Oct 17, 2019

One Tip for Eating Out Less: Celebrate!

One of the most common budget busters is eating out, so when I recently read this tip, I was inspired to make sure we eat at home more. The basic idea is to think of eating out as a treat, the way it used to be "in the old days.”

I mean, I’m old enough to remember even fast food being an irregular occurrence - we certainly had it when I was a kid, but not once a week.

Yet I often turn to fast food or takeout because I’m tired or didn’t plan ahead and it’s already dinner time. Even my parents’ generation seems to eat out frequently these days.

What I really loved about the tip I read, though, is to celebrate everything. Cleaned out the garage? Go out and celebrate! Half birthday? Celebrate! And so on.

One Tip for Eating Out Less: Celebrate

The key to making this new mindset work is pantry meals. The day I read the tip, my husband asked if I was going to cook or if he should pick something up. I really wanted to implement the new strategy so I poked my head in the freezer and saw some naan bread. So I made flatbread pizzas, with ingredients I had on hand - including the sauce from scratch, only because I didn’t have jarred sauce. Other pantry meals include baked pasta (which is just throwing together pasta, pasta sauce, and cheese in a dish and baking until it bubbles), breakfast (i.e., pancakes, eggs, fruit, and maybe bacon), and sardines and rice.

It also helps to have some freezer meals, like meatloaf, lasagna, enchiladas, and chili.

Do you have a favorite strategy for eating out less?

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