Nicole Mason

Meals To Prep At Home After Holiday Shopping

You've been running around for weeks trying to find something for everyone.

You did it, and you did it well.

Were some of the presents for you? Sure, but that's beside the point.

And now, you have to suffer for having such a big heart.

These next few weeks will be tough. With rent, student loans and credit card payments, it's time to cut corners with your spending. But where to begin?

Find out what you're spending the most on by checking out your card transactions.

Cabs? (It's cold!) Drinks? (It's holiday party season!) Food? (I have to eat!)

Whether it's ordering in or eating out, food can take up most of your extra funds. So, staying in and cooking is the best way to make up for the funds you blew on all of the people you love.

“But I can't cook,” you say.

Doesn't matter. There are so many meals that are easy to make and cost next to nothing.

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So, get to the grocery store, and set a strict spending limit.

Get ready for a week of your own home cooking with these meals that will make eating at home less sad than it sounds:

1. Pancakes

It's breakfast for dinner. Was it more fun when your mom did it growing up? Yes. Yes, it was.

But, you can imagine her on Christmas morning in those Dansko clogs you snagged at Nordstrom Rack while you flip your favorite breakfast food. Rewarding!

Add bananas so it's less depressing.

Ingredients:

Pancake Mix Syrup (Bananas?) Redemption

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2. Quesadillas

It's like a fiesta thrown by your own credit card debt!

Use whatever cheese is already in your refrigerator because you can't risk going to the cheese section where they have the $9 options. Too dicey!

Tortillas are cheap come in 1 million per package. You can use the rest later in this week from financial hell.

Ingredients:

Tortillas Cheese Humility

3. Teriyaki chicken and rice

We're not in an “order Chinese delivery” financial quarter. This is a CRISIS.

But hey, rice is cheap, and you can fry it yourself! Get an egg and some peas, and fry them with the rice.

Sautée your chicken with garlic, soy and teriyaki, and see if you can steal some fortune cookies from the place you wish you could afford right now.

Ingredients:

Rice Egg Peas Chicken Soy sauce packets (hoarded from past orders) Teriyaki Self-control

4. Pasta

What, spend an entire day being seduced by the retail industry and not give in even once? What are you, a monk? No.

You deserve a gift from you, too.

Make a romantic meal for yourself and your new purchases and really get to know each other. The noodles and sauce probably cost the same as the tax on your purchases.

Ingredients:

Noodles Sauce Love

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5. Soup

Boy, this one is tough. But, it will really make you feel the struggle, and maybe you'll remember it next time you want to give into the temptation of another pair of ankle boots.

Get a cheap can of soup, and add a little of the vegetables you have lying around or maybe some leftover chicken so your stomach feels less empty than your bank account.

Ingredients:

Can of soup Regret

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6. Fish tacos

Oh boy, time to get out those tortillas back out!

Fish is an inexpensive protein, and it's pretty easy to cook. Just throw it together and with whatever type of carb filler you have in the kitchen, and get ready for the least disappointing meal of the week.

Ingredients:

Fish (Don't be too stingy. You get what you pay for.) Rice or other filler Hope