6 Ways to Make Eating In More Fun
Let’s face it — eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner adds up … fast. In fact, recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey shows that the average American spends up to $4,200 a year on food away from home at restaurants or ordering takeout. Yikes!
Not only does it seriously cut your cash flow, but it can also hinder your health and fitness goals. And even if you know how costly eating out can be, you may be thinking that eating in is boring, difficult, and lonely. But fear not. It’s easy to make it fun, tasty, and communal! Here’s what you need to know:
No need to start from scratch every time you hit the kitchen. Instead, bulk cook staples so you can easily and quickly assemble meals for the whole week. You can batch cook anything you eat regularly, that’s easy to make in large quantities, and doesn’t have a short fridge shelf life. For example, Charlie loves to batch cook white and brown rice at the beginning of the week to make homemade sushi and poke bowls. Yum!
Get Your Friends Involved
Cooking your own meals doesn’t mean you have to miss out on quality time with your friends and family. Next time a friend suggests going out to Sunday brunch or dinner at the new Thai restaurant, suggest a potluck, dinner party, or joint cooking session. A true friend will also understand wanted to save on some precious moolah — they could probably use the savings too. Host a boozy brunch at home, pack a picnic for the part, or host a Thai potluck feast.
You could even start weekly “Family Dinners” where each friend takes a turn hosting everyone in their home for dinner. That way, you still get to go out and take a cooking break but save on trendy restaurant prices.
Prepare Ahead of Time
For the nights you get home late from work or simply don’t have the energy to cook yourself a meal, be prepared. Instead of reaching for your phone to make delivery ramen or pizza, make sure you have pre-prepared meals in the freezer.
You can freeze soups, stews, meatballs, enchiladas, and so much more! Not only will you save some serious cash when you’re feeling lazy, but these meals are delicious and likely healthier than most takeout options.
Create a Cash Money Budget
You don’t have to eliminate going out or ordering in completely, but it’s important to find ways to stay within your budget. If you struggle with overspending on restaurant meals every month, consider taking out the allotted amount in cash at the beginning of the month. How you choose to spend the money is up to you — a few lunches, one big dinner date, a bunch of ice cream runs, pizza orders. When the cash is gone, you’re done eating out and that’s it!
Cleanse Your Phone of Takeout Apps
Push comes to shove, take a takeout cleanse and delete all your food delivery apps. That’s right, no Postmates, GrubHub, Caviar, or UberEats. This way you can focus on maximizing your groceries, planning meals, and enjoying the times you treat yourself to dinner out with friends. You got this!