Last week, I posted about saving money on groceries. While many of us are having to tighten our grocery budgets as costs rise and incomes drop…that doesn’t mean we can’t still share the blessing of cooking for others.
I love to cook and bake for others! Preparing a meal for someone is such a basic way of sharing love. Whether we’re dropping a dinner off, making someone some cookies, or having people over for dinner, we’re sharing love!
All this food has to come out of our grocery money, though, and sometimes that can be difficult. Here’s some ways I’ve managed to keep blessing others when we can sometimes barely make our budget work as it is.
First: Keep it simple. Sometimes I think we get overwhelmed because when we cook for others, we want it to be perfect, and kind of amazing. By keeping it simple, you can afford to bless more often and special touches like a sweet note or pretty flowers from your backyard can make someone feel special and are free for you.
Tithe your grocery money. Take 10% of your grocery budget and plan a meal for a hurting family, or bless them with some groceries. Ask God to bless you and believe me, He will lead you to some awesome deals and multiply that gift!
Cook Double. Cooking double is an easy way to bless someone. All your ingredients are already out, you’ve only got one mess to clean, and you kill two birds with one stone! As long as you’re doing this…
Look for sales. Keep your eye out for sales on ingredients to make someone a casserole, baked goods, or other recipe. If you find a great deal on something you use often, buy in bulk and keep it on hand so you’re ready for your next blessing!
Have a couple go-to recipes for hurting souls. If you know you make killer chocolate chip cookies or chicken pot pie, use that! You might become known for comforting with a batch of cookies, and that’s okay. When you’ve perfected a recipe, you can cook it with almost no thought and have it on the ready for a friend in need. So stock up on those chocolate chips and start your own ministry!
Share a meal. Often times, a recipe will serve more than just your family. Instead of waiting for a special occasion, invite a lonely friend over to share a casual dinner with your family. Food mixed with friends is a sure-fire way to cheer someone.
Pretty-fy your gift. Even half a dozen brownies can make someone feel special, and you can stack them and tie a pretty ribbon around the packaging. An extra-large single serving of a dish for a single friend or elderly neighbor is more appealing when delivered on a beautiful plate with a cloth napkin. If you find you just don’t have much to share, start small, and over time you will find ways to do more.