I Gave Up Eating Out For Lent To Save Money

 

On Ash Wednesday, on-air and on social media, I told you guys I was giving up "buying food out" (at restaurants, fast food, pre-made things from superstore) for lent.  

We're 3 weeks in, and I haven't cheated yet!!

SIDENOTE: As I write this I am currently drinking the bomb smoothie, probably one of the best ones I've ever invented, so if you like PB/Bananas/Chocolate... It's:

 - 1 cup almond milk
 - 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
 - 1 banana
 - 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
 - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cacao nibs
Blend that, add 2 ice cubes, and blend again.

MOVING ON.

There's a TON of planning involved in not buying food "out" for over a month and a half.  It involves a lot of leftovers, and a healthy dependence on costo chicken breasts. 

 

 

EXCEPTIONS:
 - I still let myself buy drinks (teas and alcohol)
 - If other people buy food for you, that's allowed

 

Tips On Eating At Home:

 - YOU. NEED. A MEAL PLAN. (If I could use the clapping emoji I would!) It is sooooo much harder to justify buying food when you know exactly what you're supposed to be eating at that time. I made a meal plan for 2 weeks, wrote down all the ingredients I needed, and went for a huge grocery run. Your bill will be high, yes, but you will save a ton of money in the long run!

 - Smoothies are great, cheap breakfasts. ALL of my smoothies are a base of almond milk, plain greek yogurt, and a banana.... I switch it up by adding different frozen fruits (bluebs, strawbs) or natural peanut butter... I made one with 1/2 cup of mint and cacao nibs that tasted like mint chocolate chip ice cream!

 

 

 - Relying on Freezer Chicken Marinades is a safe bet. I did all of these marinades in one night, threw them in my freezer in individual ziploc bags, and would move them to the fridge the night before I was supposed to eat them. Dinner = DONE! (I'd make brown rice & a salad as a side)

 

Find the list of freezer marinades HERE.

 

 - Meatless is ultimately the cheapest way to go. DON'T GET ME WRONG, I love a good steak/burger. But things like vegetarian buddha bowls are cheap AF and the ingredients last  f o r e v e r.  I bought kale, a box of quinoa, a sweet potato, a can of chickpeas, and a few peppers.  That made 4 meals before running out!  (Awesome Lemon Tahini Dressing Recipe HERE)

 

 

 - Ultimately the hardest part will be the social isolation. Not grabbing lunch or dinner with a friend can mean that you won't get to see them as much! But it doesn't have to! I have had friends over for dinners that I've made, and of course, coffee or grabbing $4 wines at Niche is still A-OK. 

 

I hope this blog will help you save a few dollars by eating at home!! Even if you don't cut out restaurants entirely. :) 

xo Hannah