Raise your hand if you need to eat at home more? *Raises hand high* If you would have asked me years ago, I would have jumped on any list of tips for eating at home more, so I’m happy to share what I’ve learned.
Honestly, cooking is not my favorite pastime. I’m not a fan of eating fast food, though. Plus, restaurant prices have soared to ridiculous heights without food quality following suit.
Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to eat more meals at home and I’m happy to report that I’ve stayed consistent.
After a long stretch of successfully cooking most of my meals at home, I’ve learned some ways to make eating at home easier. I’ve also benefitted greatly from developing a better meal prep habit.
Eating at Home vs. Eating Out
There are several benefits to eating in. Here are a few big ones:
- Better control over the quality of food. If you prioritize organic and pastured produce, it’s unlikely that you’ll get that eating out. Buying your own ingredients gives you more control over where your food is sourced and allows you to shop your values.
- Better portion control + fewer calories. If you’re concerned about your calorie consumption, cooking at home allows you to avoid excess sugars and seed oils. You also get to decide exactly how much food goes on your plate.
- Time saving. Eating out may seem to save time, but it doesn’t for most people. Think about the time it takes to decide where you want to eat, drive there or order delivery and wait for preparation. That’s at least an hour of time–more time than it would likely take you to prepare a simple meal.
Eating out from time to time isn’t terrible. In fact, sometimes it’s inevitable. If you want to take control of your health, cooking your own food is one of the most efficient ways to do it and these tips for eating at home more will definitely help.
Tips for Having More Meals at Home
1. Keep it simple, sister.
Don’t get carried away with extravagant dishes that require many ingredients. Try to keep it to meals that you’re familiar with cooking already. Even if you want to change it up, limit yourself to one “extravagant” meal a week.
2. Have a plan that includes eating out.
You read that right. By planning the exact meals you’ll be eating out, you relieve yourself from feeling like a failure when you don’t eat at home. I like to schedule eat out meals on days when I know it’s unrealistic to cook, like days my son has sports practice.
3. Set a goal number.
Alternatively, you can simply set the number of meals you plan to cook and eat at home. This way it’s more like a goal you set if planning doesn’t seem to work for you.
4. Plan on Fridays.
Friday is perfect for planning for the upcoming week. That way you have the entire weekend to grocery shop and even start prepping some food if you need to do so.
5. Consider grocery delivery.
Even though I prefer to go in-store to do grocery shopping, sometimes it’s just not convenient for my current phase of life. That’s where I like to do grocery pickup or use Thrive Market (save 30% on your first purchase with Thrive here).
6. Let the store prep a few things.
Whether it’s chopped veggies or canned chickpeas, it’s ok to make life easier for yourself if it means you’ll be eating at home more often.
7. Make it a ritual.
Turn on some music, put on your favorite apron and do whatever you need to do to get in the mood to feel good about cooking.
8. Remember your why.
Take time to affirm your decision to cook for yourself regularly. Use positive language when you talk about cooking.
9. Get the family involved.
My son is my favorite sous chef. Getting to see his curiosity and excitement about cooking makes it even more pleasant for me and totally worth the effort.
10. Meal prep in shorter increments.
You’ve probably seen your favorite fitspo on social media sharing tons of meals they prep for the week. For most people, this can be overwhelming. If meal prepping is your thing, stick to two to three days at a time if you’re a beginner or like more variety in your eating. Find out which meal prep containers are my favorite here!
11. Pick one mealtime to prep.
Another alternative to a full week of meal prep is to choose one mealtime to prep for. This might be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snacks. Stick to one. Out of all the tips for eating at home more, this one might be the easiest.
12. Get comfortable with staying the course alone.
If you have a partner or spouse that prefers to eat out more, don’t stress. Give them the space to make their own choice. But stick to your goal. After a few times declining to dine out, it will become easier for you.
Hopefully, these tips will help you not only eat at home more often but also enjoy doing it. The benefits far outweigh the work that’s required. You’ll improve your wellness, eat better quality food, and will probably even save money.
Any of these tips stand out to you? Let me know in the comments.