Author Topic: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?  (Read 12257 times)

higginst

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So, I'm interested in becoming more mustachian, by wife is certainly not. To be fair, we live fairly frugally as it is: tiny mortgage on a small fixer upper, no cable, she cuts my and our son's hair, heat is set at 15 degrees celsius (59 fahrenheit) in the winter and turned off in the summer, and she doesn't buy many clothes or other such nonsense.  We do have 2 vehicles (2010 Chevrolet Aveo bought new for $10,800 plus tax and 1998 Nissan Frontier pickup with 5spd and 4cyl bought last summer) which we paid cash for, so that's pretty luxurious, but right now, I need the truck to renovate the house and drop off/pick up my son from daycare while my wife uses the car to commute to do her clinical for her nursing degree in a nearby community 1.5 hours away.  This will be over in a couple months, so we will have some opporunity for savings there soon.  That all being said, we are in debt: $58k mortgage, $27k in student loans, 15k in LOC/debt to family.

Anyway, the main, systemic 'Stache destroying behaviour we have is eating out. We eat out a CRAZY amount. Like really crazy: average for January and February was over $1,000!!!!!!  We eat out at least every other day, probably more.  For the 3 of us, a dinner at a restaurant totals about $40 on average, about $20 at fast food.  Food is far and away our biggest expense at around $1500/month when groceries are included which is about 1/2 my salary. The things we give up in other areas are actually subsidizing our eating habits.

So, my question is, can making antimustachian purchases actually help us be more Mustachian? Or at least save money? I know that this is a rationalization people use to jusitfy they're behaviour, but I'm wondering what your thoughts are.  For example, my wife recently wanted to buy a waffle maker. I think it turned out to be $55 (new).  I figure that if if this can keep us from going out for even 4 breakfasts over its lifetime, it will pay for itself in savings (and we've already used it twice).  I know that the more Mustachian thing to do would be to scope out the local garage sales or try and see if one of our family members had one they no longer used or perhaps just sticking to pancakes but I think that having the nice, new appliance has so far encouraged my wife and me to stay home without having to go out to "have a nice meal." This concept is easily extended to cookware or tools or what have you. What are your thoughts in general (or specifically)?

BPA

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 11:23:29 AM »
I bought my waffle maker for $15 brand new.  I'm sure that even if you can't find one at a thrift shop, you can find a cheaper one than $55.  Good luck.

Oh and I think that many money saving devices are worth the cost.  Included in mine are internet service, my bundle buggy, my bicycle, my breadmaker, my drying rack, and my electric blanket. 
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 11:25:27 AM by BPA »

EMP

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 11:26:11 AM »
My issue is one of convenience.  I hate buying processed food at the store, but if spending $5 there will save me $30 going out to eat when my hubby and I are too wiped out to cook, I'll take it. 

The Taminator

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 11:30:24 AM »
Using biking instead of taking the car as example, if you didn't already own a bike, you would have to source it. Free isn't always an option so you would have to buy one. So, you have had to spend money to save money.

I think the big take away from your post is that you recognize you have a problem in the eating out area. That's half the battle. Now, just work on reining it in.

higginst

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 11:59:05 AM »
I bought my waffle maker for $15 brand new.  I'm sure that even if you can't find one at a thrift shop, you can find a cheaper one than $55.  Good luck.

Well, there were cheaper ones, but this was the only round one and the cheap ones were definitely "cheap" and I had no confidence that they'd last/wouldn't give me cancer.  Hyperbole, I know. Also, the cheapest ones were $20, so for $35, I'm confident I have one that will last at least 3 times as long as the cheaper options. As you can tell, I did already buy it, so it's all academic at this point.

My issue is one of convenience.  I hate buying processed food at the store, but if spending $5 there will save me $30 going out to eat when my hubby and I are too wiped out to cook, I'll take it. 

Yes, that is a good point. We've been trying to do that a little bit more. My wife hates to cook but is also pretty fussy, so we've been trying to find some economical prepared options for her that she actually will eat.  It's not as big a deal for me because I'll eat anything and don't mind having to throw something together. And my son just eats what we give him.

Using biking instead of taking the car as example, if you didn't already own a bike, you would have to source it. Free isn't always an option so you would have to buy one. So, you have had to spend money to save money.

I think the big take away from your post is that you recognize you have a problem in the eating out area. That's half the battle. Now, just work on reining it in.
Yes, viewing it as a investment that generates savings as returns is helpful. The problem is that because of MMM, I've become a little bit more obsessed with the "optimization" of all these little things. This can make it difficult to make decisions and indecision often leads to my surrender to the forces of Consumerism.  As far as "knowing your problem is half the battle": I don't think it's quite half the battle in this case, because my tendencies are less than half of the problem.  My wife is the one driving the decision to go out as she will insist on doing so even if we have food, time, etc. I do think that if our kitchen continues to become better equipped, it will help.  Everybody likes to be in nicer places and use nicer things.  The problem I want to avoid is the proverbial bread maker that sits in the bottom shelf for the next 25 years not getting used. 

How have others improved their at-home cooking equipment/environment without breaking the bank?


LizzyBee

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 12:13:13 PM »
Higginst, perhaps you could show her how many years you could shave off your mortgage loan debt by cutting your going out to eat budget by half. Sometimes the math helps and since your mortgage and loan debt are somewhat small she may feel its worth the sacrifice.

