Budget Tip: Make Your Own Frozen Dinners
I love to cook, but after 8 hours in the Test Kitchen, the last thing I want to do is cook dinner at home. Yet when I get home, I won’t be ordering take-out or heating up a frozen dinner—I’ll be eating a home-cooked meal. How? On days when I do cook at home, even though I’m only feeding my husband and me, I make enough food for at least 6 portions. We freeze the extra portions in individual containers and label them. After a few weeks, our freezer is stocked with "homemade frozen dinners." Not only do we save money, we’re also avoiding a ton of extra calories, saturated fat and sodium from take-out or restaurant meals. In fact, a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine found that just one average sit-down restaurant meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) contained more than half of most people’s recommended calories for a whole day, 83 percent of our saturated fat allotment and 151 percent of our recommended daily sodium.