Meal planning can be a challenge, but we often make it harder than it needs to be. When cooking is complicated, we're more likely to give up and order takeout instead, especially after a busy workday. To combat this, keep your weekday meals simple.
I've been trying to stay on target with this month's money challenge, and in doing so, I've realised I usually order takeout not because I'm craving pan-fried noodles, but because cooking dinner after work just seems so overwhelming. And there's a reason for that: when I meal plan, I pick fun, but complicated recipes.
Here's what frugal living bloggers the Frugalwoods suggest instead:
Don't be putting Beef Wellington on your regular rotation -- it takes hours to make, is complicated, and the raw ingredients are freaking expensive. It might sound like a stellar idea when you're meal planning on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee in hand and the idyllic sounds of NPR wafting on the radio, but by 6pm on Tuesday night after work, taking out the trash, and walking the dog, you're not going to want to make it.
It seems fairly obvious, I know. But if you love dining out, it's probably because you appreciate a good, fancy meal. So when you're cutting back, you may try to get that same fix by cooking at home, but that can backfire.
The Frugalwoods recommend saving those fancy recipes for the weekend. Not only does this give you more time to focus, you also have a culinary experience to look forward to, so again, you're not tempted to overspend on restaurants.
If you're taking part in our challenge, or you're just trying to cut back on restaurant spending in general, you'll want to read the full post at the link below, because they offer a number of other suggestions.
How We Broke Our Eating Out Habit In 9 Steps [Frugalwoods]