I think you are right in that making cooking at home easier and more fun are also key. Sometimes that may involve buying cooking gadgets (maybe you can find cheep ones at garage sales or thrift stores), but maybe you can take another approach. I'm not sure who does most of the cooking in your house right now, but maybe you could find two simple recipes you want to learn and cook for your wife or cook together. Another experiment I am trying is to cook a big batch of something and make sure there are at least 2-3 servings per person so we can eat at home without having to cook every night. This helps if you have kids like we do.

Another thing I do is I makes sure to have some things in the freezer or fridge that don't involve a lot of cooking such as turkey burgers or lunch meat and bread. Those convenience foods can be expensive, but it's probably less expensive than going out. 

MsSindy

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2013, 12:14:57 PM »
So, why does your wife 'hate to cook'?  Is there a way you can make it more fun - get your kid involved? Do it together and chat.  Open a bottle of wine?  Play some fun music?  Definitely offer to do the dishes (that's why most people hate to cook) and set the table.

Someone needs to put their foot down about eating out and make provisions for alternate arrangements ($15 crock pot is an excellent/easy way to make meals that stretch over a couple of nights/lunches).  I doubt that it is a lack of kitchen appliances that is driving the behavior of eating out....so fancy-pants applicances aren't necessarily going to make the difference.  That being said, I love my breadmaker (although it sat for 2 years unused in the beginning), FoodSaver Vacuum, kitchenaid mixer, crockpot, pressure canner, electric griddle for pancakes, and toaster oven....and even my Foreman Grill in the winter time.  I never use my crepe maker, rarely my wafflemaker.  These were all acquired pre-mustachianism and I LOVE to cook - I find it fun, joyful, and a challenge to optimize things.

Take baby steps in meal creation from scratch - buy a couple of those roasted chickens from the supermarket - roasted chicken with a salad one night, chicken burritos another night, shredded chicken into canned soup if you have to - think easy to prep foods, and then gradually work your way to more 'from-scratch' meals.

When you clean up your diet (aka not eating out), you'll find that you actually have more time, because you'll have more energy and won't feel all sluggish with indigestion and crap.  But it sounds like you might have to be the one to take control of this.

And, I would argue that your wife has selective-mustachian habits -- any woman that would agree to 59f is pretty badass in my book!  -- give her some props!  And don't blame the eating out all on her, I'm sure you cave to the suggestion of going out (maybe you think you're doing her a favor so she doesn't have to cook -- that's my DH's excuse when he wants to eat out! ....I'm only thinking of you darling....)

Take baby steps, good luck, and keep us updated on your progress!

Dynasty

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2013, 02:53:00 PM »
heat is set at 15 degrees celsius (59 fahrenheit) in the winter and turned off in the summer,

 We eat out a CRAZY amount. Like really crazy: average for January and February was over $1,000!!!!!!  The things we give up in other areas are actually subsidizing our eating habits.

So, my question is, can making antimustachian purchases actually help us be more Mustachian? Or at least save money?

Not to sound like a dick, but I'm sensing if you're house wasn't so goddamned f'n cold maybe the wife wouldn't mind staying in more often for meals! And saving a ton of cash in the process and being MORE comfortable.

Am I really the only one who picked up on this?
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 03:37:28 PM by Dynasty »

CNM

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2013, 03:47:10 PM »
Sometimes when I want to buy something that may save me money in the long run, I'll do a trial run with something similar to see if my behavior is really conducive to justify purchasing the item. 

Like, if I want a waffle maker to have breakfasts at home, I'll get one ONLY if I can prove to myself that I will actually use it and have breakfast at home.  I prove this to myself by making something similar- say pancakes or scones or fried eggs and toast- at home, 4 times. 

Or, say if I want to get a new pair of skis.  I'll buy them only if I go up skiing, using my old skis, a certain number of times a month.  It's really just to show myself that I will really make the effort if I invest in a new item.  it also has the added benefit of (1) avoiding impulse purchases and (2) saving up for the item in the meantime.

jnik

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2013, 04:32:23 PM »
For example, my wife recently wanted to buy a waffle maker. I think it turned out to be $55 (new).  I figure that if if this can keep us from going out for even 4 breakfasts over its lifetime, it will pay for itself in savings (and we've already used it twice).
Er, by "wanted to buy" you mean "bought"?

Similar to CNM, I think the best approach is do something similar and see if you'll *really* use it, and then once you've had several weeks of pancakes and french toast ask if you still want a waffle maker. There are plenty of weight machines, treadmills, and exercise bikes in basements that put the lie to "if I owned X I'd do Y."

BPA

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2013, 04:44:58 PM »
I bought my waffle maker for $15 brand new.  I'm sure that even if you can't find one at a thrift shop, you can find a cheaper one than $55.  Good luck.

Well, there were cheaper ones, but this was the only round one and the cheap ones were definitely "cheap" and I had no confidence that they'd last/wouldn't give me cancer.  Hyperbole, I know. Also, the cheapest ones were $20, so for $35, I'm confident I have one that will last at least 3 times as long as the cheaper options. As you can tell, I did already buy it, so it's all academic at this point.


Dammit!  If I get cancer from my waffle maker, I'll be pissed.  ;)  I have had my cheap one for years and it's still working which is a minor miracle since I bought it from Canadian Tire. 

