If you want everything: save money by eating at home, eat healthier, and not spend so much time cooking… This takes dedication.
Do you get bored cooking and eating at home?
I love to Yelp. I live to eat! I am missing out on the fantastic, delicious restaurants by eating at home. So if I eat out, it better be worth the money. Hence Yelp. I refuse to eat “just anywhere.” Every time I meet friends, it has to be somewhere I haven’t been or somewhere I already love. I will not spend money on someplace stupid, like fast food chains. I’d rather starve.
By eating at home, I am missing out on these dinners. However these kinds of restaurants tend to cost $30+ per meal. So if I eat at home most of the time, I can afford to go out once in a while.
Personally, grocery shopping, cooking, and being efficient in the kitchen is like a game. Can I save a minute here? Can I save a dollar there? Ground turkey was on sale but I’ve never cooked it before. I bought it and learned a new recipe! Enoki mushrooms were on sale, what can I do with these? It turns out they are delicious with black bean soups! I fell in love!
It’s a lot of fun!!!!
You find healthy eating so boring
I hear this a lot. I am probably the odd one because I grew up loving vegetables like celery, broccoli, corn. I can eat broccoli every single flipping day and I will be happy.
I love to eat as I already mentioned. But I’m not someone who loves to eat ”good food” whatever the heck that means. I just love food! Chicken and turkey without seasoning tastes delicious to me. I can eat plain foods and I will love it. So, by luck, I can eat boring healthy foods easily and happily.
Okay the challenge for you is that you are not like me. Right? Is salmon so boring if you don’t add seasoning?
There are healthy spices you can add
A quick Google search and I learned 15+ herbs and spices I can add to my life. Currently I use curry powder (a blend of cumin and turmeric), thyme, ginger, and cinnamon as sugar substitute.
Cumin is good for the digestive system. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory. Thyme is high in antioxidants. Ginger is super healthy, known to be anti-cancer. Cinnamon is helps with cleansing and it’s also anti-inflammatory.
Tasty vegetables on “main” dish
I find onions, carrots, and celery bring out a lot of flavours. They are super cheap too. I put these in my black bean/lentils soup, immediately a delicious pot of healthy dinner!
I switch between black beans, lentils, quinoa, whole grain pasta, and sweet potatoes as my “mains” dish. I choose any one of those, I pick a vegetable to go with it, I take whatever meat I have in my fridge or I boil an egg. There, I have some randomly put together dinner. I don’t plan my dinner ahead of time. That’s way too much work.
But what if you’re eating the same things…
People will advise us to “switch things up a little.” But it’s not like that. After months of eating my cooking, I am tired. Even if I am having fun, how many new things can I introduce or “switch”? Like… if ground turkey is on sale again, I already know how to make it and I don’t feel like it this week. That sort of thing.
It is the dedication that keeps us motivated to keep on cooking healthy foods every day.
What is your ultimate goal by doing this every day?
For me, I follow the “I am what I eat” motto. Every time I cook, I think about alternatives I could have. What else can I put into my body? At any time I can buy Duck Fat Fries from WVRST because it’s next to my home. Instead I choose to avoid the fried and fatty foods, I eat steamed vegetables instead.
Every time I eat something unhealthy or deep fried, I imagine this travelling down my body. Where is all the oil going? Where is all the salt going? Where is all the MSG, sodium, sugar, fats all going??? Thinking this way, I am able to stay away from unhealthy indulgences. Once in a while I give in and eat poutine. I love poutine.
I track my expenses very closely. Every penny I use on eating out, groceries, rent, classes, etc. I know exactly how much I spent in a month and if this meets my budgeted amount (which took years of tweaking before perfection). Eating out costs a lot, especially being a Yelper and living downtown! With every $30 I spend on eating out, can I spend the $30 on something else that will bring me more enjoyment (and lasts longer)? This is why I refuse to spend money on eating sh*tty food or at food chains. This $30 is important to me, I can pay 3/5 of my weekly grocery bill!!!
For you, it would be different. What makes you stay home and cook as opposed to eating out? If you find yourself not being able to keep the habit, perhaps your “ultimate goal” isn’t motivating enough!
Eating healthy and on staying on budget are two lifestyle choices. They are not the same! When you accomplish one, it doesn’t mean you will accomplish the other. It takes time to build a habit for both.
Think about your own goals and stay motivated. It took me months before I got the hang of things!