For awhile now, we have pretty much given up eating out and I have tried to stick with menu planning. It takes an organized person (which I am not) to pull it off cause quite frankly when you aren't home most nights of the week, it is hard to eat there.
We do indulge concession stands at events like soccer games and robotics events (about the only place all 5 of us can eat for under $15), but we began to realize that our budget was really being sabotaged by eating out way too much....so we made a pledge to start eating in as much as possible. And yes, we do get off track here and there or the kids have friends over and it is just easier to do pizza....but those occasions have become a rarity.
When we started with the menu planning, I knew I would struggle with it cause it meant I had to have some foresight as to what everybody's schedule was going to be and I had to plan when we would be able to eat whether it meant way earlier in the day or way later.
So as a little incentive to keep me on track, I decided that every so often, we would "splurge" on a meal. Nothing too fancy, but something I wouldn't normally buy being of the frugal nature.
I have been following a blog about an adventurous woman, Stephanie, who is trying to use her crockpot every day for a year...365 days....umm, thats a huge commitment. She is already on day 306 as of this morning! What an accomplishment! Check out her blog at http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
I love my crockpot so why not try a simple and easy shrimp dish? My intention was to have leftovers for seafood alfredo tonight, but there are no leftovers! The shrimp was good, and the juice was delicious sopped up on buttered rolls. We modified the recipe a little so we want to try it as she has it on her blog again to see which we prefer.
Check out the crockpot lady's shrimp recipe at http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/search?q=shrimp
And just a note, I believe that one of Stephanie's kids has a gluten allergy so a lot of her recipes are gluten free!
My crockpot is my friend...tonight she is making Salsa Chicken! ;-)