How to Break the Dining Out Habit

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Posted on 09/12/2008

Dining out is convenient, fun and oh so tasty, but unfortunately doing the daily restaurant hop can be an expensive habit. With a little ingenuity and dedication, you too can break the dining out habit. Slowly step away from the restaurant and give these tips a try.

Cook for a Crowd
Whether you’re single or not, cook like you’ve got the Brady Bunch to support. When you prepare bigger amounts of food you’ll have plenty leftover for lunch (and maybe even another dinner) the next day. Leftovers are a great– and free– alternative to dining out. Make sure it’s a yummy meal and you won’t mind eating it a few times over.

Plan Ahead
Admit it– a big reason for dining out so much is a lack of planning in the meal department. It shouldn’t come as a surprise since we humans need to eat every day, but somehow seven o’clock rolls around and you realize there’s nothing to eat for dinner. Rather than keeping the pizza delivery guy on speed dial, try planning meals a week at a time. Stock up on food that’s easy to prepare and you’re more likely to stick to the plan.

Avoid Social Eating
Eating out has become the group activity of choice. But to quote your wise mother, if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too? Pass on the pricey dinners and instead offer to meet up for coffee, take a stroll in the park or to watch a DVD. You’ll still fit in plenty of socializing without having to fork over a fat tip.

Break the Rules Wisely
No one expects you to go cold turkey when trying to break the dining out habit. After all, there’s no reason to completely cut restaurants from your diet, especially with a website like Restaurant.com. Plug in your zip code, browse through your favorite restaurants, and snag a gift certificate at a deeply discounted price. That makes dining out a whole lot cheaper.

By Alison Storm

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