Eating fast food is a drain on your budget and overall health. Here are some tips on How to Stop Eating Out So Much and make cooking at home easier.
I used to eat out constantly. This was for a couple of reasons, but mostly because I lacked the proper planning and I thought I was too busy to eat at home. After some reflection, I realized that it is simply a matter of making priorities for me. Eating out is something that many of us do without much thought into it. Not only is is bad for our budgets, but it can be negative for our health as well. Many fast options out there are unhealthy and portion sizes served in restaurants are often far too large.
If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle for both your budget and your wallet, here are some tips on How to Stop Eating Out So Much and make eating at home easier.
How to Stop Eating Out So Much
Start Batch Cooking. Planning meals is by far one of the best ways to avoid eating out, especially if you are one of those folks that tend to eat out because of lack of not knowing what to make or finding it to tedious to cook. You can batch-cook parts of your meals each week or whenever it makes sense for you to do it and make cooking at home something that doesn't take much time at all. Batch-cooking is an great technique to get some of the cooking out of the way and batch-cooking can be done healthy very easily as well. Soon, you will find that cooking at home really is just about planning and it doesn't have to be elaborate to ‘count' as a meal. Sometimes, a dinner for us is leftover homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. Check out all of these tips for batch-cooking.
Pack a lunch from home. One time during the day when many people find it hard to eat at home is lunch. Even as a work at home parent, I am also the taxi and that means mid-day, I do a lot of running around and this makes it far too easy for me to eat out. I have started packing a simple lunch for myself and have cut out this habit almost completely. If you work away from home, this is a great way to avoid it as well. Often, I eat leftovers from the night before this way and further save money by not wasting food.
Bring along healthy snacks. As I just mentioned, I am the one in charge of running around and doing the errands in my household, so even if I did happen to eat lunch at home or eat my packed lunch, that can still mean I hit that nibbley time of day which can lead to more temptation to eat out. I combat this by taking small, non-perishable and high-protein snacks with me such as nuts and seeds or jerky. Here are some ways to keep healthy snacks on hand.
Save your money and choose a goal. Just like with many bad habits that are hard to break, a little incentive can really make it easier or at least make the blow to your lifestyle easier to take. For a month or so, find out what you spend on eating out in your household and the next month, make a goal of saving have that money. After a certain period of time, buy something you thought you couldn't' afford before. Alternatively, you could put a dollar into a jar every time you were tempted or skipped eating out (similar to a ‘swear jar' concept) and save that money as well.
Learn how to make some of your favorites at home. Since what I often ate out was simple things like fast food or Chinese take-out, making some of my favorites at home was an easy transition. I found that doing it at home satisfied many of my cravings and was much easier on my food budget.
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