With a major renovation under way, we couldn't afford to just eat out for every meal. And who really wants to drag a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old to a restaurants every night anyway?
For the second installment in Five Lists about Home Renovation Week, I share with you five survival tips for getting by without a kitchen and without breaking the bank:
- Phone a friend: Without the kindness of friends who invited us over to eat or cook and one who even gave us open access to her kitchen (thanks, Ms. S!), we would not have made it through. I pulled lasagna from the freezer and heated it at a friend's house while the kids played. I brought pizzas to another friend's and cooked enough for all of us. It was so nice just to sit at a table in a home to eat dinner, even if it wasn't my own home.
- Grocery dining: My grocery budget was way down for the past month since there wasn't anywhere to cook. So we decided to just eat at the grocery store instead. Harris Teeter sells tasty-fresh, custom pizzas for $7.99 on Mondays -- we just took ours upstairs and people-watched at the store while we ate dinner.
- Coupon/Groupon: We got a lot of use out of our CityPass coupon book and some strategic Groupon purchases so that we could get special deals at restaurants when we needed them. Somehow, a BOGO deal makes everything a little better.
- Family night: On Tuesdays at Chick-Fil-A, kids get a free meal with the purchase of a grown-up meal. Plus we had a very generous gift card from another friend (thanks, PY!), so that made the deal even sweeter. Of course, other restaurants offer family night deals, too (like Moe's), but CFA is always the favorite at our house. I think it's the free ice cream.
- Grilled cheese: When we just needed to have an easy meal at home, we pulled out the
George Foreman cookerpanini maker and fired up some grilled cheese sandwiches. Heat up some soup in the microwave, throw some fruit on the kids' plates, and it's a surprisingly well-balanced meal. Just had to get a little creative about the location (and notice, there's ALWAYS cereal):
But after too many nights of watching my kids eat dinner like this...
...I'm more than excited to be fixing dinner in this...
That sneak peek photo is courtesy of the little comment fit that Momsicle threw yesterday. More to come later this week, so stay tuned!