I’ve struggled with food for as long as I can remember. Not that I’ve had punching fights with grilled cheese sandwiches. Not that kind of struggle. It’s more of the eating my feelings and not telling myself “No” when I crave something kind of struggle.
I eat when I’m bored. I eat when I’m stressed. I eat just to eat, especially when I’m watching TV. It’s a habit I’m working on and part of that is choosing to eat quality foods instead of mass quantities of food.
Over the past twenty years, my family has probably spent $100,000 on take out food and going out to eat at restaurants. That equates to about $5,000 per year, which is probably even a little low.
On evenings when we’re tired or stressed and don’t feel like making anything, our immediate response is to get take out food or go eat at a semi local restaurant. It seems easier … until you consider the true costs … in money and our health.
When I joined Weight Watchers years ago and started cutting back on processed foods, I noticed that my cravings for salt and sugar decreased A LOT. Now I can barely eat a few potato chips, because they’re just too salty and I hardly ever crave candy now. More and more research is coming out on salt and sugar addiction and how companies purposely add those ingredients to get you to buy (and eat) more. They know it works. In fact, there are studies that prove how sugar is more addictive to humans than most street drugs.
We’ve made a real effort lately to only go out to eat when it’s a special occasion or we haven’t been out for a while, budgeting our time and money for those times. We’re choosing to eat at higher quality restaurants, saving up money for better food, instead of eating at “cheap” places that serve stuff that really doesn’t taste any better than what we have at home.
We also work at keeping these things at home (so we aren’t tempted to go out on stressful nights) …
- canned soup, vegetables, and fruits
- frozen chicken and fish, pizza, fruits, and vegetables
- sandwich stuff (sliced lunch meat, sliced cheese, bread, pickled stuff)
- salad stuff (lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, canned beans)
If you think you’re choosing quantity over quality in your food, ask yourself these questions …
- How much am I REALLY spending on junk food, take out food, or going to restaurants?
(Do a month long audit where you track this spending if you need to)
- Do I crave salt and sugar, because I keep eating salt and sugar?
- Do I reward myself on special occasions by going to higher quality restaurants or do I spend all of my food money eating at “cheap” places?
- Do I have enough food in my house right now to last me at least a week, so I’m not tempted to spend money on low quality (take out or junk) food?
Choosing quality food really can simplify your life by saving you money, improving your health, and giving you the time you need at home to get more done.
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