15 degrees is cold!  That's what I set my thermostat to at night.  I guess we can get used to lower temperatures though. 

EMP

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2013, 04:49:32 PM »
heat is set at 15 degrees celsius (59 fahrenheit) in the winter and turned off in the summer,

 We eat out a CRAZY amount. Like really crazy: average for January and February was over $1,000!!!!!!  The things we give up in other areas are actually subsidizing our eating habits.

So, my question is, can making antimustachian purchases actually help us be more Mustachian? Or at least save money?

Not to sound like a dick, but I'm sensing if you're house wasn't so goddamned f'n cold maybe the wife wouldn't mind staying in more often for meals! And saving a ton of cash in the process and being MORE comfortable.

Am I really the only one who picked up on this?

My thermostat is set at 60 during the winter.  I tell my husband he can't complain that it's too cold until he's wearing a shirt and socks. 

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/01/the-oil-well-you-can-keep-in-your-pants/

Displaced

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2013, 05:23:57 PM »
My issue is one of convenience.  I hate buying processed food at the store, but if spending $5 there will save me $30 going out to eat when my hubby and I are too wiped out to cook, I'll take it.
This exactly.  Our eating out habit was averaging hundreds per month, and now we've stopped mostly cold turkey.  I don't hate cooking, but it can be very time consuming and difficult to accomplish with two young children underfoot.  So, to compromise, I do make a lot of foods from scratch but also buy convenience foods from the grocery store to help with nights everything is in a rush.  I get a lot of healthy grab and go snacks as well (fruits, cheese sticks, etc).  I also find that splurging some on groceries and food treats can help the feeling of deprivation I may have from not eating out anymore.

EMP

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2013, 05:39:37 PM »
My issue is one of convenience.  I hate buying processed food at the store, but if spending $5 there will save me $30 going out to eat when my hubby and I are too wiped out to cook, I'll take it.
This exactly.  Our eating out habit was averaging hundreds per month, and now we've stopped mostly cold turkey.  I don't hate cooking, but it can be very time consuming and difficult to accomplish with two young children underfoot.  So, to compromise, I do make a lot of foods from scratch but also buy convenience foods from the grocery store to help with nights everything is in a rush.  I get a lot of healthy grab and go snacks as well (fruits, cheese sticks, etc).  I also find that splurging some on groceries and food treats can help the feeling of deprivation I may have from not eating out anymore.

I'm wondering if I should have more disposable plates/silverware around.  We don't have a dishwasher and it sucks.  I've planned plenty of meals around the clean dishes I do have.  :/

BPA

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2013, 05:41:07 PM »
My issue is one of convenience.  I hate buying processed food at the store, but if spending $5 there will save me $30 going out to eat when my hubby and I are too wiped out to cook, I'll take it.
This exactly.  Our eating out habit was averaging hundreds per month, and now we've stopped mostly cold turkey.  I don't hate cooking, but it can be very time consuming and difficult to accomplish with two young children underfoot.  So, to compromise, I do make a lot of foods from scratch but also buy convenience foods from the grocery store to help with nights everything is in a rush.  I get a lot of healthy grab and go snacks as well (fruits, cheese sticks, etc).  I also find that splurging some on groceries and food treats can help the feeling of deprivation I may have from not eating out anymore.

The transition to less convenience can take a while.  I expect that once I am no longer working, I will no longer use convenience foods, but you are right.  Sometimes it seems necessary.  I even bought my son those crappy little mini donuts that he loves from the reduced rack today.  And he's willing to forgo pizzeria pizza if I buy Delissio.  He doesn't much like my homemade pizza.  I just try to make sure I buy the convenience stuff on sale.

bogart

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 08:34:20 PM »

Yes, that is a good point. We've been trying to do that a little bit more. My wife hates to cook but is also pretty fussy, so we've been trying to find some economical prepared options for her that she actually will eat. 


So could you do more cooking?  That would seem to me the obvious solution.  Am I missing something?

I'm also not much on cooking, and I do find that basically the less I like doing something the more it makes sense to spend on good quality/easy-to-use stuff to do it.  Obviously this can go too far if you buy stuff yet still don't use it, but at the margins I find having decent appliances and equipment makes the process less unpleasant and that I'm therefore more willing to do it.  I'm leery of one-function appliances; it's not the cost-to-buy, but the nuisance of owning and storing them -- but we do own an expensive waffle maker (either DH gave it to me or I gave it to him as a Christmas gift one year, I can't remember), so there's that.

sheepstache

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 09:54:49 PM »
Generally my test of whether a purchase is worth it is if I'm already doing something like what I would use it for.  Sounds simple, but it makes you distinguish between a new possession and a new habit.  Are you buying an ipod because you think it will make your runs more enjoyable or are you buying it in the hopes it will motivate you to run?  Advertising tries to convince us that the latter works.  New product = new you.  So if you realize you're buying in the hopes of acquiring a new habit, you gotta tell yourself: ppthhpbt, sorry, doesn't work like that, buddy.

In this case, I think you're out of luck.  If a waffle iron would make a difference, it would be because, say, you frequently make your family pancakes, but they have gotten tired of this one form of fried dough and would like another so that going out for breakfast isn't the only break in the pancake monotony.

