How do you stay motivated to cook at home?
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  1. #1
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    Default How do you stay motivated to cook at home?

    I always have good intentions on planning out all of our meals (dinners) and preparing everything at home so that we don't blow our budget on restaurant food. Some weeks we end up eating out several times. How do you stay motivated to cook and eat your meals at home?

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    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    i figure out the cost per meal per person.
    i can often make a healthy meat as main course dinner for under 2$ a person
    a meatless dinner for under 75c a person
    ( counting any main course veggies salads rolls etc - not counting any drinks )
    *~Debbi~*
    Happily Married Mom to 5 ; PT Home Care RN
    Living with FMS


    “Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more;
    Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours”
    Swedish Proverb


    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Getting Gazelle like 7/1/10
    Paid off 6 CC's totalling $6807 in 2010
    Paid off car 9000
    2011
    Quit 2nd Job for health reasons so going slower .
    2012
    purchased used car in cash 5000
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    and also once you get use to saying no - you get use to not doing it .
    *~Debbi~*
    Happily Married Mom to 5 ; PT Home Care RN
    Living with FMS


    “Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more;
    Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours”
    Swedish Proverb


    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Getting Gazelle like 7/1/10
    Paid off 6 CC's totalling $6807 in 2010
    Paid off car 9000
    2011
    Quit 2nd Job for health reasons so going slower .
    2012
    purchased used car in cash 5000
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

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    Registered User joyofsix's Avatar
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    Um, 8 pairs of hungry eyes staring at me. Seriously though, I have to pre-prep. I take some time during the weekend to brown a bunch of hamburger and cook a chicken or two in the crockpot. I often make a big crock or soup or beans too. I bag and freeze those. It makes getting a meal on the table pretty snappy. I also never make one casserole, meatloaf or lasagna. I always make two and freeze one so I have easy meals. Even convenience food prepared at home is cheaper than eating out. Compare the cost of a frozen pizza with take out, frozen chinese to restaurant, etc.
    Mom to Emma, Spencer, Connor, Lily,Fletcher, Amelia and Adeline.

    Mortgage $0
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    anymore emergencies

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    For me I look up some recipes on line look through old cook books.After awhile it seems you make the same things over and over.So I take maybe a recipe I always make and check out a new way of doing it.This is always fun not the same boring thing.Plus the money that is spent makes me think.Planning is a big one meal plan check sales stock pile.Have fun with cooking just like a pot of soup the longer it cooks the better it gets.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    DH likes my cooking, and so do I. These days we prefer it to restaurant food. I control the salt, hot peppers, and the vegetables are fresher. I've spent the last several years really trying to learn to cook things you'd go out for, good fried chicken, BBQ, Chinese, real Italian.

    I also have developed a lot of favorite recipes over the years and we seldom eat the same thing twice in one month, so dinner is always something new, or something we haven't had in a while, which keeps it from getting boring.

    And finally, I use guilt to keep us at home. I can't stand to let good food go to waste in the fridge because I wanted to order out instead. If I have a real craving for something I try to put it off for the following week, after I've used up everything in the current menu plan.
    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    You can't always get what you want
    But if you try sometimes you just might find
    You get what you need ~Rolling Stones

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    Registered User tervsforme's Avatar
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    Being single, it is very easy just to pick up something on my way home. I agree with joyofsix. You need to do some prep work on the weekends. I usually make some sort of soup and a casserole on the weekends. That way I have something for lunch and supper for a few days. You could always freeze it so you can just take it out and warm it up. It just takes a bit of planning, but definitely worth it.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    On occasions like I'm just too sick to cook, but know that eating out would just kill us, I've picked up a cooked chicken and a bag of salad at the market. Not frugal, but far better then the expense of restaurant food.

    I also make up platters of leftovers and freeze them. Also containers of soup or chili leftover. I've had 20-30 platters/containers in the freezer ready and waiting for those times when I've been sick. Comes in real handy and no extra work, it's just leftovers from supper. Everyone just grabs a platter and puts it in the microwave. LIFESAVER!

    I recently tried freezer biscuits and they worked out fabulous, as does having cake and muffin batter in prepared pans in the freezer. Prepare both from frozen state. I want to try it with cornbread and quick breads next.

    I use my crockpot a lot. If I set it up in the morning there is no excuse to eat out. Supper is waiting.

    I've been known to declare (if I'm really sick) that tonight is make your own cereal or peanut butter and jelly! I keep bags of microwave popcorn and a dollar store DVD for nights like these too. No one complains, dinner AND a show!

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    Thanks for all of the good ideas. I guess I just need to make a commitment to plan my meals. I used to do this and it was much easier. I'll work on that this week. Any suggestions on what you make would be great.

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    Super Moderator Darlene's Avatar
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    Yep, planning is key. If you have some menus & ingredients in your home to make those quick tasty meals you'll have no excuse to eat out. Earmark part of that money you are saving by not eating out towards something nice and that will help keep you motivated.
    Oh, if you have kids, let them help you plan and prepare. Have theme meals. Like Chinese, Mexican, Italian food when you eat out? Learn to make simple "take-out" food at home. Lots of websites have copy cat recipes from popular restaurants.
    Make cooking a fun adventure for the whole family. Have fun!

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    Registered User happymomof4's Avatar
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    Like everyone said. Planning is the key. I love to cook. We eat much healthier and cheaper if we eat at home. I have older kids so they help.

    Friday night we do "fast food night at home" I have a deep fryer so we make frenchfries, pierogies, etc in the deep fryer. We will do chicken wings, fish sticks, etc. We might do a frozen pizza. We kind of have a eat unhealthy Friday night. The teenagers love it. It is much cheaper to do it at home then go to the fast food restraurants with teenagers. LOL!!!

    I use alot of recipes from websites. That helps with ideas and not making the same food all the time.

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    Registered User MaryCarney's Avatar
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    I plan once or twice a month to eat a meal out. Plan it. Having it to look forward to, instead of it being a default setting, helps a LOT!!

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    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Simple: I calculate how long BF has to work to pay for that fast food/restaurant meal. The same way I stay motivated to pack him lunch everyday lol.

    We also do a sort of eat-unhealthy Friday or Saturday night. Sometimes we'll make burgers on the grill, or do frozen/homemade pizza and wings.

    Plus, I am home most of the time so I don't really have an excuse to be unmotivated.

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    jas
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    When I get in a cooking rut I watch the food channel for inspiration. I also do what a lot of you have already suggested use the web for finding the recipe for you restaraunt faves and make them at home.

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    Sometimes you just 'gotta do it'.....but generally when I am tempted I think of some of the leftovers that I have at home.......and will usually come on home instead of stopping to eat out.

    Have done much better this year.......bet I haven't eaten out even once a month...........used to be once a week!!!

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