Eating takeaway every night of the week is tempting, but it can eat away at your bank balance fast and expand your waistline almost as quickly. So, how do you break the habit and get back into the kitchen? The trick lies in finding ways to enjoy cooking while making it as quick and easy as possible, so you don’t slip straight back into your old ways.
Do an Equipment Audit
When was the last time you had a good look in your kitchen cupboards and utensil drawers? If your cooking equipment hasn’t had an upgrade since the Backstreet Boys last topped the charts, then it’s time to invest in some new cookware.
Given the slow economic times, you can track down beautiful cookware sets for a fraction of their regular price. You’ll also want to make sure you have a decent set of knives (with a good sharpening block), some chopping boards, a colander, and measuring cups and spoons while you are at it.
Make Sure the Kitchen Brings You Joy
You know those fancy kitchens you see in magazines and on cooking shows? They all have one thing in common: The benchtops are clutter-free. There’s no pile of old bills with their edges curling from age. No abandoned toys, preschool artwork, or weird odds and ends that you’re keeping in case they turn out to be the essential missing pieces to something critical.
To make your kitchen a more welcoming space that you’ll genuinely enjoy hanging out in, start by decluttering. The goal is to rid your benchtop of clutter and rubbish completely. You might decide to have an aesthetically pleasing and practical fruit bowl, but keep it clean and only fill it with fresh fruit (no bills or random clutter allowed).
Cook In Bulk
Even if you love to cook, getting dinner on the table every night can be a challenge. One night you might get stuck in traffic and be home later than usual. Or you might need all your available time to help your forgetful kid create a last-minute school science project that is due tomorrow. Other times, you are just plain exhausted.
The key to long-term success is to cook bulk portions, so that each time you make a meal, you can add to your freezer stash. The freezer stash is invaluable for those times when you are too busy or too tired to whip something up from scratch.
Recreate your Favourites
What is your absolute favorite takeaway? Personally, I am a sucker for Mexican. So, I make it my mission to recreate super-delicious versions of my favorite dishes – not a basic version that doesn’t taste that great, but an excellent substitute.
You will need to do some research to find the right herbs and spices, refine the cooking method, and stock up on condiments. However, this tactic is a powerful way to kick your takeaway habit without feeling like you’re missing out.
Set a Time to Treat Yourself
One of the secrets to success is to reward yourself for your hard work! Set a day of the week or the month that you order takeaway. Make an occasion of it. Maybe it could be a family games night, or a date night with your significant other.
By allowing yourself the occasional treat, your goals will be more achievable, and you will be able to look forward to takeaway night while you’re virtuously chopping vegetables, searing steaks, and boiling pasta.
Remember, if it all gets too hard, you can always treat yourself to a simple yet indulgent breakfast for dinner!