm, mmmm mmmm!

But cooking all the time can get boring, especially if you only know how to make a handful of dishes.  There’s only so many times you can make spaghetti or make a chicken salad before you’re over it for the month. I get it.  I allow myself one meal a week where I can get to eat out.  Whether it’s out with friends for a night or something I order in on a Friday night.  But that’s the catch.  I don’t order food that whole day.  Just for one meal.  So, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, I pick one day of that week and one meal I’m willing to spend a little dough (did you like to food pun I did there? No? Really? Well, stand up comedian is not one of my side hustles, so have no fear).  And then I set a budget for what I I’m willing to spend on food for that meal.  Say, $15.  And no roll-overs.  So, if I pick up one of those $4.99 12-inch sandwiches Subway has going on right now (comes to $5.45 with tax), that doesn’t mean I get spend the difference I didn’t spend on my food plus that week’s budget on food I eat out.  I’m trying break the monotony without breaking the bank.

I do allow myself to spend $20.00 on one meal, giving myself a $80-a-month budget to eat out.  This is to factor in dinner and tip.  Hell, I’m spending $200 on food month, how much more money do I need to spend for just one person?  And I hold myself to the same principles, no rollover unused money to the next week.  So, if I only spend $40 on food that I ate out on, I saved my self $40 on my own budget.  I like that.

Money Tips

 

Foodie Friday: Penne Spaghetti

If you read my post from yesterday, I’m an obsessed advocate for eating and cooking at home.  I like to eat out too, but cooking at home is so cost effective! And delicious.  And never let it be said with any sort of conviction that single gals don’t cook!  Oh, yes we do!  If we’re trying save our money and build a little side business, we adore preparing home cooked meals.  In the words of Sophie Amoruso, “money looks better in the bank!”  (ladies, I suggest you buy or rent a copy of Girl Boss.  I got me a copy for less than $4!)

One of my favorite go-to meals is spaghetti.  It should be a staple in every household if you ask me.  I’m been a spaghetti lover since 3.  It’s sad that I remember that, but I do.  It’s simple and quick to make.  Below is my take on spaghetti using whole grain Penne pasta and ground turkey.  I’m no chef and I’m no photographer.  Just a foodie.  Someone who appreciate a good meal.  If don’t believe, ask my hips

Penne Spaghetti (1)

If you’re at all curious how I made my spaghetti:

  • Boil your pasta how you normally would
  • Because I used ground turkey, I added some milk to my skillet.  Yes, milk.  It makes white meat creamier. How much milk?  Maybe a 1/4 cup.
  • I love seasonings so I added: black pepper, pink salt, sage (goes good with white meat), fresh chopped red onion, garlic powder and dried oregano.
  • Ground meat till brown.
  • I used canned sauce.  Sorry.  I can make homemade sauce, but that requires a lot of tomatoes.
  • I do add fresh tomatoes.  Just one.
  • Add the sauce to your meat.  Your pasta should done about this time if you start cooking the noodles at the same as the meat (just makes sense)
  • Once the sauce has been stirred in with you meat and matches it’s temperature, it’s time to plate eat!

*Homemade garlic bread?  Use any bread you want.  Seriously. Combine melted butter, garlic powder and parsley flakes into a spread which is going to go on your bread.  Put bread into oven at 400 (or whatever) and give it about 10 minutes.