But absolutely, if you find yourself thinking of making dinner and then immediately flashing on the minor inconveniences of, like, having a crappy knife, or a potholder with a hole in it, or never being able to find the right measuring spoon, etc., and deciding it's not worth the hassle and going out to eat, those types of purchases could lead to greater mustachianism.  Even things like buying a microwave, a dishwasher, etc., could pay off in the long run.  But all that return-on-investment stuff doesn't work without the necessary psychological insight to ensure that you'll actually use it.

Hold up, I just realized you said it's your wife who wants the waffle iron.  Higginst, your wife hates to cook.  The waffle iron will not change that.  You can tell her I said so.  Cleaning a waffle iron will make her hate to cook even more.  I am going to go out on a limb here and make some assumptions.  Your wife feels she should be in the role of cook for whatever reason and is trying to make up excuses, either to you or herself or both, like 'I'd like to cook if I had a waffle maker.'  This is nonsense.  If you don't mind "throwing something together," then congratulations you are the new cook.  Your wife will eat whatever you goddamn make and like it or you will remind her that there are children starving in Africa.

savingtofreedom

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 10:29:01 PM »
  Food is far and away our biggest expense at around $1500/month when groceries are included which is about 1/2 my salary. The things we give up in other areas are actually subsidizing our eating habits.


Where are you guys eating out and what does your wife like to eat?

I really think you can significantly decrease this amount. 

If you can come up with 5 or 6 easy meals that you can rotate and start replacing with eating out you can start putting a dent in that expense.  I used to always want to eat out and then started sucking it up and eating at home.  Once you make it into the habit you won't crave eating out as much.

mm31

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2013, 01:32:50 AM »
I'll share some tips for eating in regularly:

*  You  need to plan your meals. I've found that often when it's time to eat dinner and neither me or my partner are cooking, it's too late: we'll order something or go to a restaurant because we're so hungry.

* You're gonna have to both start cooking too. Figuring out what too cook everyday can be stressful, it's better if 2 people split the cooking duties. Surprisingly, the hard part for me is deciding what to actually cook, not the cooking itself.

* Like people recommended here, have a menu for the week. For example on tuesdays, no matter what happen, my partner knows that I'm cooking eggplant.

* Establish 1 or 2 go-to recipes when you're too tired too cook or to think of something. I always go to rice and beans, it's my comfort food.

lizzigee

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2013, 02:00:39 AM »
Do you have a freezer?  That and a slow cooker can be your new best friends.  Cook double or triple in the slow cooker, divide up and put the extra portions in the freezer for another night. This saves eating leftovers for days in a  row.  You don't have to love cooking to do it.  I'm certainly not a natural born cook, but preparing meals is just one of those daily things I do, like brushing my teeth, or feeding the cats,  Doesn't take long, but it needs doing.

Learning to cook from scratch isn't hard once you get used to it.  Living in a rural area in New Zealand we don't have a great choice of places to eat out in our small town (the pub or we can get takeaway pizza (Thursday and Fridays only) or burgers, fish'n'chips etc. Not even basic Italian, Chinese, Indian food, let alone anything more 'exotic" )  So you learn to use spices and download interesting recipes, learn what to put on to cook first while you continue prepping the rest.  And I agree with mm31, have a few go to recipes, they'll save your sanity, and your money.

(If it sounds like I'm telling you to suck it up and just deal with it, I probably am.  Eating out over half the time is ridiculous if you're trying to svae money>)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 02:02:25 AM by lizzigee »

Lina

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2013, 02:27:09 AM »
Seriously, you state that your wife hates to cook but you want to eat more at the house because you wan't to save money!

Start cooking! If she hates cooking no appliances will make it more fun. Believe me, I know. If you start to do most of the cooking I guess your restaurant trips will significantly decrease. If you can't cook, learn! It is not that difficult, simply follow the receipts.

It is amazing that some of you discuss how he could find ways to encourage his wife to cook instead of encouraging him to take over the cooking!

maryofdoom

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 05:02:54 AM »
One tactic you will probably need to adopt, especially if your wife is a novice/inexperienced cook, is to come up with things to make. There are a ton of cooking blogs out there that have good recipe ideas, but they can be overwhelming for someone who doesn't cook all the time.

My husband likes to cook, but he is very much a cook in the style of "WE MUST ALWAYS FOLLOW THE RECIPE AT ALL TIMES AND IF WE DEVIATE FROM THE PRINTED DIRECTIONS BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN." I am more of an improvisational cook, in the style of, "This looks good, but I don't have this ingredient, and I don't like this ingredient, so I'm going to put this and this and this together instead." Oddly enough, he praises my cooking all the time.

I think that you and your wife would be well served by obtaining a good, basic cookbook and making it a goal to make recipes from it, maybe a couple of times per week. My favorite basic cookbook is How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. Bittman also has a How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which I don't have, but if it's anything like the regular one, it's probably just as useful.

Dynasty

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2013, 12:32:48 PM »

15 degrees is cold!  That's what I set my thermostat to at night.  I guess we can get used to lower temperatures though.

Yeah it is! That's miserable sounding! Maybe or maybe not the wife doesn't like to cook. But the fact of the matter is if you don' like doing something, you're going to like it A WHOLE LOT LESS if its uncomfortably cold.

For example, I somewhat enjoy yard work. But I like it a whole lot more if it is warm out. But, if its 40 degrees outside and raining its probably not getting done until the weather is better.

Back on topic in regards to the OP, the wife is probably wanting to go to WARM restaurants and hang out there multiple nights a week because the house is miserably cold. 

