Frugal Kitchen Step 1: Learn to Cook!

The best thing you can do for yourself and your family is learn to cook – KNOW what goes into your food. Don’t be afraid of your kitchen! The most significant area of your life where you can save money is groceries and food. Learning to cook can be fun, and you WILL save money!
A sit-down restaurant meal for a family of three costs at minimum $30, and fast-food meals run about $15. With a little planning, you can serve a full pancake-house style breakfast for about $1 per plate. Every time you cook a meal at home, you will save money. That is a sure thing!

(Left: November 2001 – My first apple pie – mostly from scratch. You can see that I blobbed dough from scratch on top of a pre-made crust. It was SO good, though! )

If you don’t know your way around the kitchen, start with simple dishes and build your cooking skills over time. Shop thrift stores and garage sales for cookbooks with very simple recipes that involve fewer ingredients and steps. Don’t be afraid of trial-and-error. Every good cook has made their share of mistakes. Keep notes on your successful experiments so you can repeat them later!