At some point in our lives, most of us have wondered how to stop eating out so frequently. It’s just too tempting, too convenient, and too tasty. Sadly, eating out all the time isn’t friendly on the budget!
For those leading a busy lifestyle, or for families that rarely have time to cook a meal at home, eating a restaurant meal is all too attractive – but the cost can pile up quickly. That's why it's a good idea to prepare your own food at home instead of going out to eat. As daunting as it may seem, it is possible.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to stop eating out and save money in the long run.
Ready to lose weight, save money, and feel better about your food expenses? Say goodbye to daily restaurant food with these six tips for how to stop eating out.
If you decide to stop eating out, it takes dedication not just on your part, but on the part of your entire family. Young kids may have the occasional cravings for take out or restaurant meals, which can throw you off balance – but the longer you hold off, the less these cravings will arise.
Having said that, it is important to set ground rules regarding what constitutes eating out. Prepare to answer questions like, "When do the kids eat fast food?", "Does buying ready meals during grocery shopping count as eating out?", "How about during a date night, or when special occasions arise?" and more.
When all questions have been answered and details taken care of, get the whole family on board and work toward your money-saving goals as a team.
One of the best ways to stop eating out and save money is through good ol' reliable meal prep. Yes, meal planning can be tedious, and food can get repetitive real quick – but there’s an opportunity here to become passionate about making delicious meals.
The best way around meal prep monotony is to make different combinations of the same ingredients. For example, you could cook quinoa one day and make a salad with it the next. You can also use seasonings to give your food different flavors.
Your meal plans should be realistic and easy enough to prepare on the weekdays, but still exciting. You can easily achieve this by playing around with ingredients and cooking methods, or mixing in your favorite meals but in more manageable portions.
Each person has their own preferences when cooking dinner, so finding out what works best for you is essential to still enjoy a consistent prepped meal.
Ready to stop going out to eat? Start small at first, begin using more meal prep, and see how things go. In this way, you will be able to change up your ground rules with your family which will lead to your goals becoming more long-term in the future.
In order to achieve your goals, it is important to think about why you want to stop eating out so much. If you have a certain amount you want to save each month, factor this into your eating budget. For health reasons, how many cheat meals are you willing to treat yourself to within a given period of time?
By setting a short-term goal first, the goal is realistic and not overwhelming from the get-go. In this way, you can further improve your plans and will be mindful of when you spend money while still enjoying good food.
As the weekdays were filled with homemade food and healthy snacks, the weekends can be perfect to indulge in your favorite meals. Even though you are still on track to save money, you can use some of your budgets for some guilty pleasures like takeouts or food delivery so that you can still achieve your savings goals.
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Frozen pizza. Frozen dinners. Freezer meals. We've been there, and we understand: there are some nights when cooking is just too exhausting. After a stressful day, it’s overwhelming to think about what you’ll eat, what ingredients you need, and how long it will take you. That’s where freezer meals really save the day.
Freezer meals barely rack up the grocery bill as long as you keep them stored and on budget, accepting they're part of your meal plan when times are rough. There are also diet-friendly and low-sodium frozen meals available if you wish to save time while still keeping track of what you eat.
And of course, why not make meals in advance to store in the freezer for a rainy day? No need to spend money on a frozen pizza when you can enjoy a homemade meal in a fraction of the usual cooking time!
If you prefer to stop eating any fast food or restaurant meals on a weekend, it's best to plan ahead for your weekend dinners. But how to stop eating out when your kids are bored with the meals you’ve been making, or when your partner just wants a treat?
Easy: make your dinner meals exciting!
Cooking dinner isn’t as rushed on weekends – so it’s the perfect time to get creative with your meals. Bust out the toastie machine or jaffle maker for a treat the kids will love, or get completely hands-on and prepare your favorite takeouts through copycat recipes.
Hopefully, our tips have given some insight into how to stop eating out as frequently. This includes creating a meal prep that allows you to order take-outs from time to time – and with Freecash, you can do so for free.
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According to studies that use the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS), the ten most addictive foods are: Pizza, Chocolate, Chips, Cookies, Ice cream, French fries, Cheeseburgers, Soda (not diet), Cake, and Cheese.
Millennials, ages 25 to 34 years, are most likely to eat out at least once a week. While 43% of millennials said they eat out because it is convenient, 49% said it is because it provides an opportunity to socialize with family and friends.
Dining out is a popular activity among Americans, averaging around 5.9 times a week. This gets expensive really quickly, which makes a typical American household spend roughly around $3,000 a year on dining out alone. That's a lot of money that can be saved by having meals ready at home.
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