Seven words that can send shock waves for miles in some homes.  Although both of us are still working, our work entails a lot of “stay at home” work.  That means that we are at home in our respective offices for much of the day.

burned toastNeither of us likes to cook.  After forty years of marriage, we both agree on that.  We also agree that neither of us wants to cook, and neither of us is particularly good at it.  So, eating at home can be a difficult and disappointing endeavor.

We are pretty common types for our age group as we approach full-fledged retirement.  We spend way too much money eating out, and if I’m honest, we end up eating dinners at places where the food is either boring or just not real good.  As we get to retirement, our budget is not going to allow us to get in the car and grab “something” for dinner as much as we now.  So what can we do about it?

There are plenty of recipes out there in books, online, and even YouTube that can help you make some delicious meals.  In our house, that means thinking ahead to tonight’s meal, but also thinking ahead to be sure that you we have or acquire the ingredients for a particular meal – something that does not necessarily happen very often.  So generally recipes don’t work well for us.

meal in a bagBut then we found what we call “food in a bag.”  In the grocery store we found these bags of food that are pretty complete with the exception of adding some rice, etc.  Instructions are on the packaging, so just follow the step-by-step and you have a pretty good meal for just a little money.  These “heat and serve” are a continuation of the TV Dinners that we grew up with, although I think they are a little better in quality and taste.  These inexpensive meals keep us at home a little more, but are not the answer.

Shopping at the bulk store (Costco, BJ’s, Sams, etc.) we found some really good “ready to cook” entrees all packaged with instructions for preparation.  One of our favorites is ready-to-cook salmon at Costco.  The fish is good quality and the instructions make it easy to prepare.  There are also some pretty good beef and chicken pre-packaged entrees that may even be available at your own local grocery.  Take a look and before you buy, take a good look at the instructions to be sure that you have the skill and the equipment needed to prepare it.

Maybe some day we will progress to recipes, but we are content now to have others do the culinary thinking for us.  The key is to decide that you WILL make some mistakes, some meals may not come out the way you like, and that some things you make will not be edible.  That’s okay – it’s a learning process.

Do you have a simple, eat-at-home idea?  Post it here for everyone to see.

House Spouse Kevin