Food bills can put a huge dent in family finances, particularly if dining out is a regular practice. A major monthly expense, the amount families spend eating out has surpassed the amount spent on grocery items for home use. Worsening the issue, the cost of eating out is also on the rise according to restaurant industry news, rising 2.7%, while the cost humbler homemade fare has dropped 0.5%. Is family among those with a budget ballooning at the expense of restaurant dining?
Eat Out in Your Own Backyard
If you’re looking for a quick escape, and to dining out to deliver, why not escape to the outdoors and the joy of a healthful, simply prepared home cooked meal in your own backyard? Home cooked food is both cheaper and healthier, and what little prep work is involved makes for a great family bonding activity, particularly when surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors. Rather than stretching finances thin with repetitive restaurant purchases, why not think outside the fast food box, dining alfresco and indulging in a more affordable, nutritionally and emotionally rich dining experience with the addition of an outdoor kitchen and dining space?
There Are an Array of Benefits to Prepping & Eating Meals Outdoors with Your Family:
- Home-cooked meals are healthier.
Unlike mass-produced, cookie-cutter restaurant fare, patio prepared portions allow for healthier ingredient substitutions, including those for allergies/sensitivities, fat, salt, sugar content, and preference.
- Cooking outdoors offers tremendous learning and bonding opportunities.
Getting kids involved in cooking helps your family safeguard its food traditions and make new ones, rather than supporting the marketing culture of today’s retail restaurant corporate giants. Dining outdoors encourages open communication as families talk and chat over meal prep and dining, building bonds. Healthier and happier, studies show children who eat at home perform better at school, engaging in less risky behavior than those who don’t share dinner with family.
- From cooking to cleanup, grilling is a crowd-pleaser.
Vegan or carnivore, customizing to attend a variety of preferences is easier grill-side. Quick to heat, the latest gas grill technology makes weeknight grilling a snap. Dishes and cleanup are likewise speedy as grilling requires less prep and cooking tools.
- Dining alfresco eases stress and boosts immunity.
Multiple studies demonstrate the benefits of spending time outdoors. Time in nature eases stress and tension, lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels. Exposure to natural sunlight boosts Vitamin D production, helping safeguard against depression, osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. The combined benefits of time spent outdoors boosts immunity, helping the body ward off colds, flu, and other chronic and serious health issues.
- Outdoor dining supports a healthy mood and boosts cognitive performance.
Spending time outdoors is a natural mood booster. The awe-inspiring sights of nature, as opposed to the distractions of the digital world, helps you focus and recharge, mentally and emotionally.
- Food tastes better outside.
Rather than zoning out and overeating in front of a TV or mobile device, enjoyable outdoor dining experiences keeps you present and focused, allowing you to fully enjoy the flavor of your feast, as well as your level of fullness.
- Everyone digests better outdoors.
Because stress negatively impacts digestion, and time spent outdoors is known for its stress-reducing capacity, digestion is significantly improved when eating outdoors.
Outdoor Cooking & Dining Yield Maximum Return for a Minimal Investment
A bit of pre-planning makes outdoor cooking and dining a breeze. Shopping bi-monthly for non-perishables and weekly for perishables, and taking advantage of area sales helps you keep your pantry stocked, dinnertime streamlined, and money in the bank. Making a menu and taking it to the fridge ensures timely thawing and fast, 10-30-minute meal prep. (The average amount of time you spend waiting on food at area fast food chains.)
Reinvest your restaurant savings, increasing the value and lure of your home with the addition of an amazing outdoor cooking and dining space you can enjoy in any weather. Create memories with your family you wouldn’t trade for a lifetime of dining out. Open up to the benefits of a fully-functional outdoor kitchen and dining space decked-out with an adjustable aluminum pergola from Amazing Pergolas today.