My family loves good food. And, after eight, going on nine years of trying to budget for meals to feed them all, I have figured out that if I don't provide enough good food at home, we will, ultimately, go out to eat in order to find good food, even if we really "don't have the money."

Therefore, I am trying to make more and more things that will tempt us to stay home and eat. I have found that spending a little more on groceries in order to provide a restaurant-quality meal or two at home is well worth the higher grocery bill each month, since we stay home to eat and don't need any extra cash to cover those expensive restaurant tabs and tips. Even fancy entrees like steak and fresh fish are much cheaper when you prepare them yourselves.

I recently made Seared Steak with Brussels Sprouts and Almonds. It was incredibly delicious and unbelievably easy. Dwayne and Norah both wanted second helpings of Brussels sprouts! It was that good! So, try this.

Once or twice a month, prepare something "fancy," something that isn't made with ground beef or chicken breasts, something that doesn't have noodles or cream of mushroom as a main ingredient, something fresh, exciting, new and fun to you. You will feel less deprived, even while eating at the same old dinner table. You will find your appetitie satisfied and discover that your wallet or bank account is actually full of money you'd otherwise waste at restaurants.


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