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Keeping It Simple: Dinner When You Want To Grab Takeout – Ep. 98
It’s time for dinner and you realize you have no clue what you want to make yet again! Should you just grab takeout?
In today’s episode we’ll talk about when to grab takeout and when you need to cook at home, here we go!
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Podcast Key Points:
0:00 – Episode Overview
1:32 – The Temptation of Takeout
3:39 – Go-To Meals
5:34 – Flexible Meal Planning
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Quick and Easy Dinner Solutions for Busy Families
All of a sudden, it’s late afternoon and you realize you have no clue what to do for dinner. Yet again, can you just grab takeout? In today’s episode I’m going to share what you need to remember when you just want to grab takeout because sometimes it’s okay. But other times, this is what you need to know. Here we go!
This is the Your Money Your Life podcast. I’m your host Aimee Cerka, a money confidence coach for female entrepreneurs on the path to six figures. After over 10 years in the personal finance industry and multiple personal financial and medical crisis, I was fed up with the lies that are being shouted from the rooftops by the Gurus and the media.
I help you simplify, solidify and scale your money. By blending tactile money strategies with mindset work, you can create unstoppable finances together. You’ll finally figure out the money thing so you can make more money in less time without living off of beans and rice, or sacrificing your lifestyle.
Episodes here on the podcast are short and sweet. Being married, having four kids at home, homeschooling being the CEO running the household. I’m kind of busy. And I know you are too. So, let’s keep it simple and get to the point. Welcome. I’m so glad you’re here.
The Temptation of Takeout: Easy and Convenient
All right, we are back talking about keeping it simple. Dinnertime, when you just want to grab takeout. We’ve all had it happen where all of a sudden, like you look at your clock and it’s five o’clock or something happens in like, crap. I gotta figure out what’s for dinner.
Like, have you seen the memes? Like, you know, adulting is just having to figure out what’s for dinner every single night. Like, That’s like one of the worst parts.
I can almost agree with that. Because it can be the thing like, we had to eat again. Like why are you still hungry? Are you with me?
But let’s see, I’ve got a couple things here for it. The temptation of takeout, right? The reason why we’re always like, oh, we should just go get takeout is because it’s easy.
Okay, like the easy button staples we used to have. I don’t even know; do they still have the easy button? But like, that’s why it’s just a popular choice.
Like we have to figure this out. This is not negotiable. This isn’t something that we can put off to the side. This problem has to be solved now.
Balancing Costs and Choices
The easiest way to solve it just to grab takeout. And then you got like Uber Eats and everything else that delivers and we’re all busy, right? But the problem with that and when it can be a problem of course, like we can talk about cost because yes, you should be having money in your Play account and designated money like for this fun stuff.
But if you’re just doing it because we didn’t have anything planned for dinner, you’re not really choosing the takeout it’s almost like happening as a byproduct so it’s not as intentional and that’s why I’m not a fan of it. Okay.
Health Matters: Takeout vs. Homemade
And then of course we can talk about the health concerns because obviously fast food is not as good for you as like cooked food. And probably even like some of their freezer meals and stuff but it’s just more additives and those things fattening up we know the whole thing. But there is a solution.
Okay. So how do you fight the temptation to go get takeout all the time? This is part of my Meal Planning Made Easy Strategy; it’s called go to meals. Okay?
So, this is a list of meals. You keep the ingredients on hand that are simple. They’re quick 30-minute meals that you can make, like very easily. Okay, there are recipes for meals that can be done with very minimal ingredients and not a lot of effort.
Okay, so you could do like spaghetti is normally one for a lot of people. Chicken I guess mac-and- cheese corndogs. See what else we have on our on our list. Frozen pizza. Chicken fried steak is another one that we can put together like 25 minutes really simple.
Some form of fish frozen fish that you’ve got on hand. We got fish sticks if you got kids or I mean we have like a parmesan tilapia that we keep on hand that’s frozen really quick to make. You’re just throwing stuff in the oven.
