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.
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.
- 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. :)