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As a little kid, I wanted to eat out more. Not just fast food or delivery, but sitting down in a restaurant. I was that type of kid. But to some degree, we’re all like that. If we can have something done for us, then why not?
But in this case, eating out, it’s a different story.
Whether it’s dining at a restaurant or take-out/delivery, nothing beats home cooking.
My parents became busier and busier the more I grew up (making that $$) and I found myself eating more take-out food than homemade food. It didn’t bother me much since it wasn’t like I NEVER ate a home-cooked meal.
It wasn’t until I took a roughly three week trip to Atlanta / Peachtree City that I desperately wanted something homemade even if I had to cook it myself (and learn how to do it).
It was then that I decided to learn how to cook and stop eating out all the time.
There are a few things you don’t notice when you eat out rarely, but those things get magnified when you eat out on a daily basis.
You might think that you have an unlimited selection of restaurants for you to choose from, but that’s not the case. Regardless of whether you live in a place that has food at every corner or not, your choices are still limited.
In Peachtree City, I stayed with my boyfriend while he was there on a work trip. His food was comped. Because of that, I ate hotel food for the majority of the trip. I desperately wanted Asian food. There were times that we did go out to eat, but their Asian food choices were limited in that area.
Think about distance too. Out of all the restaurants, fast food or dining, there have been times where I didn’t want any of it. But what I wanted instead was either farther than I’d like to travel or wasn’t the same quality as I’d expect homemade.
Do you want to be limited to what’s on a restaurant’s menu?
Are You Eating Healthy?
Because you’re at the mercy of a menu when you’re eating out, are you making conscious decisions to eat healthily? Sometimes when we eat out, we fail to take into account the healthiness of a dish.
When I started cooking for myself, it was eye-opening. I realized how much salt was in everything. I saw how oily and fattening my favorite dishes were. Because of that, I made more and more conscious decisions to eat healthily.
When you eat out all the time, it’s harder to do this. While yes, deep-fried foods are greasy and fattening, it’s easier to see how unhealthy it is for you by cooking it. By intentionally pouring lots of oil in a pot and dipping food into it, you can see for yourself what you are doing to your body.
Eating Out is NOT the same as HOMEMADE
There’s something different about a stranger’s cooking, your family member’s, and your cooking. The difference is your personal connection to the food.
There are a few reasons why you go out to eat. The first reason is that you don’t want to cook for yourself or don’t have the time. The second and third are that you need to fulfill hunger or you want to share a good meal with others or have “me time.”
When you eat out every day, it becomes more and more about fulfilling hunger. You lose that social connection to eating out. And while yes, you’re supposed to only eat when you’re hungry, we need to develop a good relationship with food.
Homemade food develops sentiment between you and the food. When somebody specifically prepares that food for you, they thought of you. When you make food for yourself, you have full control over what you eat and how it tastes. You are emotionally attached to these types of food, homemade food. You lose all of this when you eat out all the time.
It’s Just Too Damn Expensive
When it comes down to it, eating out is just too damn expensive. Let’s say you’re dining at a restaurant and your bill is $20. You only drank water, so you only paid for food. That $20 can mean days’ worth of food for yourself. Even $10 or $5 worth of fast food is too much. $5 x 7 days out of the week. That’s $35/week on one meal a day for one person.
My grocery budget for 5~6 days a week is about $100. It includes all meals except my boyfriend’s lunches. Most of the time, I’m significantly lower than $100. I can go even less if I didn’t buy soda, juice, and beer.
Compare $100/week for two people versus $70/week for one meal a day for two people. That’s a huge difference.
A lot of people don’t cook because they feel like they don’t have the time. Working a full-time job plus travel time can really drain you. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to whip up a meal in a very short matter of time.
Do yourself a favor and try to cook one meal this week. Just one. Choose a recipe that takes little to no effort in a time frame that you’re comfortable with. Let’s stop eating out and start cooking at home.