Tips for Staying Motivated to Cook

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If I don’t plan my meals, I am often tempted to go out to eat. Thankfully I live in an area that requires a bit of a drive to restaurants! The drive is deterrent for me and forces me to cook. I have found that writing out a strict menu plan does not work for me. I like a flexible plan! Determine what works best for your family- a flexible plan, a written out weekly menu or even a monthly menu.

Motivating Yourself to Cook At Home

By: Mrs. Not Made of Money

Cooking at home always seems like a good idea when you’re charting out your monthly budget. You know that cooking at home is cheaper than eating out, and you probably even like the idea of sitting down to a family meal together. The problem comes into play when it’s 6 PM, and you haven’t even started dinner yet. How do you resist that temptation to just gather everyone up and shuttle them off to McDonald’s or Applebee’s?

Create a Weekly Menu

The first key to keeping up your motivation to cook at home is to have a plan. The worst question to be stuck with on your way home from work is “What am I going to fix for dinner?” You can avoid this dilemma by creating a menu plan for the entire week all at once. Create your plan on Sunday (or whatever works for your family’s schedule). Then, shop for the entire plan. Now, it will be easier for you to go home and cook dinner than it is to start all over again and decide where you’ll go out to eat.

Do the Prep Ahead of Time

The next key to motivating yourself to cook at home is to prep as much of your dinner as you can in the morning before you leave for work. No one wants to work eight hours and then come home to prepare a meal that will take two hours to cook. However, if you know you already put that casserole together and that all you have to do is pop it into the oven, cooking dinner at home seems much more hassle-free.

Remove Temptations

Finally, one other key to staying motivated to cook at home is to remove the temptation to spend extra money on eating out. Once you decide what your allowance for food is for that week, place that amount of cash into an envelope. Take that envelope with you and use that money when you purchase your week’s groceries. Now, whenever you’re stricken with the temptation to eat out that week you can simply look into the envelope and see if there’s enough money to eat out there. If there’s not, you know you can’t eat out.

Often, many people choose to eat out because it just seems so much easier than cooking at home. However, if you plan and prepare your meals you can remove, or at least minimize, a lot of the obstacles to cooking at home. In no time at all, you’ll wonder why you ever preferred to eat out.

Motivating Yourself to Cook At Home was reprinted with permission from NotMadeofMoney.com

For more tips on menu planning and cooking on a budget checkout Make the Most of Your Grocery Store Budget and Make the Most of Your Meals.

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