Confession: I like fast food. One look at my previous spending habits could confirm this fact. I noticed that several times a week I was going out and grabbing a bite to eat at all the less than healthy establishments. My main offenders were McDonalds Fries with a Large Sweet Tea and getting 2 Chicken Mini Quesadillas at Taco Bell. Neither were breaking the bank. In fact, each meal totaling out comes to about $3 so to my lazy brain these meals seemed to be cheaper than anything I could have brought for myself or cooked at home. I could eat just fries and be full for hours, sometimes not even needing dinner (thank you unnatural preservatives) or I could run to taco bell get those $1 quesadillas and still get back to work with plenty of time to spare. It seemed perfect. Until I realized it wasn’t.
I’m not exactly sure when our how or why but one day it clicked. I wasn’t eating food. I was eating processed junk. Overnight I made the decision, I quit! I went and quit my lunchtime fast food run and determined that I would stop spending money on anything that wasn’t from the grocery store. Note: I did not say I wouldn’t eat fast food. If it was free, I’m game! If I have to swipe my own card to pay for it then I’m not interested. I quickly became an expert at finding free food and ate several chick-fil-A entrees without spending a dime, thanks to the Chick-Fil-A One App!
When I stopped spending on fast food, not only did I notice I was saving more money, I was also feeling more energized, needing less sleep, having clearer skin, and feeling more creative. My home started to become cleaner because I didn’t feel like a potato everyday after work and my body now craves spending time each day outdoors. My dogs appreciate the extra play time and I’m loving the extra energy to move around after sitting at a desk all day. All because I quit spending on fast food.
HOW TO QUIT FAST FOOD
Y’all, everyone makes it sound like quitting is hard. When I first thought about quitting fast food I didn’t know how others do it. What about when you’re busy? What about when you’re tired? What about when you don’t have any food left at home. With some careful thought and internal motivation I’ve realized, quitting fast food is not that hard. Here’s how:
- Tell yourself you have $0.00 for fast food. If you don’t have the money for it and you have a goal to spend your money on something else, every dollar you try to spend on fast food means you’re another step back from reaching that goal.
- Always have snacks with you. To work I bring some type of salty snack, a granola bar, an apple, a banana, and a glass of lemonade. It gives me options. I can have something sweet, salty, healthy, or a semi-sugary drink, all pre-portioned and ready to eat if I’m wanting it. I also keep track of how much water I’m drinking and try not to eat the snacks without first drinking a good amount of water.
- Download Apps. Chick-fil-A, McDonalds, Moes and other fast food places offer free food from time to time. Download the apps and if a fast food craving still gets to you, find out where you can eat something for free! You’ll appreciate the food more and not get that heavy feeling from eating a fast food meal because they typically only give away a small portion of food.
- Become a planner. Plan your week, your days, your meals, and your budget. If you have a solid plan in place you won’t want to deviate because you’ve already scheduled or financially invested in something else.
- Anticipate Fatigue. Personally, the times I’ve wanted to slip up on my schedule and eat out are when I’m tired. Anticipate this, it will happen! For us, I buy frozen pizza and keep it in the fridge. Our favorite type is the Sam Club pizza brand at Walmart. For $5 or $6 you have enough food for 2 people and have saved more money and time than you would have, had you gone out to grab something quick to eat!
Good luck with cutting out fast food guys! It’s so ingrained in culture to eat quick, unhealthy snacks, but that doesn’t mean you have to participate. Plan ahead, change your mindset, and fuel your body with real food. You won’t regret it.
If you’re on the journey of eating only real food I’d love to see how it’s going for you! Share with us in the comments below or tag us on Instagram @homestead_it