Eating out is easy, quick, and even tasty but let's keep it real – fast food has its price. Experts estimate that last year Americans spent an average of $1000+ on coffee and double that, nearly reaching the $2000 dollar mark for lunches prepared in the lineup of buffets, cafeterias, drive-thrus, food trucks, and I'll-have-it-to-go hotspots. These statistics show that many of us are not only eating ourselves out of house and home but also our dreams of a newer car, kitchen renovation, designer wardrobe, and dream wedding (or destination divorce party for you progressive, trendier types).
Excessive eating out can cost good health too since studies have shown that typical takeout foods often lead up to serious issues such as weight gain, heart attack, high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, cancer, and more. We at CouponPal lost our appetites at the thought of serving up our paychecks (and our A+ physicals) on a styrofoam platter so we've teamed up with the cooking connoisseurs over at Sur La Table to highlight the top 7 benefits of making meals at home and everything you need to go from sous spender to master self-chef. Make better breakfast without breaking the bank when you sample a delicious discount off these top seven Sur La Table tips and tools.
7. Instantly Brew Extra Bedtime
Waking up an extra early half hour to crowd around cardboard cups with the under caffeinated cafe masses is never a good way to jumpstart your day. Skip the long line for lukewarm lattes and sleep in a little longer when you BYOB – or become your own barista and start brewing coffee from the comfort of your own kitchen. At the unbeatable price of $99.95, the Nespresso Essenza Espresso Maker pays for itself in just one month (30 beverages at $3.50 each) and with features like powerful thermoblock heating, 19-bar pressure pump, and easy-to-use compact capsules – you're guaranteed jammin' java every single time. Your snooze button (and your former Frappuccino fund) thanks you in advance.
6. Know Your Nutrition, Know Yourself
If you are what you eat, then some of us fast-foodies are artificially flavored, GMO, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, trans fat filled and fueled hot messes! When you bake then break your own bread, you can choose high quality cuisine that caters to your taste buds and your tummy. You can also plan for picky eaters, allergics, and –tarians alike and say sayonara to specialty eateries where you pay like you weigh for wheatless, sugarless, milkless, meatless menus. The Nordic Ware Silver Dollar Waffle Pan ($29.95) settles the Sundays old debate of where-to-brunch and with durable cast aluminum and nonstick finish – is perfect for preparing waffles your way whether that includes gluten, grain – or artisanal, seasonal, sustainable, fair trade, locally and organically grown, wrapped in recyclables almond flour.
5. Make Food, Not Feud
The family (and friends) who play together, stay together and the saying stays the same when it comes to cooking. Forget expired flyers, cash n'carryout only, and delayed deliverymen and get some good ole' fashioned food, fun, and quality time with your nears and dears instead. Have everyone eating from the palm of your hand when you use the Joseph Joseph Scoot Pizza Wheels ($14.95 Retail, $8.99 Sale) to divvy up delicious pastries, pizza, sandwiches, and snacks during your next Friday Netflix Night. Save some dough when you serve up one of our sizzling Sur La Table coupons at checkout.
4. Build Your Meal Making Muscles
Whether you're a microwaving maven or self-professed maestro of meals, spending more time in the kitchen strengthens your cooking skills and also helps you build up your own repertoire of recipes (check out our squash pasta for some din-spiration). From breakfast in bed to birthday cakes, cooking for someone else can be a thoughtful (and less expensive) way to celebrate, congratulate, or simply spoil the ones you love (like, or are secretly crushing on). The Collapsible Cupcake & Cake Carrier ($29.95) which easily transports tiers of sugar, spice, and up to 24 of everything nice, is a special treat for bakers who enjoy sharing their sweet tooth with fellow dessert devotees – one spoonful, slice, or cupcake at a time.
3. C'Mon Get Healthy!
We get that warmer weather whets your tongue for all things trucked, triple dipped, buttered, battered, and barbecued but your recent diet of 'The Fast, The Fried, and The Food Poisonous' reads like the worst of summer sequels. It's past time to bring in some healthier alternatives before you land a recurring role in the back bathroom stall. Making your own goodies gives you the freedom to include only the best of ingredients. Our number three pick, the Cuisinart Classic Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream, and Sorbet Maker ($59.95) requires no additives, ice, or salt and lets you indulge in all the melt-in-your-mouth ice creaminess your tankini two-pieced body can stand without the excess chemicals or calories contained in the prepackaged.
2. Green Palate, Greener Pastures
Cooking on your own not only means less stress on your pocketbook but on our planet as well. Making meals from scratch typically uses smaller amounts of packaging (especially dreaded plastic) along with the resources needed to manufacture and transport fully packed and prepared products from shelf to truck to restaurant, store, or table. Cooking for yourself can also grow your interest in greener activities like gardening and composting along with opportunities for activism, awareness, community, cultural exchange, and naturally – potlucks. The Kinetic Go Green GlassLock Food Storage Sets (Set of 3, $37.95) made from non-toxic, stain resistant, microwave safe glass boasts air and watertight lids that keep flavors and foods locked inside – equal parts eco friendly and function for us non-hemp harem pant wearing folks too.
1. Money Where Your Mouth Is
Are you chowing down on your check? The obvious number one benefit of sitting down at your own dinner table is one word: dollars. We're reported as spending nearly two thousand dollars annually on lunch alone and if you figure in all our meals: snacks, desserts, dinner, brunch, and breakfast – then we're literally eating ourselves into debt. And that's not even taking everyone's favorite happy hours into account. Our top pick, the Glass Recipe Shaker ($19.95) brings the bar to you and keeps your savings from being starved for attention. The leak free, spill proof margarita, martini, and magic maker lists the recipes of the best six mixed drinks right on the glass so you can shake it up, pour it up, and cheers to the freakin' weekend all for under twenty (alcohol not included*).