It’s 6pm – Do You Know Where Your Dinner is?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to eat fast-food every night? I am not talking about the greasy, fatty, drive-through kind. What if you could simply grab a complete, healthy meal from your freezer...pop it in the oven and read a magazine, play with your kids or chill out in front of the television while your meal is cooking?

Think about your upcoming month for a moment. Do you have nine or ten hours you could devote to a day of cooking and another two or three hours for shopping and preparation? That's about thirteen hours total to save you the equivalent of a full-time work week.

Think about how much time you spend grocery shopping and preparing lunches and dinners for your families. Personally, I shopped for at least an hour weekly plus random stops at stores to pick up ingredients I'd forgotten (about 10 hours total). I typically spend at least an hour per day preparing meals (lunches, breakfasts and dinner). That's about forty five hours total. So, how does nine hours of cooking and three hours of shopping sound to you now?

When I was a newlywed, my husband worked odd hours and so did I. I often worked overnight shifts, and he worked twelve-hour shifts. Needless to say, we spent a lot of time saying, "hello...and goodbye" to one another as we ran out the door for work.

Since I wanted to have meaningful meals with my new hubbie, I decided to give once a month cooking a try. It was a life-saver. After a long Saturday afternoon of shopping, chopping, baking, cleaning and nibbling...I had enough meals to feed my husband and I for a month. It was wonderful. When he would get home late for work, I would pop a meal in the oven for him. If I was running late to my shift, he would "make dinner" for me too.

We were finally able to have sit-down dinners (albeit often rushed). We stopped eating fast foods. We both lost weight and we saved hundreds of dollars both on our grocery bills and by eliminating last minute restaurant and fast food stops.

If you are reluctant to jump into once a month cooking with two feet, take some baby steps first. What about creating a two-week menu? How about pre-cooking your family meals one week in advance?

Chances are, you are growing tired of "just add meat" helpers, "cream of whatever" soup concoctions, fast food "value meals" and greasy pizzas. Therefore you owe it to your family, your health and your waistline to give it a try.

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