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How to Transition from Eating Out All the Time to Cooking at Home

by Jenny Mae Wong |


        Graphics by Jenny Mae Wong

Sometimes, it's hard to get out of the habit of eating out. After all, every time you go to a restaurant your food is cooked for you and brought right over to your table. You don't have to worry about cooking or cleaning up! And if there are kids involved? Forget it. Eating out can be far easier than dealing with mealtime at home. But a lot of people find that cooking at home is more economical than eating out, plus it allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes.  This blog post will teach you how to transition from eating out all the time back into having dinner at home.

Make a list of your favorite takeout dishes

Write down what you love about them and how much they cost (in total, not per serving).  Then make recipes for each item on the list that are as close to the restaurant dish as possible in taste and price. If you find yourself craving one of these dishes, you can make it at home and even have a healthier version.  


happy couple looking at a list in the kitchen

Keep weekday meals simple.

After working all day long, most of us don't want to take more than an hour preparing dinner. There are a lot of recipes online that only take 30 minutes to an hour to prepare. What's better would be to have a meal plan ready. Choose a day to prepare several meals that you can just heat up after.


making salad


Have all the staple food that you like to cook with on hand. 

A lot of people don't like cooking because a lot of the ingredients go bad when you have more than what a recipe calls for. If you have left-over ingredients from a recipe, you can just make fried rice, a burrito, an omelet, and a lot more if you already have some staple food in your kitchen. This way all the ingredients can get incorporated into other dishes and not go to waste. 


staple foods: rice, egg, milk, bread, beans

Stick with a number 

Choose how many times a week you'll allow yourself to eat out. You can set to only eating out on the weekends or when you have date nights or meeting up with friends. This will also get you more excited about eating out since you'll have to pick the place you truly crave.


friends raising their glasses

Compare the cost

You should compare the cost of eating out vs eating at home for a month. Once you see how much you've saved, you'll be more motivated to keep eating at home more! 


a couple budgeting money

Have pre-made food on hand

We all have long, stressful, and frustrating unexpected days where nothing goes right. We go home and don't have the mood to cook cos it's one more thing that could go wrong. You should have food that can just be put in the oven or microwave. You can get food like pre-made frozen pizza or freeze a batch of lasagna for days like these.


three containers of lasagna


Eating out can be convenient and a lot of fun, but it also has its drawbacks. When you eat at home, you have total control over the ingredients that go into your meals. The best part is that when you cook for yourself, not only will your wallet thank you but so will your waistline!

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