Wings would be another option. Let’s see you could do things like brought worse you can do things like hot dogs, you can keep, like ready to go meals on hand. They just need to be thrown in the oven.
You’ll notice is not necessarily like a super healthy choice, right? Like that’s not the problem. Most times we’ve got veggies on hand that you can like throw together or a fruit or something.
Or like we have fries that will work like we can go put them in the air fryer or something like about, okay, it doesn’t have to be super healthy. The point is, it’s better than the takeout.
Flexibility and Customization
And then you can choose when you want to go out to eat. Because the time that’s important to you, so you’re gonna be able to like, it doesn’t have to be again, like the super healthy thing; this is better than what it was. And you’re still going to be covered.
I was like, keep a list of like go to crock pot meals so that you could set them up ahead of time. That only works if you set them up ahead of time. I am a fan of like dump, dump and crock pot meals, okay. But to really have the dump and crock pot meals, we’re gonna talk about meal planning, okay.
So, the way that I structure meal planning, the way that I recommend structuring meal plan is keep your list for the week, depending on like a leftover night and like an out to eat night, typically between five to seven. I plan six meals a night, or six meals a week. Six meals a night will be a lot.
We’ll be eating a lot of food, please send help. But six meals a week, because sometimes in there, we’ll have like, you know, a leftover day or we’re out to eat, there’s something that’s happening in there.
Okay, but I’m flexible on what day of the week actually make the item. So, when I write out my list, I’m actually as I’m recording this as a Thursday. So, I did this this morning for next week. So, you write it out. And I kind of have like a game plan.
Okay, this will be like the enchiladas for next week go on Tuesday, because you know, normally it’s like Taco Tuesday type thing. But it’s flexible. And I can change what day the week that I make something depending on how life happens.
So, there’s a go to meal built in every single week that we’re using rotating through the stash. And then typically, the way that I structured is I pull a recipe for my chicken list, I pull a recipe from my Mexican list, I pull a recipe for my Italian list, I pull a recipe for my pork and other list and the go to meal. I think that was all of them. And it’s just rotating through yes, you could do like a week, the next week and just rotate like that.
The Role of Crock Pot Meals
So, you don’t even have to think about it. But I enjoy the customization of it. And within that one of those categories somewhere is going to have a crock pot meal on my meal planning sheet I’ve labeled which ones are crock pot meals this week.
Actually, instead of the crock pot meal, I’ve got an air fryer. So, we’re doing the air fryer chicken thighs on Monday, which again, is a little bit simpler. There’s some ease in there.
But I also have like backup like spaghetti. I do my spaghetti sauce in the crock pot. So, I count that as a crock pot meal. And just being flexible.
Okay, we’re including the crock pot option. You can also outsource like have your kids involved, have your spouse get involved. You can buy like those meals, planned services if they work for you. We haven’t had one that works for us. I’ve got picky kids, picky husband, like this just works better.
Being Intentional with Takeout
And then of course, we also enjoy using a lot of the food and the produce from the garden like we talked about last week with our food security. But the point of this is being intentional with when we went to go out to eat this isn’t like you have to never go out like I think that you should. And we typically do at least one sometimes twice a week that we’re out for a meal.
But we’re able to do that because we’re intentional with the other times and have tools in our toolbox to be able to move forward. Okay, I teach all this inside my Meal Planning Made Easy, which is available as a bonus and the productivity system or within the Academy. I’ll include links to both of those. So, check them out below if you have questions or want to learn more.
But we’re keeping it simple right? Choosing intentionality with takeout we’re going to put go to meals on and then we’re going to meal plan and make sure we include a crock pot option.
That’s what I’ve got for now. Send me a message on Instagram I want to hear it these are helpful the keeping it simple series. This is what second one and I think I have six, nine plans for you. So, I want to hear from you @aimeecerka on Instagram. We’ll see you next time. Bye for now.
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