What I’m Eating Lately: Home Cooking Edition

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I’ve gotten into an unfortunate habit of eating out. A lot. Not 5-course meals or anything, but $5, $15 there, thanks to the usual suspects: a quick spinach-feta wrap from Starbucks, a last-minute happy hour, you know the drill.

And since I’m neither A) Daddy Warbucks nor B) the next Hilton heiress, it’s time for me to reign that habit in – even just a little. I’ll never apologize for my love of eating out. It’s not just about the food – even though nine times out of ten the food is superb and I think food is something in life that’s justified spending money on. I love going out to eat because it usually means I’m catching up with an old friend, meeting up a group I haven’t seen in awhile, or developing relationships with a new community of people. Restaurants are my happy place! You never go out to eat and then spend the whole time frowning or complaining. You go out and celebrate the present, laugh while you reminisce about the past, or muse about future possibilities. I love the whole idea of it. To me, giving up going out to eat would be sacrificing more than just food – it would be sacrificing time with people I love. And I’m not one to sacrifice that.

That being said, I definitely can wake up 20 minutes earlier and pack a lunch for the day or spend an hour roasting potatoes and veggies to go with a piece of fish. It’s not that hard. So that’s where I want to make a few changes. So for today’s WIAW, it’s more about What I’m Eating Lately: Home Cooking Edition. Otherwise known as “Saving Dough Edition.”

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Roasted sweet potato + my South of the Border Frittata

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Chicken baked in TJ’s garlic simmering sauce, roated green beans a faux-“fried” crispy potatoes

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Veggie sandwich: white bean basil hummus, lettuce/onion/tomato, and a slice of swiss cheese on Ezekiel bread.

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Pumpkin oatmeal with chia seeds and topped with crunchy pb

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Hickory baked salmon, roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans

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Chicken noodle soup (amazing on 18 degree days like today!)

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Leftover Lou Malnati’s veggie pizza (parents’ leftovers so it doesn’t count πŸ˜‰ )

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Homemade tuna melt – the worst picture in the history of the world but so, so soooo good

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Frozen Grapes

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Egg sandwich (deconstructed)

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Veggie burger with, you guessed it, roasted potatoes

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Hot chocolate with a side of bad TV

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PB/banana Skoop protein smoothie

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Oriental Chicken – you can find the recipe in my Food section

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Pasta with parma rosa sauce, Parmesan cheese, chopped tomato and spinach. Pinot grigio on the side.

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Aaaaaand a Reese’s peanut butter cup for good measure πŸ™‚

I think my roasted potato love has hit Arman levels. But hey – they’re one of those foods that tastes oh so bad for you but aren’t at all. It’s like fries, but without the greasy fingers afterwards πŸ™‚

So as you can see, it’s all about a little extra effort/time for me. I really can’t wait until I’m in my own apartment (two weeeeeks!) and I can meal plan again just for myself.

Questions:

  • How often do you eat at a sit-down restaurant?
  • How many days a week do you find yourself grabbing something quick? i.e. a latte fromΒ your local coffee house or a cookie from Potbelly.
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34 comments

      1. No problem! Thank you much. πŸ™‚ Also, I wanted to let you know, Lauren, that I’m nominating you for the Mustache you some Questions Survey that’s been going around the blogging world lately! I should have my post published tomorrow for that with the survey and details on my blog. πŸ™‚

  1. I love eating out too, but I do it once a week because other wise my hubby would be broke lol. I do however must have my ice latte in the morning, the college I go to has a Starbucks in it so you already know that’s my morning spot before going to class. I think the pumpkin oatmeal is worth the try sounds and looks pretty good.

  2. “Homemade tuna melt – the worst picture in the history of the world”

    That picture is amazing and how dare you say it is the worst. You’re only saving grace is the potatoes…I just got back from America and NOWHERE had white potatoes on the menu- it was all damn sweet potatoes. You know what I’m eating right now, right…. πŸ˜‰

    I am pretty frugal with eating out here, but drinking is another thing- when I was in your neck of the woods, it was another story.