Pick your poison, higher utility bills, or spending WAY more on just getting out of the house to be somewhere comfortable.

It is still boggling my mind that no one here is seeing any correlation between the thermostat setting, and not wanting to spend time at home....
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 12:35:05 PM by Dynasty »

Dynasty

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2013, 12:41:11 PM »

My thermostat is set at 60 during the winter.  I tell my husband he can't complain that it's too cold until he's wearing a shirt and socks. 

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/02/01/the-oil-well-you-can-keep-in-your-pants/

Everybody hasn't differing tolerances to cold. For some people 60 degrees might be perfect, others that might be a stretch. Personally, I prefer 69, but am able to tolerate 67 degrees when I'm home, and turn it down to 57 at night and during the day when I'm at work.

higginst

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 11:33:36 AM »
Wow! Lots of great ideas. First, I'll address a few things:

 

Yes, that is a good point. We've been trying to do that a little bit more. My wife hates to cook but is also pretty fussy, so we've been trying to find some economical prepared options for her that she actually will eat. 

So could you do more cooking?  That would seem to me the obvious solution.  Am I missing something?

I'm also not much on cooking, and I do find that basically the less I like doing something the more it makes sense to spend on good quality/easy-to-use stuff to do it.  Obviously this can go too far if you buy stuff yet still don't use it, but at the margins I find having decent appliances and equipment makes the process less unpleasant and that I'm therefore more willing to do it.  I'm leery of one-function appliances; it's not the cost-to-buy, but the nuisance of owning and storing them -- but we do own an expensive waffle maker (either DH gave it to me or I gave it to him as a Christmas gift one year, I can't remember), so there's that.

The part you are missing is that my wife doesn't just hate to cook, she hates to eat at home; she does not even want to eat things I make. The attitude of some other posters that "you eat what I make or you don't eat" is fine for me to have with my son, but not with my wife. I think we can all agree on that. It may be frustrating for me and be killing our ability to save, but I can't really force her to choose my way or the highway unless I'm actually willing to accept either outcome, which I'm not. I love her and want her to stick around.  I do like you idea of "making the process less unpleasant" can make things more likely to happen. I am going to try to come up with some more of these. I know that if complete some renovations in the kitchen, this would contribute and even be Mustachian

Regarding the temp: It is as much her idea to have the temp set at 15/59 as it is mine. In fact, having it this high was actually a compromise; we used to have it at 12.5 but had to bump it up so our indoor plants didn't die. Like MMM says, thermal underwear is a wonderful thing. So, it is not an option for me to crank the heat and she would be upset if I did, so that won't help.  And really, with how drafty our house is (I know, I know, I've got to fix them all but there are TONS of projects on the go) keeping it really low is the only way to keep our utils reasonable).

Seriously, you state that your wife hates to cook but you want to eat more at the house because you wan't to save money!

Start cooking! If she hates cooking no appliances will make it more fun. Believe me, I know. If you start to do most of the cooking I guess your restaurant trips will significantly decrease. If you can't cook, learn! It is not that difficult, simply follow the receipts.

It is amazing that some of you discuss how he could find ways to encourage his wife to cook instead of encouraging him to take over the cooking!

Again, my wife is also quite picky so she doesn't want to eat what I make most of th time.  However, the other issue I have with this is I'm already responsible for a lot of other things in our life: I'm the only wage-earner, our house needs work, I handle the finances, and we share laundry duties.  We share some of child duties except that when she is away at school, I basically become a single parent.  I already make breakfast for my son and I (and my wife if she's interested which she usually is not) pretty much everyday. I also pack his lunch and my own if I'm not meeting my wife to, you guessed it, eat out for lunch.  I try to cook as much as I can but it becomes really difficult to force myself to when I already have so many other things on my plate and my spouse is asking, whining, or demanding to go out.


Do you have a freezer?  That and a slow cooker can be your new best friends.  Cook double or triple in the slow cooker, divide up and put the extra portions in the freezer for another night. This saves eating leftovers for days in a  row.  You don't have to love cooking to do it.  I'm certainly not a natural born cook, but preparing meals is just one of those daily things I do, like brushing my teeth, or feeding the cats,  Doesn't take long, but it needs doing.

Learning to cook from scratch isn't hard once you get used to it.  Living in a rural area in New Zealand we don't have a great choice of places to eat out in our small town (the pub or we can get takeaway pizza (Thursday and Fridays only) or burgers, fish'n'chips etc. Not even basic Italian, Chinese, Indian food, let alone anything more 'exotic" )  So you learn to use spices and download interesting recipes, learn what to put on to cook first while you continue prepping the rest.  And I agree with mm31, have a few go to recipes, they'll save your sanity, and your money.

(If it sounds like I'm telling you to suck it up and just deal with it, I probably am.  Eating out over half the time is ridiculous if you're trying to svae money>)
I'll share some tips for eating in regularly:

*  You  need to plan your meals. I've found that often when it's time to eat dinner and neither me or my partner are cooking, it's too late: we'll order something or go to a restaurant because we're so hungry.

* You're gonna have to both start cooking too. Figuring out what too cook everyday can be stressful, it's better if 2 people split the cooking duties. Surprisingly, the hard part for me is deciding what to actually cook, not the cooking itself.

* Like people recommended here, have a menu for the week. For example on tuesdays, no matter what happen, my partner knows that I'm cooking eggplant.

