General Question

RedPowerLady's avatar

Do you have any tips to keep yourself from Eating Out or any quick recipes?

Asked by RedPowerLady (12452 points ) March 27th, 2009

Do you have any techniques you use to keep yourself eating at home instead of wasting money going out to eat?? Or any recipe/food ideas for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking. I really want to eat more at home because for health/diet reasons but I always end up eating out whenever I have extra money and it really sucks up that extra money.

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30 Answers

seekingwolf's avatar

You should plan your meals in advance…and go to the store beforehand to get the ingredients. Having an idea of what you want to eat and the supplies on hand will help stop you from eating out.

Crockpot meals are great too…easy to set up and they cook while you’re at work and then they are ready when you come home.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@seekingwolf I Love my crockpot!! We have been getting really good at having our house stocked with food. Just can’t beat the impulse to eat out cause it is so simple. I think meal planning might be beneficial especially if I change it up so I don’t get bored with it.

basp's avatar

Redpowerlady
Look for easy, convienent, healthy things in the grocery store. A nice piece if fish cooks up quickly and with fruit and salad on the side you’ve got dinner in about twenty minutes.
Simple is always good.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@basp That sounds so good right now (after a cruddy dinner of Taco Bell).

Dog's avatar

I do not bring any money or credit cards with me when I go out. That makes it easier to say no.

marinelife's avatar

Plan something that allows for leftovers or can be used for other things. For example, if you roast a whole chicken, you can serve that with vegetables and rice or potatoes or rolls. Then, the leftover cooked chicken meat makes a super quick stir fry with vegetables later in the week. Get a can of mixed Chinese vegetables to add to your own celery, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli, green beans, zucchini or asparagus (whatever green veggie you have on hand).

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Dog Now I definitely need to try that! Haha. And not going out while I’m hungry.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Marina I really love that idea! It would be good for hubby’s lunch as well.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@RedPowerLady, if you tend to eat out fast food, I suggest watching the documentary, “King Corn”. I think it’s on youtube in several parts. That being said, if you’re cooking for yourself, a trick that I use is not to cook if I’m starving. I come home and microwave a bag of frozen vegetables (the smaller bags without sauces) and eat that before I start cooking. I also buy fish filets that are seasoned (they come two to a package) and I bake the fish. On Sunday night I make a big pot of rice, and eat on it all week as stir fry, in soup, etc. Once a month I make a big pot of chicken soup and freeze the broth and extra chicken meat.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@AlfredaPrufrock These are Exactly! the types of tips I was looking for. Thanks So Much!

marinelife's avatar

@RedPowerLady You can also use leftover diced chicken to make chicken salad (I like mine with grapes and walnuts and sometimes curry powder).

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Marina Yumm. I’ve never had chicken salad before but i’ve read recipes and it sounds delicious.

YARNLADY's avatar

Make a note of what your favorite fast foods are, the ones you usually spend money on, and then once or twice a month, make up a bunch of those meals at home, so all you have to do is pop them in the microwave. That’s what I do.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Yarnlady I never thought of that. Good idea.

Darwin's avatar

My son came home from school today at 5 pm to remind me he was going to a potluck at 6 pm. Hence, I invented “Last Minute Rigatoni.” It is cheap, filling and quick to make.

Heat water to boiling. Add dried rigatoni noodles. Boil 10–12 minutes until tender.
Open cans of spaghetti sauce. Heat in a pan with 1 can pitted black olives and 1 TBS mixed Italian herbs.

Strain noodles and add to a buttered crock pot set on low. Add sauce and stir. Put chunks of whatever mild cheese you have on top (we used Velveeta), put the lid on and let it sit until the cheese is melted. Serve it from the crock pot anytime in the next 3 to 4 hours. Save the leftovers and reheat them the next day.

You can change this all sorts of ways by adding meat of various sorts, using a different form of pasta, using a different spaghetti sauce (we used Hunt’s Meat Sauce) or even something like Cream of Mushroom Soup, adding different Italianate herbs, adding various vegetables, and so on.

