People often say the reason they eat out so often is because cooking at home is tedious work. Not only do you have to prepare and cook the meal, you also have to do the cleaning up afterwards. It all takes time, and isn’t it worth just a little extra to pay for that takeout or restaurant meal, rather than eating in? Well, here are 5 tips to get over those hurdles and make eating at home easier.

1. Plan ahead. I can’t stress this enough. The best way to save both time and money is to know what you are cooking ahead of time. There are advantages to doing this. You know what your meals are, and you can do a shopping list. That way you only buy what you need at the supermarket, instead of grabbing items off the shelf that then hibernate in the cupboards until it comes time to clean them out. Planning ahead also means you can pre-prepare meals when you need to.

2. Wash up as you go along. One of the big gripes about cooking and eating at home are the dishes. For some reason they become a hurdle you have to jump over at the end of the meal. If you are left with all the washing up it can take some pleasure out of the meal. If you put some warm water into the sink and wash up utensils, chopping boards and pots as you go along it will save you time and washing the dishes won’t seem so bad after all.

3. Use pre-chopped vegetables. Pre-chopped vegetables are great. Most supermarkets stock them these days, and while they can be a bit more expensive, it’s worth it to save time in the kitchen. It will still save you money compared to eating out.

4. Use the left overs for lunches. When you clean up in the kitchen pack the left overs into the lunch boxes straight away, and put them in the fridge for tomorrow. It will save time and stress in the morning. No more making lunches just as you are running out the door.

5. Get the children involved in cooking. This may seem like a time waster, but in the long run teaching your children basic cooking skills can save you time and stress. Also, there’s nothing better than knowing your children are going to know more about nutrition than the average child, and are less likely to be overweight because of it. Also, your children are going to be happy to sit down to a meal they helped to prepare.

With these 5 tips you should be on your way to eating in more often and enjoying the experience. It can be easy if you plan ahead. Enjoy your meals and keep those restaurant meals for special occasions.

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