* Establish 1 or 2 go-to recipes when you're too tired too cook or to think of something. I always go to rice and beans, it's my comfort food.

I really like these ideas and they are what I ideally would be doing. For the reasons I mentioned above, it is difficult for me to make them happen.  If I'm being perfectly honest, I feel intimidated by this task and eating out is really enjoyable, except for that nagging feeling that I'm wasting so many of my "employees" to do it. This makes it so easy to give in and just go out.  Any ideas for a first step/recipe to get started with and try this out?

Keep all the feedback coming! Let me know if I missed anything.

« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:03:25 PM by higginst »

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 11:48:52 AM »
Any ideas for a first step/recipe to get started with and try this out?

Keep all the feedback coming! Let me know if I missed anything.

It might help if you elaborated on how your wife is "picky". For example, I have a great cookbook with 30 minute dinner recipes - but it's vegetarian. DK if that will work, because it's not clear what your wife will / won't eat and why.

higginst

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2013, 11:54:30 AM »
Oh! I also forgot to mention: I work at a Credit Union. One of you suggested I show her how much sooner we could be out of mortgage debt in order to convince her.  This is a good idea except that my staff lending rates make it less compelling than for people with normal rates.  Currently, I am paying 1.5% on my mortgage and my LOC is 2%.  My savings account earns me 2.4%, so I actually have an arbitrage opportunity to put more funds in the savings account rather than paying down the debt lines. I know that I am very lucky.  It is always up for debate whether its better to invest or pay down debt except, I think, in a case like this.

However, this would only change what I would show her to try and convince her. If I could show her that if, for example, we cut our food bill in half to (a still very luxurious and not-at-all-mustachina) $750  from the current $1500 we would have around $116k at the end of 10 years (at 5%) and be able to retire much earlier, not only because of the extra savings, but because of the decreased COL. That might make her take notice. Can someone help me with the calculations, or at least remind me of what post MMM outlines is method in? I will try this with her, but I don't think it will have much effect.  Like I said in the beginning, FI does not capture her imagination as much as it does mine (probably because she doesn't currently work) so she's just not that interested. Plus, she knows that our family's income is going to more than double when she starts working, which will automatically put our savings rate at 50%, provided we don't let our "life style" inflate.  Both of our fathers passed away last year and we will be receiving inheritances totalling around $200k.  Again, this decreases the urgency to better our position through savings.  I guess the question becomes: how do you battle the complacency that high-income breeds?

higginst

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2013, 12:04:15 PM »
Any ideas for a first step/recipe to get started with and try this out?

Keep all the feedback coming! Let me know if I missed anything.

It might help if you elaborated on how your wife is "picky". For example, I have a great cookbook with 30 minute dinner recipes - but it's vegetarian. DK if that will work, because it's not clear what your wife will / won't eat and why.

LOL It might help if I actually understood how she was picky.  I know this isn't very helpful, but her pickiness comes down to: "she likes to eat restaurant food, not homemade."  She eats many types of food, but has her ingredients she won't eat (mushrooms, spicy stuff) but obviously that's easy to work around.  What isn't is the fact that she likes McDonald's hamburgers, but not homemade ones (one example). You've got me thinking though because when we go out, she pretty much orders the same things every time; she has her favourite dishes at each restaurant and that's what she orders every time she goes.  Maybe I should learn how to make those things and then she wouldn't mind eating at home.  However, I reiterate, she will still prefer to eat them at a restaurant. There are many dishes that she likes to eat when she's out (most notably spaghetti and other pastas) but will not eat at home.  I think if I got good at some of them though (chicken souvlaki, french fries, baked pasta, zuchinni sticks) she might go for it.  I might have to get  a deep fryer though...and that brings us back to the original question!

ShavenLlama

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2013, 12:26:41 PM »
Here's a secret: Many restaurants use FROZEN INGREDIENTS that AREN'T PREPARED IN HOUSE. Do you have Smart n Final in Canada? The frozen stuff they sell- meatballs, tortellini, sauces, etc are the same ingredients you'll find in a restaurant kitchen. Try some of the stuff from there (or Costco, I guess its the same thing) and see what you think. At this point you aren't looking to start scratch-cooking every night with fresh ingredients. This might be a good step forward.

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2013, 12:44:18 PM »
I find it surprising that your wife, who is training in the health sector, is ok with not only herself but your child eating out so often.  You cannot convince me that Macdonalds, or deep fried restaurant foods have the same nutritional value as freshly prepared meals at home, providing you choose carefully what and how you cook.  What sort of example is it setting higginst junior? And if she was my partner I'd probably have a bit of a talk about her pulling her weight (can you tell I've been divorced lol - maybe you should ignore my marital advice!) But it's hard to be left to do all the things the other person can't be bothered with....

Anyway, best wishes in your journey to FI and remember to enjoy the trip, don't just focus on the magical destination.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2013, 12:51:23 PM »
I have a $450 jacket that I hardly wear because I am afraid it will get rained on. When I look at it, it makes me want to save even more so I can make up for such a foolish financial decision... But no, I don't think that the jacket makes me more frugal. I shouldn't have bought it in the first place.

ShavenLlama

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2013, 01:24:07 PM »
I have a $450 jacket that I hardly wear because I am afraid it will get rained on. When I look at it, it makes me want to save even more so I can make up for such a foolish financial decision... But no, I don't think that the jacket makes me more frugal. I shouldn't have bought it in the first place.

