This year I made a goal of not eating out so much. We’ve all been there – had long days where at 5pm you have nothing planned for dinner and just grab your keys and hop in the car. Once we as a family broke this habit, it was interesting to see what happened.
- We made more new recipes. For weeks at a time I broke away from our ‘normal dinner’ list and made something new. It was a refreshing change from the old standbys I normally cook.
- We got excited for dinnertime. Because there were new recipes and new dishes to try my family got excited to see what was coming to the table next.
- We WANTED to eat at home. I found many times, when given the choice, my family would pick a home cooked meal over going out to eat.
- Restaurant food didn’t taste as good. To go along with #3: when given the option to eat out I would hear comments like “but we can make it however we want at home” and “the food here is way better than at the restaurant”.
- We got healthier. I have tried hard to focus on eating more whole foods and preparing meals with whole foods rather than foods with bar codes all over them. In doing so, we all got healthier. Not to say any of us lost a substantial amount of weight, but we noticed that when we did eat out we all felt horrible afterwards. Either we ate too much, the food was too greasy, there was too much salt, or something that contributed to that lethargic feeling you should only experience after Thanksgiving turkey.
Add all of this to the fact that it was much easier on our pocketbook and allowed me to spend more on groceries and this is definitely a habit we’re keeping.
In the summertime I noticed how easy it was to go to the store whenever I wanted. There were weeks I was there on a daily basis, as I would decide around 4pm what I was cooking that night. A quick run to the store and home to make dinner, no problem. Now that we’re back into school schedules and all the activities that go with it, I plan on doing more meal planning. Extra meal planning to come in the next few weeks too, as we have family coming from New Zealand who will be staying with us for 3 weeks!