No eating out for 30 days.
Time is a scarce commodity these days so it always seems quicker and easier to just “grab something on the way”. While it might seem that way, you can actually save a ton of time and money eating at home.
The key to this is prep work. Start with meal planning…
What do you normally eat each week? If you don’t know….I’d consider doing the Food Journal Challenge first. BUT if you do, you can start to make a meal list…Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks for each day of the week. Work backwards from that to create your grocery list. I try and pick ingredients that can go across multiple meals. ie: huge pan of roasted brussel sprouts can be a side for dinner and in a salad for lunch.
Remember, just because you’re prepping meals at home, doesn’t mean they have to be boring. What do you actually LIKE to eat?
Pick a day – try and grab everything you can in one day so you’re not wasting time running back and forth to the store all the time.
Farmer’s Markets – If you have them in your area these are a great way to get fresh, in season items and more fun to interact with the farmers growing/raising your food than big box groceries.
Delivery – If you’re truly low on time most grocery stores have a delivery service of some kind. You can also use services like Instacart or even TaskRabbit to have someone get everything for you. (amazing times we’re living in)
Pick A Day – Again, the more you can bundle your time the better. I tend to do this the same day I go shopping. Spend the morning at the farmer’s market or the store and cook in the evening for the week. Typically on a Sunday when things are more low key but that’s my schedule. You do you.
Make Batches – Cook a large quantity that you can save for other meals. Maybe that’s a bunch of chicken for dinners, salads and breakfast omelettes. Or HUGE salads without the dressing you can divide out for lunches. A Slow Cooker can be your best friend.
Freeze – Freeze extras for later in the week. Could be raw meats/fish or extra batches of soups etc. Having stuff on hand helps.
Have Snacks – I don’t mean junk food but have quick bites around for those in-between moments when you’re “OMG, LIKE, STARVING” – Carrots and hummus, peanut butter, apples, celery, almonds. You get the idea.
Recreate – What’s your favorite meal from your favorite restaurant? Chances are someone on the interwebs has tried to recreate it. If not…….YOU SHOULD! Then be the person that posts it on said interwebs…..(but seriously, do a deep dive on the Google machine and see what you can find)
Containers – Invest in some tupperware or containers. It’s an easy way to divide out your meals and have them ready to go for each day.
Meal Share – Get a friend or a group together to join you in this. If you’re all cooking a batch of something you can split the work, split some of the costs and have a better variety of meals.
Dinner Parties – You don’t have to miss out on the social aspect when cooking at home. Invite your friends over! Have a theme night. Taco Tuesday, Italian Family Dinners or Pot Luck it.
This challenge works great in conjunction with a bunch of others but don’t feel like you need to over do it. Make it winnable and have some fun.