Can't you just turn it inside out?


higginst

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2013, 04:07:38 PM »
I find it surprising that your wife, who is training in the health sector, is ok with not only herself but your child eating out so often.  You cannot convince me that Macdonalds, or deep fried restaurant foods have the same nutritional value as freshly prepared meals at home, providing you choose carefully what and how you cook.  What sort of example is it setting higginst junior? And if she was my partner I'd probably have a bit of a talk about her pulling her weight (can you tell I've been divorced lol - maybe you should ignore my marital advice!) But it's hard to be left to do all the things the other person can't be bothered with....

Anyway, best wishes in your journey to FI and remember to enjoy the trip, don't just focus on the magical destination.

I too find this surprising but it's the common problem of "walking the walk vs. talking the talk."  She knows very well that it's not healthy but continues to do it. 

For now, I'm trying to do baby steps and these posts have given me some great ideas. Hopefully as things change in the next year, I can update with how we've changed for the better.  It is important to keep the journey, not just the destination in mind.

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2013, 04:26:34 PM »

LOL It might help if I actually understood how she was picky.  I know this isn't very helpful, but her pickiness comes down to: "she likes to eat restaurant food, not homemade." 

This isn't that much of a mystery. We all have those moments. We have some things we just don't allow others to criticize or want to avoid having pointed out. You'll be lucky to find a friend or a partner who will be 100% open with you, or even inclined to discuss and analyze every aspect of their life and behavior. I know I often used to (and probably still do) get cranky when people pointed out things i should do and were right. The reason was often that I had other stuff to deal with that took lots of my energy or ruined my mood/motivation. People are usually not open about those things. The best you can do is probably to motivate her to adopt the mustachian lifestyle and watch how you can sort out various problems gradually, maybe she'll finally get the refreshing feeling that things are moving in the right direction and find the energy to deal with some lifestyle issues like this one.

savingtofreedom

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2013, 05:31:50 PM »
This may not be relevant to your wife but when I was really stressed out at my previous job I wanted to eat out all of the time.

Could that be part of what is driving her need to eat out.

If she really loves eating out fast food and at restaurants why don't you borrow one of those copycat recipe books from the library or peruse the internet for recipes that copy the things she would like to eat.  You can slowly make them healthier or at least add a side of veggies.

Also I would consider playing hardball with her and stop eating out.   Will she eat out by herself?  If so it is still cheaper than all of you eating out and maybe over time she will realize it is not a viable long term solution.

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2013, 06:34:52 PM »
If she's home all the time, is it boredom or cabin fever?

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2013, 08:13:23 PM »
higginst:

To answer your original question, yes, absolutely, an antimustachian purchase can lead to greater mustachianism.  The question is context. 

Even a ridiculously overpriced bicycle can produce positive gains over time...(or, it could just be another piece of junk in the garage).  A $2000 stove potentially can save you three times that in restaurant bills in just one year...or could just be a $2000 sculpture you occasionally admire.

How well do you and your wife do with goals you set for yourself.  That is, if you say you're going to make waffles on Saturdays with the new waffle maker, how likely are you to follow through with that after the novelty wears off?

We're all growing, hopefully, all the time...so even if the former you might peter out on your commitment to use the waffle iron or to cook at home more often, future you might still kick some ass.  So, with that in mind, go make an unmustachian purchase of one of my favorite books:

The Family Dinner by Laurie David: http://www.amazon.com/The-Family-Dinner-Great-Connect/dp/0446565466/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363659129&sr=8-1&keywords=the+family+dinner+laurie+david

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2013, 07:31:35 AM »
LOL It might help if I actually understood how she was picky.  I know this isn't very helpful, but her pickiness comes down to: "she likes to eat restaurant food, not homemade."

Somewhat off topic, but is it possible your wife has an eating disorder of some sort? If she really, really will only eat in a restaurant, you might want to look into counseling, both as a couple and for her individually.

Daley

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2013, 08:26:58 AM »
LOL It might help if I actually understood how she was picky.  I know this isn't very helpful, but her pickiness comes down to: "she likes to eat restaurant food, not homemade."

Somewhat off topic, but is it possible your wife has an eating disorder of some sort? If she really, really will only eat in a restaurant, you might want to look into counseling, both as a couple and for her individually.

Alternately, it could just be a form of engineered addiction. We are talking about processed food, after all.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/03/05/f-vp-crowe-food-addiction.html

Not that I'd recommend it due to the health risks, but if the homemade food didn't need much chewing, had smooth surfaces, and was liberally salted with MSG and literally fat-packed, she'd probably eat more of it, too.

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2013, 08:38:46 AM »
has she always preferred to eat out? is this how her family eats?
it sounds like she likes what she likes, has a 'safe list' of foods sort of thing and doesn't want to try new things, whether that's new home-cooked food or new restaurant food.
if that is the case, perhaps learning one really nice dish to do at home which you do once a week might be the way to start.
i personally love trying lots of new things to cook because it keeps it interesting to me but it sounds like your wife really appreciates familiarity so just a few reliably good dishes might be more appealing to her.

higginst

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2013, 10:26:24 AM »
The best you can do is probably to motivate her to adopt the mustachian lifestyle and watch how you can sort out various problems gradually, maybe she'll finally get the refreshing feeling that things are moving in the right direction and find the energy to deal with some lifestyle issues like this one.

