When I returned to working in the office after years of working from home, it didn’t take me long to see the hefty increase to our monthly credit card bill. The impact to my gut was even worse.
I had to stop and have a chat with myself. Primarily, to scold myself for wasting so much cash on eating out and loading up on empty calories.
Why did all of the sudden I needed to buy chai latte daily, when before it was more of a treat? Why am I purchasing full meals and snacking in between. All of these food options were available to me before, but some how I had the right controls in place to keep my cravings at bay.
After this self intervention, here are some much needed adjustments that I had put in effect:
1. Bring your own tea
We are big fans of tea, carefully adding to our favorites by purchasing directly from suppliers or after participating in a tea tasting. I’ve made my own tea travel pouch and make sure to keep it filled up with the tea I love. I even reach into it at restaurants, while visiting others or at hotel. All I need is access to hot water (usually free) and a cup.
2. Invest in hot water canister/bottle
I love my water canister. It can hold both hot and cold water. Sometimes I drop lemon or other fruit with my water to give me some drink variety
3. Use mason jars to bring breakfast and snack
This mason jar is perfect for storing yogurt. Go crazy with trying out different flavors and toppings. I use a separate Mason jar to hold my fruit.
There is a ton of variety of fruit to include and pack into these fun containers. I keep different sizes of jars after jams, olives or others, so no need to spend extra cash buying these.
After purchasing your fruit and vegetables, cut them up and store in multiple containers in the fridge. In the morning I have many different options to choose from and get creative with mixing and matching.
4. No Labels
Don’t eat all your food at once. While at my desk my breakfast jar doesn’t have to be eaten in 10 minutes before 10 am for me to check off that I had breakfast. I can prolong my food intake and eat as I go along with my day. I can also tap into my fruit jar or refill my tea cup out of odor with my yogurt jar.
So no reason to label your food or to stick to a timetable. Sometimes I am kept full all day at work by this method, without needing to buy any extra food until I am back home for dinner.
5. Portions control
When I do go out I try to keep my spending and portion control to a minimum. Here are some helpful tips:
- Share a meal with a friend.
- Opt for smaller containers when eating at the buffet where you create your own meal and pay by weight.
- Since I bring my own fruits and vegetables, I make sure to avoid adding them to my selection and overpaying
- Order from a children’s menu. I wish all restaurants would allow for this cheaper and smaller portion control option
Here are some helpful links to sites where you can purchase the same or similar items to the ones I’ve used.
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products, tools, services and learning resources I’ve personally used and believe are genuinely helpful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to purchase them. Most of all, I would never advocate for buying something that you can’t afford or that you’re not yet ready to implement.