One of the perks of going out to eat is that you basically never have to have the same thing twice. If you live in or near a city there are enough restaurants with enough dishes that, if you could afford it, you could have a different dinner every night for years at a time. However, most people can’t afford it. Most people also only know how to cook a few dishes. Put these facts together and you have people spending money just to get food that they didn’t make, that they might not know how to make, brought to their table or delivered to their house. If you’re someone who gets bored with their own cooking skills, there are some things that you can do so you don’t have to pay for a meal out every day forever.
Start a Cookbook Challenge
One thing that you can do to break yourself out of this rut is to get a cookbook and start cooking. This can have something to do with a kind of cuisine, such as Thai food, or a method of cooking, like a slow cooker. This means that you can find lots of delicious recipies for all cooking skill levels at the drop of a hat. There’s nothing wrong with needing to take some time to find out what you like to make and what you’re good at making, and a cookbook challenge, like cooking from it twice a week, can really open your eyes to the culinary possibilities.
Budget for Ingredients like You Were Going Out
For the first few weeks after you decide to stop or cut back on going out, you should still budget your grocery list like you’re going to be eating out. This is because you’re not going to know what you’re going to have to buy for your meals at home. Cooking from a cookbook means you’ll be picking up stuff that you’ve never tried before, so you’ll need the extra money. After a few weeks you’ll have built up a base of ingredients and you’ll have an idea what to look for when you eye the sales section.
Split Cooking with Someone Else
If you’re in a situation where you’re stuck doing all the cooking at home, change it up. If there’s a roommate, a significant other, or a family member in your life they should take a turn cooking too. If you get home before they get off work, have them chop and bag a meal the night before so you just have to throw it in the oven or into a pan and get it cooking then and there.
Try to Understand a Cuisine as a Whole
If you’re getting bored with your efforts, start trying to learn how to cook in a Thai style, or an Italian style, or anything of that nature. Trying to make all the famous dishes of a cuisine is all but impossible, but the delicious efforts will keep you interested (and saving money!) for a long, long time.