The secret is to stock your pantry with non-perishables such as canned soups and sauces, dried noodles and rice, and various herbs, and to keep in your freezer bags of your favorite vegetables or perhaps pre-made meatballs. Then all you have to do is make sure to have some cheese and some imagination.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Darwin Good recipe. Thanx! I potluck all the time.
Now I need to figure out what kind of vegetables I can freeze.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Darwin Great Answer!

Darwin's avatar

@Yarnlady – I had almost none leftover from the potluck, so it was a successful dish.

3or4monsters's avatar

To keep from hitting up fast food places when you’re out and about, keep a snack on you that’s high protein, low carb. Some almonds, or string cheese, something like that. Protein is good for curbing hunger. When you start to think that fast food is a good idea? Eat it, and start wrapping up your business so you can start heading home to eat the food you already paid for.

Low effort healthy eating when too tired, busy, or high to cook? I go with snacks, sorry. PB smeared on a rice cake. Frozen strawberries thrown in a blender with Pink Lemonade Crystal Light. Chips and salsa, just load up each chip with a ton of salsa. Pico de gallo is the best—- lost of fiber in those veggies and relatively low calorie compared to most chip-dips. Just be careful to measure out proper servings of chips.

For meals, I also am a big fan of oatmeal with fruit, or an omelete made with 2 whole eggs and 2 servings of cartonized egg whites (I like feta and mushrooms in mine). Simple salads of just greens and low cal dressing, or sometimes if I pregrilled some chicken, that too. Sometimes I mix cottage cheese and tuna and herbs to make a high protein tuna salad.

Also, yams and sweet potatoes are awesome, but take some effort. I coat them with oil and bake em for 45 minutes, it takes a while but it’s really easy. I serve mine baked-potato style but with butter and cinnamon.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@3or4monsters Thanx for the tips. I really do need to have more healthy snacks on demand. Also I’ve been wanting to have a yam/sweet potatoe the way you mention for some time but haven’t got around to making it. I need to learn to make omelets. I am finding I really like them.

dynamicduo's avatar

Yeah, I make myself feel bad for wasting money on overpriced food if I start eating out too often. Well I don’t really make myself feel bad, more as I am aware of the profit margins the restaurant is making on my food, so that fact discourages me from eating out versus eating in.

Making a menu for at-home cooking for the week, and doing the shopping so that the ingredients are ready, also makes it much harder to justify going out for food.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Pasta.
Sour cream.
Pesto.
Veggies, meat, whatever is in the fridge.

Cook the pasta.
While you do that, chop and sauté the veggies.
Add half a cup of sour cream and 3 tbsp pesto to the veggies.
Stir to combine.
Drain the pasta and add it as well. Stir to combine.

It probably took longer to write this up than it actually takes to make. I’m a big fan of doing this with peas and bacon. For added class, lemon zest really makes it awesome.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@dynamicduo I do the same thing. Almost make myself feel bad. But it is for good reason like you said.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@EmpressPixie

I LOVE pesto and sour cream!! I am going to try that for sure! LOL

marinelife's avatar

@EmpressPixie That sounds delicious. I am going to try it.

stars's avatar

If I really feel like it want to buy something but don’t want to eat out I just go buy whole roasted chicken and make some sides like a salad, potato salad and bread – easy and yummy

RedPowerLady's avatar

@stars probably much healthier than the pizza i typically buy

Inspired_2write's avatar

Make sure that you always have your fridge and cupboards full of needed foods.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Michelena Dinners at 230 calories for my Supper.
Breakfast Oatmeal, sometimes with fruit added and a cup of coffee with no sugar added.
Lunch a sandwich and cup of coffee.
Supper Michelena Dinner cup of tea or coffee
Late evening Yougart or cup of milk before retiring for the night.
Lost 38 lbs so far and continuing until I get to my target weight.
I walk at least 30 min a day and increase the time when I feel up to it.

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