One of the great pleasures in life is enjoying a memorable meal with your loved ones. Restaurants eliminate the work that goes into preparing a great meal - but at a price. Preparing special meals at home can sometimes take more effort than you have time for. How do you find the balance? This week's Whole Deal™ customer tips focus on getting that great dining experience in the comfort of your own home without all the work of preparing everything from scratch or spending a week's grocery budget on one meal dining out. From Channon:
My favorite savings tip is to let Whole Foods cater a Saturday date-night for me and my husband. Rather than going out to a restaurant and having a sitter (which costs!), we can wait until our children go to sleep and have a late super filled with a variety of exotic foods (which are even more reasonably priced and result in less waste since we decide the portions) from the “prepared foods” department; we pair that with great cheeses, fresh bread, and a glass of the 365 label wine and taste the foods of the world - prepared with wholesome ingredients -from the comfort of our home without breaking the bank (or evening using our car). :-)From Katrina:
We have saved money by shopping the ready to grill section and prepared food section at Whole Foods instead of eating out. My husband and I both realize how we have no control with what goes into the food we eat at restaurants and it can get expensive eating out. So when we have the urge to eat out, we buy amazing already cooked dishes or ready to grill kabobs and burgers and enjoy a meal that is much less than if we went out to eat and virtually little to no effort.From Sara:
My husband and I enjoy fresh, healthy foods and are always experimenting in the kitchen. Here are some of my favorite budget tips: 1) A fancy dinner at a pricey steakhouse can cost over $100 for a couple. I recently made filet mignon (fresh from Whole Foods!) with a side of roasted red potatoes and salad for under $15. Certainly, this isn’t everyday cooking, but you’d be hard pressed to eat anywhere for two for under $15. 2) If you have a pricey meal one night , enjoy a less expensive meal the next. Tofu is a steal at $1.50 for the Whole Foods 365 Brand. Pair it with a ready made sauce (e.g. Seeds of Change), jasmine rice, and naan - yum! 3) Eat real food. Why pay $4+ for a 12-pack of diet soda when you could enjoy a 1/2 lb. of fresh salmon, a loaf of whole grain, organic bread, or a few cups of raspberries for the same price?How do you enhance your dining at home experiences? Submit tips to The Whole Deal™ customer tips page.