Once upon a time when we only had three toddlers, our family frequently ate at a local Asian buffet restaurant. It was relatively affordable then because kids ages three and under ate free, so we could get away with spending around $20 for dinner -- less than most fast food establishments.
These days we'd be lucky to have a check under $50, even with two kiddos still in the "eats for free" age range, so we opt to recreate our favorite Asian-style meals at home. Not only is it far more economical to cook at home, but I like that I have more control over the sodium and fat content of the dishes. However, cooking from scratch just doesn't fit our busy schedule many days, so we'll start with a ready-made seasoning packet like the ones from Sun-Bird to simplify the process.
Sun-Bird recently sent our family a selection of four of their Asian Seasoning Packets so we could test them out, so last Thursday night we declared it family buffet night at home and prepared and tasted all four varieties. If you're one of my Twitter followers, you probably know some of the obstacles we had to overcome as I taught my husband how to make rice and had to improvise when he brought home honey-roasted peanuts instead of unsalted peanuts from the grocery store.
It all turned out well in the end, and we enjoyed a selection of Hot & Spicy Kung Pao Chicken, General Tso's Chicken, Mongolian Beef, and Fried Rice, all for less than the price of a single meal out. Even my 3 year old, who's known to be an extremely picky eater, proclaimed the Mongolian Beef to be her favorite ever, so this is definitely a meal that we'll be adding to our regular rotation!
Sun-Bird Asian Seasoning Packets are priced as low as $0.72 per packet and can be found at Dominick's, Food 4 Less, Jewel, Kroger, Meijer, and Walmart.
Have you started recreating your favorite restaurant meals at home in order to save money?