Sunday, January 04, 2009

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 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.


Anonymous said...

we were just talking about how we need to prepare food ahead. we have cabbage soup and cheddar bread dough ready for tomorrow. i can't wait.

Vegan Knitting said...

We've also cut way back on our restaurant eating, and also on buying prepared foods that we can make ourselves (bread, tempeh bacon, etc.) We had a really good juicer and yet Brandan had been buying those "fresh squeezed" juices like Odwalla at the tune of $3.00 a bottle. For about $8.50 I can make 6 16 oz glasses of juice rather than $24 from the store.

Same goes for bread when we make it at home. Sure, we might eat more, but it's sooo much cheaper!

Mom said...

Even though I don't think we spend too much money eating out, I am excited to read your friends' posts about trying not to eat out. They inspired me to separate restaurant meals from other entertainment in our budget book, so I, too, can see exactly how much money we spend eating out.

Beth said...

That is very smart! Mayeb you wont feel so rushed at dinner time, and you can eat healthier!
I am hosting a childrens swap if your interested :O)

Stephanie said...

Eating out was one of the things that had to go when I started staying home. I do menus once a week ( some simple meals, some more complex so I don't get bored or all cooked out) and shop once a week for everything. It makes it sooo much easier for my spontaneous often unorganized self to have a healthy dinner on the table. Also, does Menuplan Monday once a week, and lots of the people post their menus and recipes, I love it for inspiration. :-)

Nicki said...

I think I will continue to avoid figuring out how much we spend eating least there are only 2 of us!

Tresa said...

I've started trying to plan ahead more, too.

Sucks, doesn't it?

But the pride and other good feelings I have when we don't eat fast food because I'm feeling lazy outweigh the suckage, most of the time.