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How to break the fast food habit -- how did you do it? - Page 3

post #41 of 46
I'll be the outlier. I love fast food. Love it. Over the top love. I give it up completely for a while, but then, I start wanting it. For me, I love some organic, locally grown heirloom tomatoes (boy do I!), but I also love some Sonic chili cheese tots, too.

I've read Fast Food Nation, watched SuperSize Me, etc, etc. And, I can do it all while eating a Filet O' Fish. LOL

But, I intrinsically know that fast food isn't good for me, isn't good for my kids, and isn't good for my wallet.

So, I put fast food in our budget, but I limit it. This way, I always know that a meal is coming, so I can put off the urge when it hits me. I try to use coupons for that particular meal, and I just plan it into the menu.

Lunch is a particularly hard time for us. My kids are ravenous at around 11:30. If a morning activity runs long, and we have a 30 minute drive home (not uncommon), they are crying in the backseat that they are hungry. So, I keep granola bars, raisins, nuts, etc, in the car for that time of day. That helps us get home until we can eat lunch.

I also buy good stuff for *my* lunch (salad fixings, sandwich stuff, whatever sounds good at the store). Knowing that there is something I really like at home waiting on me helps me to say "no" to the drive-through. Yes, this means a bit more money at the grocery store, but it saves me money in the long run.
post #42 of 46
This is how to get out of the fast food rut.

Simplify your life. Slow down your life. Don't spend time rushing through life. Say no to invitations and events that you don't have time for or you don't really, really want to attend. Make the time to be home to make delicious, nutritious foods for your family.

I can guarantee that if you do this for a period of time you will not like fast food anymore. Not to toot my own horn but I can make a meal that is cheaper and tastes better than a restaurant meal 95% of the time.

Talk about a cash savings!
post #43 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
Crunchy*VT*Mom -- I feel like I have gotten to know you a bit after hanging around these forums for the past few years and I would venture to guess that the food itself is not the issue. You have talked openly about having a difficult time with impulse purchases and imo fast food would fall into that category. It is quick, easy, and gives a rush of endorphins to the brain. But you know that the good feeling is not long lived. It is no different from overbuying cute diapers or nice yoga clothes. Nice while it lasts, but gone too quickly.
I think this is more the issue for me as well. I've read Omnivore's Dilemma. I read plenty of slaughterhouse-type books back in high school. I grew up on a farm, for Pete's sake. I know all about the raising and growing of food stuffs. That's not the issue or answer for me. It's simply about the need for quick/easy/cheap satisfaction. Getting over that is much harder, imo.
post #44 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParisApril View Post
This is how to get out of the fast food rut.

Simplify your life. Slow down your life. Don't spend time rushing through life. Say no to invitations and events that you don't have time for or you don't really, really want to attend. Make the time to be home to make delicious, nutritious foods for your family.

I can guarantee that if you do this for a period of time you will not like fast food anymore. Not to toot my own horn but I can make a meal that is cheaper and tastes better than a restaurant meal 95% of the time.

Talk about a cash savings!
Yes, this! I have 4 children 5 and under. One of them is homeschooled and has some special needs, one with a serious medical condition, and then 2 little ones 20 months apart. I used to let fast food be the easy way out for me when I was tired and worn out. Specifically it was lunches/snacks when we were running errands and then restaurant meals as a family.

We made a commitment in the end of December to permanently change our family's eating habits due to some health issues. I had to make the effort to cook 3 meals a day or well..we didn't have anything to eat lol! I still have days that I am worn out and don't feel like cooking and the kitchen is a mess from chasing kids around. We just eat something simple those nights like scrambled eggs and sliced fruit or I have Dh grill something and I make a salad. Having some easy meals that we can make really has helped.

When it comes to the fast food habit during the day, I've just changed our routine completely so that it doesn't even play in. We do not plan to be out during meal time (unless we absolutely have to on rare occasion) and make sure to bring snacks with us. They don't have to be complicated snacks either. If you don't mind packaged stuff, keep a box of granola bars and juice packs in your car.

I've realized that the money that I was spending on eating out, I'd MUCH rather have that money in our grocery budget! It gave us the ability to buy more quality foods and have a little wiggle room to buy something for "easy" nights.

Personally I meal plan a bunch of ideas for the week and make most of the easy to prepare with a couple average prepare time meals thrown in. That is just what works best for me right now and it has made life much less stressful. I'd rather eat a bunch of simple homecooked foods most of the week than burn myself out.
post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post
The last time I took the kids to Burger kid I got 3 kids meals and paid close to $12. I went on and on about how many burgers,fries,and pop we could have bought for that $12 at the store. That was the last time we went to BK or any other place FF place. I just refuse to do it.
I was thinking of this when I ordered a side of fried plaintains (which contained only 4 pieces!) with our meal at a Jamaican restaurant for $3 when I had bought 3 whole plaintains that afternoon at the Farmer's Market for 70 cents.

We don't eat a lot of fast food but I do enjoy going to restaurants. We just got back from holidays in March and the ease of all-inclusive really spoiled me from wanting to cook. I noticed that in April I spent more on restaurants than groceries!

Now I am back in my cooking everyday mode and I am finding it pleasurable again. I like to watch cooking shows like Come Dine with Me which inspires me to cook different things and get out of the rut. Slowing down is a good idea. Also quick cook meals are good. A co-worker does all her cooking on the weekend but it is not for me. I like when food is cooked fresh. I LOVE cooking but it is so easy to get into the habit of being pampered with someone else preparing, serving and cleaning up.
post #46 of 46
A couple things I've learned:

1. Meal plan. Not just dinner, but breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Well, breakfast, lunch, and snacks are pretty easy--just decide what items to get and put them on rotation. Buy enough to last until the next time you plan to go to the store.

2. Prep. Chop vegetables, cook some chicken, bacon, ground meat, etc. ahead of time so you can just throw something together. See meal planning lunch.

3. Eat big before going out. If you are going out to run errands or whatever, eat a sizeable meal before heading out the door. Chances are you won't be hungry until you get home. Keep a snack in the car or your purse/the diaper bag for if you/your kids do.

4. The crockpot is your friend. We had a bad habit of going out after church. Now, I put something into the crockpot when I go to bed and it is perfect when we get home. I just warm up the bread I baked that morning or the night before and toss a salad.

5. Take drinks with you. Whether it is water in an eco-friendly stainless steel reusable water bottle or a box of capri suns or even a case of soda. Get a small cooler and fill it with ice and throw a few drinks into it and keep it in the car. Don't put it into the trunk because then you just go through the drive-thru anyhow.

6. If you have small kids--scout out other places to take the kids than the McD playplace on too hot or bad weather days and you need to get out of the house.

7. Now I really need to take my own advice...

PS:
8. Keep the kitchen clean so you can get right to cooking without having to clean first. I would go in and look at the crusted pots and pans and plates and stuff in the sink, know I'd need to clean before I even began cooking just to have something to cook with...and start dialing the local pizza place or would just be on my way home from work, think about it, sigh, and pull into the local fast food eatery to grab something.
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