Purely to satisfy my curiosity, I recently figured out how much we've been spending eating out every month. I sort of wish I hadn't done it, but I guess it's good that I did, because it's an obscene amount and some changes probably need to be made.
For inspiration, I treated myself to some new cookbooks. The bottom three in this stack are from the library, but my own personal copies are on their way to me right now, thanks to my friends at amazon.com. So far everything I've made from these books has been pretty great.
Other than the fact that we just really really like to eat out, I know the (second) main reason that we don't eat at home is that so many times there is nothing prepared and either there is nothing in the house to make anyway or no one - meaning me - feels like preparing what we do have on hand. In order to reduce the number of times we find ourselves in that situation, I am going to do two things.
First, as often as possible, I am going to try to make double or triple of something and freeze the extra. Second, I am going to try to make things in advance so they will requite little to no preparation when it's actually time to eat. For example, today I made a triple batch of a sloppy joe recipe found in the Real Simple cookbook. Two batches went into the freezer and another went into the fridge for us to have sometime in the next few days. Yay, me! I know this is not rocket science, but for some reason I have always had such a difficult time doing this. Hopefully I can make it work this time, though.
For dinner tonight we had shrimp with arugula and couscous, also from the Real Simple book. It was delicious. For dessert, we had Mint Chocolate Brownies. Oh. My. Heaven, I tell you.