Heating up frozen foods for dinner is cheaper than eating out
One of the biggest traps that I’ve fallen into when working on a budget is giving myself a grocery budget and then only spending that money on ingredients you’ll never use.
Ideally, it would be fantastic to cook whole meals with ingredients. But, if cooking doesn’t fit your lifestyle right now or you need to make a first step towards saving money on food- there is no shame in frozen food.
My husband and I would not let ourselves get any frozen foods or “easy foods” when grocery shopping in order to be more “adult” and wise with our budget. But, so many days we’d be too exhausted to cook or not know what to cook and end up eating out. As in a lot of days.
Example: Digorno pizza: $9 2 Meals at McDonalds: $~$20
Overall, know yourself! Plan for what is really going to happen. Take baby steps. We cook a LOT now and we’ve gotten wise about getting ingredients for “easy” meals as well more involved meals. This may sound absolutely obvious to many people, but when we started getting realistic we saved a lot of money!
Edit: just to add as a few have said- slow cookers and instant pots are also great easy ways to cook at home! My main point being that eating a cheap frozen pizza is better than eating at McDonald’s. If you’re stuck in a rut of always eating out then it’s better to take small steps to develop habits then to do nothing at all. So, frozen pizza or whatever can be your stepping stone to eating more economically.
2nd Edit: A lot of you have really great habits when it comes to cooking/preparing food. And that is fantastic! But, for a lot of people (especially college/recent grads) it can be hard to start grocery shopping and cooking for yourself. I’m not advocating relying on frozen foods. But, maybe for some people (like myself) buying a few frozen pizzas can be a crutch that will help you break a bad, money-eating habit and start to develop better habits.
Final edit: Thank you all for telling me to learn how to cook. I do know how to cook now and I do almost every single night. But, this was how I kicked a bad habit and developed better ones. It’s not about “learning” how to cook it’s about changing behaviors. You can be the best chef in the world but if you don’t work on behavior modification then you’re not suddenly going to have the discipline to not eat out if that’s what you’ve done for forever.