Eating out, picking up take out or having pizza delivered is incredibly convenient and accessible, but it cost money, and can hurt your waistline. I’ve mentioned this a bunch, but Chuck and I are trying to save money right now so we are doing our best to avoid spending extra money on food. The obvious way to do this is to cook at home. I’ve already talked about how I meal plan to help save money, but I’m human and a meal plan doesn’t ensure I won’t want that super greasy takeout pizza on Friday after a long work week. Here is what I’m doing to avoid the pesky temptation troll.
- Try to come up with recipes similar to my favorite takeout food. Some great examples are 15 Minute Lo Mein, Wonton Soup, Homemade Pizza, Linguine with Clam Sauce, and One Pan Chicken Broccoli Alfredo.
- Keep a list of easy and quickrecipes on hand with all the ingredients. 15 and 20 minute meals are totally more appealing than a 40 minute, multi-dish recipe (hello clean up after?).
- Meal plan. I already discussed this above, see here for more info.
- Keep ready prepared meals accessible – Precooked chicken breasts, frozen homemade soups, ravioli, frozen meatballs, frozen taco meat and other things that I can prepare in 10 minutes or less is ideal.
- Use the crockpot. If I start the crock pot before work I pretty much then have to eat whatever it is when I get home or it goes to waste. Also coming home to a wonderful smelling house does wonders to change your cravings. Check out my list of 100 Slow Cooker Recipesfor Winter.
- Keep salad stuff in the house. – Those frozen chicken breasts heat up in the microwave and go great on a big salad. The same goes for taco meat (or beans), leftover roast veggies, leftover steak, and a ton of other stuff. Also it doesn’t last long so if I know its going to go bad soon then I am more likely to eat it instead of ordering out.
- Set a dining out budget for the month. Once you hit that limit don’t go out until the beginning of the next month. If it’s the social aspects that you are missing try hosting a potluck, or inviting friends over instead of going out.
Do you have anything that you do to help curb the take out monster? I’ll take all the tips I can get!