Ran across this article this morning: Home Cooks Eat Better and it is good food for thought. Of course, as is pretty usual with long term eating habits research, this is data from self-reported sources. A few snippets:
"A new study suggests that people who cook at home most of the time consume
generally healthier meals with fewer calories. An especially surprising
observation about home cooks: they tended to consume fewer calories even when
eating in restaurants. "
"When comparing the differences between the two “most” and “least” often cooking
at home, two important associations were revealed: the most frequent home cooks
consumed around 200 fewer calories
daily, and around 16 grams of sugar (4 teaspoons)."
"To translate these findings into action,
people must address the very real barriers of regular home cooking. These
include lack of time, lack of money, and lack of cooking skills. Improving even
one of these can likely result in healthier eating, both inside the home and out. "
I like how they stated at the end that changing even ONE obstacle (time, money, cooking skills) could help you increase the amount you cook at home - because not everyone can magically make more money appear! But, many people could sacrifice watching a half hour sitcom at night to make food or could put some effort into learning skills that make cooking much easier (and tastier!).
You all know that me and my husband are home cooks, through and through :)
I actually did a "budget calculator" and compared it to the nation's typical budget. My husband and I spend them SAME amount on food (includes groceries and eating out) as the average Joe in America, however, we spend almost DOUBLE on groceries and a fraction on restaurants compared to the whole. I prefer for my food budget to go to my home cooked meals - I know the quality of the food, the freshness, the nutrition, etc. Eating out is actually more of an entertainment for us - we like the whole experience, the ambiance, the social interactions. Eating out is not how we plan to get our weekly meals in! Also, I think that I am getting more food at the grocery store for $50 than at a restaurant for $50 - $50 can feed us for the better part of a week at home.
So, I know everyone has different lives and some people need to eat out more than others (thinking about work lunches or something!) but it is something worthwhile to think about, to see if there is room in your life for more home cooking.
Things with me are going pretty well - we met with a financial adviser last night to start setting up a plan to ensure future goals, kids, retirements and so forth. We've been sort of stumbling around for a while, doing what we could to prepare (joining the retirement systems, putting money in savings, etc), but we need a little better guidance!
Not worried about Thanksgiving this year - it will be a short one for us, as I have to work Wednesday and Friday, haha, so I will just fully relax with the family for that day. I have goals to NOT stuff myself silly, but to enjoy a little feast. We are going on a run with Chris' sister the day of, so that will be nice to get my body moving on a holiday.
Work is slow right now, but I should get back at it :)