I started buying THRIVE Foods from Shelf Reliance for long-term food storage goals. But I have quickly discovered how THRIVE can be a convenience food that saves dinner, and because of that I'm saving time and money.
Too often in the past, when the day got too hectic, or I was tired, or I wasn't feeling well, I would look at the clock and realize I hadn't started dinner and it was too late to start what I had planned (even worse when I didn't have something planned). Just this week, I went to make something I had planned and I didn't have half the ingredients the recipe called for (it was a new recipe with ingredients I don't normally stock). I would call my husband and whine to get him to suggest "Let's go out!" but eating out wasn't in our budget so we ended up "paying" for it later with the rest of our budget and juggling funds across pay periods. Not fun! Although we weren't using credit cards, each pay period, I was having to "pay" for things we already bought.
Today, I am much more deliberate about our meal planning. When I started this blog, I immediately started participating in Menu Plan Monday - partly to increase traffic to my blog but the primary benefit has been that I am planning our dinners for the week EVERY week. But even with looking at our schedule when I do our menu plan for the week, we still have nights that all of a sudden I realize it's 4:45 pm and I need to get dinner on the table quickly. THRIVE Foods has saved these dinners almost every time (the latest save was bacon and eggs for dinner so it wasn't THRIVE that saved us). Because we didn't go out to eat, we saved money.
I've had this happen several times in the past few months. First I made Tacos, another night I made Chicken Taquitos, and just recently I used the Freeze Dried Chopped Chicken to make a Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta Bake (recipe coming soon).
Let's crunch some numbers:
Option 1: Run to Qdoba for dinner.
2 Chicken Burritos @ $6.29 each = $12.58
2 Kids Quesadillas @ $3.39 each = $ 6.78
Option 2: Make Tacos using THRIVE Freeze Dried Ground Beef. If you buy the #10 can of FD Ground Beef on the online store, it's $42.79, it comes to $8.91 to make a pound of ground beef for my tacos (for those with a Q, it's $41.29 for a #10 can). I had all the other ingredients at home - I just needed to cut up the tomatoes and lettuce, rehydrate the ground beef, and heat it up with the taco seasoning. So although $8.91 per pound may seem high, it saved us from going out and spending $19.36. It also saved us time. From decision time (while on the phone with my husband) to dinner on the table was less than 20 minutes. My husband walked in the door from work to a delicious dinner on the table waiting for him when 20 minutes earlier I had no idea what to do for dinner. If we'd gone with Option 1, it would have another 30 minutes before we were eating dinner.
>>>SAVED $ 10.45, AND 30 minutes
Option 3: Chicken Taquitos. My family loves chicken taquitos and we've discovered they are great for a picnic at the soccer field. But it doesn't work so well if you haven't even defrosted the chicken breast, let alone cooked it, when it's time to put the taquitos together. I immediately turned to my THRIVE Freeze Dried Chopped Chicken instead of picking up dinner on the way to soccer practice. I used 2 cups of the chicken so at website pricing that's $5.90 for the chicken. Because this is what I had planned, I had all the other ingredients ready to go. Dinner was ready in time for us to leave for soccer!
>>>> SAVED $13.46 AND dinner ready on time.
In these examples, I compared to eating at Qdoba which I think of as a healthier alternative for eating out fast (and their prices were available online). And these savings don't consider the calorie factor or the other health factors that make our home cooked meals generally better than eating out.
Although using the freeze dried version may not be cheaper than buying fresh at the grocery store, sometimes we don't have the time to make a last minute trip to the grocery store (and too often I find something else I need as I go to the checkout lane). So keeping THRIVE Foods in my home DOES save me money and time.
Shelf Reliance recently launched THRIVE Express, easy to make meals in pouches sized for your family! Check out the THRIVE Express Commercial that shows how this new product line can save you time and money.
I'm sharing this post as part of Frugal Friday on Life As Mom. Go check out all the other great tips!