When we started cutting expenses, we knew eating out would have to go. Eating out for us usually happens at two different times: 1.) Planned family or date nights or 2.) When daily chaos prevents us from getting dinner started early enough so that we're not eating at 9 p.m.
The latter was the big problem. When I was working full time we ate out a lot more often because we were too tired, or didn't have time.
The solution: *Sigh* Frozen prepared meals.
We were picky. It had to taste good, and not be full of nasty preservatives or other ingredients that we normally wouldn't eat.
The product: Bertolli frozen "Classic Dinners" and "Pasta & Sauce." I had a coupon, they were on sale, so they got first try. The ingredients were also pronounceable & recognizable, and they were things we would normally eat.
The verdict: Good--and great for a night when we just don't have time. So far, the only one we haven't enjoyed is the ravioli--the sauce was really not impressive. Tonight I enjoyed the manicotti with ricotta and spinach. Our favorite is the Mediterranean chicken and linguine. O hasn't been very impressed with any of them (especially the ravioli), but he will pick out and eat the chicken and noodles.