I must admit that I can’t give advice on how to reduce the cost of eating out, because eating out means as much to me as a book on string theory does to someone else. Fortunately, S “saved me” and he took a gap year to travel the US and Canada by car and stay with friends.
I think it’s key to make it easier to eat inside than out. This week we are on a mountain in the middle of nowhere with a huge kitchen so we have eaten every meal here. Unfortunately, we also eat a great deal when we’re not traveling. There are many restaurants within a 3 block area of my house. Here are a few things I’m going to try:
- Prepare and pack a meal before leaving for a new location. We have been stopping at restaurants when traveling between stops.
- Plan meals in advance. This used to work great for me, but I lost the habit. Basically, I chose menus for 5 lunches and 5 dinners and made sure I had the ingredients for them. I crossed them off the list as they were made. The “wasted ingredients” motivation and ease of planning went a long way to ensure food was consumed.
- Always bring something easy to prepare. I’m thinking a can of vegetarian chili with a removable lid or something similarly durable as an emergency meal in case the only other option is taco bell. I hope that doesn’t happen often.
The other two sources of hanging out time are social (hanging out with friends or DH is bored). I really don’t want to be the killjoy that doesn’t come out, especially to the people who host us. One possible solution is to cook some meals for our hosts (we’ve done this several times already). Even feeding two extra people usually ends up being cheaper than eating out, depending on the food. DH would probably be willing to stay home longer if he implemented the meal plan idea.
I suggested finding other activities like walking, movie nights, or playing board games. Although it is difficult. Since I started eating only once a day, it really becomes obvious how often “normal” people “need” to eat and how much of “normal” life revolves around eating.
As for meal planning, I never really planned anything. However, what I do make sure of is that the result of each meal can serve as input for the next meal. That way I never have to worry about leftovers. This also means that we throw away very little.
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Originally Posted Jun 24, 2010 9:59:11 PM.
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