  3. I would love to eat out more but it’s so expensive over here – also the options are pretty limited… So we probably eat at a sit down restaurant about twice a month. That Mexican we went to on Friday though… Holy guacamole it was amazing!!!! Recap next week! πŸ˜‰
    But I do go to starbucks to write twice a week – just an Americano or tea for me though! So I guess it’s the most frugal you can be at starbucks! Haha!

  4. I’d love to come and eat with you @ your home. That pasta with rosa sauce.. um to die for! If I didn’t know better (which I do), I would’ve thought it was from a restaurant.

    p.s. parents leftover pizza (or any meal for that matter) does NOT count.

  5. SO MANY FOOD PHOTOS.. how do you remember to take so many? I need to start setting reminders on my phone because my WIAW looks pathetic compared to this. I agree 100% about going out to eat, but that it can be a super easy way to break the bank. Yay for home cooked meals!

  6. All of these meals look delicious! I try to eat in/bring my lunch for most meals during the week because I know on the weekend there is more opportunity to eat out. I buy a ton of groceries in the beginning of the week and don’t want to see them go to waste. What helps me for lunches is packing everything the night before while I am getting dinner ready!

    1. The girls I’m moving in with don’t buy nearly as many groceries as I do so i’m so worried they’re going to be in for a rude awakening when they see all my produce in the fridge! Haha but you’re right — that’s the way to go to not overspend on going out to eat.

  7. All your meals look awesome. I also love going out to eat. Part of it is laziness in the kitchen (I hate meal planning) and the other part is variety. When I make a big meal at home it feels like I eat the leftover 1,239 times before it runs out!

  8. You look pretty good at this homecookin’ thing! I’m pretty sure I was drooling over all your pictures (oddly enough the tuna melt looks like my fave).

    I try to limit my eating out because, hello, I’m not married to Prince Harry yet. So, I normally eat out in a restaurant one – two times a week.

  9. Girl you are killing it! We are majorly tring to cut back on eating out at the moment, it has gotten out of hand for us too.
    And I’m with everyone else, I love a tuna melt.

  10. Roasted potatoes are so freaking good. My favorite is roasted red potatoes. Brush on some olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. I love when they get crisp! I can’t ever eat them as leftovers because they lose the crispiness, but fresh out of the oven omg.

  11. Eating out is soooooooooooooooo expensive. There are truly not enough ‘o’s to describe how so expensive it is πŸ™‚ I really try to buckle down during the work week and not eat out. I’ve gotten at least 2 invites this week I’ve turned down in order to just save a couple bucks. I save splurges like that for the weekend. Plus I actually like my own cooking so I take advantage and just cook for myself!

    1. I think if I had more discipline during the work week (i.e. with working out AND eating out) my weekends would be so much less stressful. I’d feel okay with taking a break and spending some extra money. Gotta work on that! I like my own cooking too πŸ™‚ It’s that silly “time” factor

  12. Lately I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, which has resulted in a LOT more meals out than I would normally have. I’m generally a pretty exclusive I-only-eat-food-I-made-at-home sort of person, but when I leave at 5:20 a.m. and don’t get home until 10 p.m., I’ve got to be flexible. Fortunately it’s not usually *that* crazy (7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. is a lot more usual), but unless I want to start carrying a grocery store along with me, I have to buy dinner. This is why I spent $10 on a salad at Whole Foods last week. Haha. (Potbelly is normally more my speed — MUCH cheaper, and also delicious πŸ™‚ ).

    1. Potbelly is a great option! I go there a lot too. But yeah, most days I find myself carrying a grocery bag around with me, fullllll of food haha. People think it’s weird but you’re right – you don’t realize how much food you eat when you’re gone for over 12 hours! It’s necessary!

  13. Gimme that bowl of pasta and veggie sandwich please!

    Since I work from home, I don’t eat out very often. I have a co-worker who leaves his home office to go out to lunch and everyday and it makes me laugh/boggles my mind a little! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a delicious meal cooked by someone else, but I like to save going out for meals for fun occasions or a once every few weeks occurrence.

  14. It’s like this post was written about me! I LOVE going out to eat. I just love getting together with friends, gossiping, and enjoying good food (and cocktails). However, my bank account does not always agree. I try so hard to always bring my lunch to work and avoid Starbucks (this is difficult) and then I don’t feel AS bad splurging on some good meals with my girlfriends.

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