How to Start a Cook at Home Challenge This Month – EP 75

FOOD! We love it, but it’s one of the biggest budget challenges we face each month. But what if we could reduce our spending and save more money by cutting costs on food? We’re challenging all of us (including ourselves!) to cook at home by dispelling some myths about home cooking and providing some tips on how to do this with ease! Join in and share your own progress!


  • Rakuten: An online shopping portal where you can get cash-back on purchases from your favorite stores. We use it for Groupon, Amazon, Walmart, travel sites and more. If you haven’t tried Rakuten yet we’ve got a $10 welcome bonus for you on your first purchase of $25 or more when you sign up through
  • Stainless Steel: Are you sick of your eggs sliding gently off the pan only to realize the nonstick coating has come off with it? Have your plastic utensils seen better days? Try stainless steel. It’s virtually indestructible to all the bad things you can do in the kitchen. All you have to do is remember to oil the pan once it’s already hot, not before, but it won’t judge you when you forget. Stainless steel, when it’s time to adult in the kitchen.

Notable Notes:

What the Internet has to say:

This article from Mind Body Green gives a 30-day home cooking challenge, the benefits they encountered by doing this, and how to guide for us readers!

What Jen+Jill have to say:

  • For 30 days – 100% of food must be made at home
  • Benefits:
    • Making your own food gives voice and choice “you can decide the ingredients rather than what’s given”
    • Causes more hosting- invite friends into the process!
    • Eating TOGETHER + stressing less = better for health 🙂
    • “There’s eating, and there’s nourishment, and I’ll take the latter any day of the week.”
  • HOW TO;
    • Be realistic  about amount of time
    • Decide what “homemade’ means to you
    • Find a buddy
    • Hold yourself accountable
    • Don’t put other restrictions in place!

More from the Internet:

This article from Help Guide dispels some of the myths or barriers to cooking at home. We are now without excuse!

More from Jen+Jill:

  • People who eat out consume an average of 200 more calories a day than those who prepare meals at home :/
  • It doesn’t have to be complicated – go simple!
  • Receive $10 off your first grocery purchase at 
    • I don’t have time
    • Fast food is cheaper
    • I’m too tired
    • I don’t know how to cook
    • I hate being in the kitchen
    • I cant get my family to eat healthy
  • Get started
    • Use fresh ingredients
    • Keep it simple
    • Make substitutions for health
    • Stock up on staples
    • Give yourself leeway

BILL OF THE WEEK –  Thanks Melinda for your Bill of the Week! Congrats to you and your husband for paying off your house!

Lightning Round

How to cook at home for a month:

  • Prep some freezer meals and double recipes that freeze well.
    • Use what you have at home, invite friends for a freezer meal swap
  • Repurpose leftovers
    • Anything can be turned into a soup, fried rice, pasta, salad, or stir-fry
  • Meal plan once for the whole month, or use Cook Smarts. New users get their first 3 weeks free at; promo code frugal (for 25%off)
  • Don’t be afraid of eating cereal for dinner. Have provisions to make a sandwich, omelet, quesadilla, a smoothie,  or any other quick dinner to keep you from eating out.

Frugal Friends Book Club:

For this month’s frugal book club book we are finishing up The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker!

  •  If you want a free copy, leave us a review on iTunes or Stitcher, screenshot the review and send it to We’ll select the winners at the end of the month.

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