Monday, November 17

Money Saving Idea - Make your favorite restaurant dish at home

When money gets tight, often one of the first things that gets cut out is eating meals out. For Serge and I, this hasn't happened on a regular basis since we've had kids! We are both really into trying new foods and since we both worked in restaurants in college, we're also really into trying to make new foods ourselves.

One of our favorite things to eat is sushi - really. I know it's not popular everywhere, but we love it. And the last time we went to our favorite sushi restaurant, we spent over $100. Sushi is not cheap. So I figured out how to make it at home. I bought a book and got started. And I'm still not great at it. The thing about sushi is not only do you have to make it properly, but it is supposed to look good. As you can see in the picture below, it's still a work in progress but it does taste great!

Ingredient list (prices from Kroger - on sale with coupon when available, of course) :
white rice ($2.99) - You can buy rice just for sushi, but plain white works just fine (not pictured)
fresh fish ($4.99 pound) - I used fresh salmon (not pictured)
imitation crab meat - ($1.50)
roasted seaweed - ($1.89) - look in Asian foods section
rice vinegar - ($1.99)
avocado - ($.99)
celery - ($.50)

Total: $14.85

This is what some of the finished product looks like. I typically make nigiri-sushi and sushi rolls.

There are all types of sushi and all different ingredients that you can include, but these are typically the ingredients I use. And as you can see - it's not nearly as expensive to make it at home as it is to go out and eat it in a restaurant!

So not everyone loves sushi like we do. What is your favorite dish? You can make pretty much anything at home. Do you like shrimp or chicken alfredo? This entree costs at least $12 per person at our local restaurants.

Ingredient list:
chicken ($2.99 pound)
shrimp (small ring $4.99)
alfredo sauce ($1.49) - or already in my stockpile
fettuccine ($.49) - or already in my stockpile
shredded parmesan ($1.99)

Total: $6.96 to $8.96

Last night Serge made a local favorite - Skyline chili. To feed four of us 3-ways and cheese coneys we would have easily spent $20 or more. We went to Meijer and bought a few ingredients - just the chili at $1.89 a can and some oyster crackers, since I already had most other ingredients at home - and we spent less than $10!

Often when we look for ways to cut costs, we simply cut things out entirely. It is possible to have things you enjoy without having to pay a high price for them. It just takes a little work and a little creativity!


Valerie Deneen said...

Wow! You are ambitious to try sushi! I'm impressed! I posted somthing similar on my blog about making your own hot chocolate mix. It's far cheaper than the individual packets, and the kids like to help make it too. Make Your Own Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Frugal Family Fun Blog
Good times on a budget!

Andrea @ Mommy Snacks said...

That looks so good! We like something similar, which is Koeran, called gim-bop - it just doesn't have seafood. That makes me want some right now!!

autumnesf said...

I also have tried my hand at this and love it. We don't use the seafood - its all vegetables. I make them on Superbowl Sunday and other such times since I make such large batches that the take forever! And they are gone in no time flat.

Our favorites are:
carrot sticks
pickled radish