I agree. That's sort of what I've been trying to do. I went through a phase where I used every trick in the book to try and "make" her do things my way, but I've come to the (reluctant) realization that its a better strategy to do what I can to make things better and let her come along at her own pace, as long as this doesn't make me miserable. So far, I am much happier living this way.

It's funny how this thread has turned out to be more about my wife and our issues rather than the (apparently) simple question I asked before.  It's just so interesting how perceptive everyone has been about my situation:

Somewhat off topic, but is it possible your wife has an eating disorder of some sort? If she really, really will only eat in a restaurant, you might want to look into counseling, both as a couple and for her individually.
Yes, my wife has struggled with an eating disorder. She has improved dramatically, but (obviously) still has her struggles.  This is another reason I've given up pushing too hard regarding the food issues: it doesn't actually get to the source of the problem (only counselling/treatment can) and it actually only makes things worse because stress and negative emotions trigger the unhealthy food behaviours

Alternately, it could just be a form of engineered addiction. We are talking about processed food, after all.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2013/03/05/f-vp-crowe-food-addiction.html

Not that I'd recommend it due to the health risks, but if the homemade food didn't need much chewing, had smooth surfaces, and was liberally salted with MSG and literally fat-packed, she'd probably eat more of it, too.
Maybe. Interesting thoughts and article. However, unless we were to go "back to the land" I don't know that there's much I can to about this, what with the limited shopping selection in our small, remote city.  I know the health risks sound awful, but I think if I can learn to make, say, deep-fried zuchini sticks, maybe we can transition from "restaurant unhealthy food" to (cheaper) "home-cooked unhealthy food" to (eventually) "home-cooked healthy food." Maybe I can wean us from the addiction?

has she always preferred to eat out? is this how her family eats?
it sounds like she likes what she likes, has a 'safe list' of foods sort of thing and doesn't want to try new things, whether that's new home-cooked food or new restaurant food.
if that is the case, perhaps learning one really nice dish to do at home which you do once a week might be the way to start.
i personally love trying lots of new things to cook because it keeps it interesting to me but it sounds like your wife really appreciates familiarity so just a few reliably good dishes might be more appealing to her.
Your post made me LOL because it was so bang on.  Yes, her family ate out all the time because her Dad was a fisherman and would get HUGE pay cheques and then spend a lot of the payday taking basically the whole town out for dinner.  I love to try new foods (it's really the only way I stay sane going out for food all the time) but she does not.  However, there is an exception: when she does happen to cook, it's always something weird and new.  To be clear: when I cook, it's usually something simple and standard (steak and steamed vegetables, BBQ chicken breast and ceasar salad, KD with veggie sticks if I'm being lazy) but when she cooks she just throws something together that she thinks would be good, with mixed results. I'll eat anything, so it's fine with me but she doesn't really like what she makes because, frankly, it's not that good. So I ask her "why don't you use a recipe?" and she says "why? You don't like my food?" Then her feelings are hurt, she's less likely to try next time, etc, etc.  She is just really resistant to going with something proven to work and feels like she has to make her own way.  I've never really understood why, especially when she get's such a negative outcome. Maybe I'll ask her about this again and see if I can get a better answer.

higginst:

To answer your original question, yes, absolutely, an antimustachian purchase can lead to greater mustachianism.  The question is context. 

Even a ridiculously overpriced bicycle can produce positive gains over time...(or, it could just be another piece of junk in the garage).  A $2000 stove potentially can save you three times that in restaurant bills in just one year...or could just be a $2000 sculpture you occasionally admire.

How well do you and your wife do with goals you set for yourself.  That is, if you say you're going to make waffles on Saturdays with the new waffle maker, how likely are you to follow through with that after the novelty wears off?

We're all growing, hopefully, all the time...so even if the former you might peter out on your commitment to use the waffle iron or to cook at home more often, future you might still kick some ass.  So, with that in mind, go make an unmustachian purchase of one of my favorite books:

The Family Dinner by Laurie David: http://www.amazon.com/The-Family-Dinner-Great-Connect/dp/0446565466/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363659129&sr=8-1&keywords=the+family+dinner+laurie+david

Thanks DBF, I really liked your reply. I think you have confirmed my feeling on the topic.  So far we've used the waffle iron 3 or 4 times for our special weekend breakfasts. These used to be breakfasts out, so I'm pretty sure we've already saved at least $60. Subtracting the $55 purchase price means I'm $5 to the good.  Maybe my "ROI" would be higher if I purchased a cheaper/used one, but if you have an opportunity to earn a 9% MONTHLY return, I think you should jump at it, even if it completely optimized.  I should be fine if I can find reasonable answers to all the questions MMM summarized in his latest post: "will this really make me happier? / is there any other way to get the same happiness? / can it be delayed? / how can it be optimized to get the most at the lowest cost?   

I think that I will start looking for a deep-fryer so that we can get one that enables me to make all the goodies she loves so much. I think it will save us a bundle and make everyone happier!

jnik

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2013, 08:31:41 AM »
Yes, my wife has struggled with an eating disorder. She has improved dramatically, but (obviously) still has her struggles.  This is another reason I've given up pushing too hard regarding the food issues: it doesn't actually get to the source of the problem (only counselling/treatment can) and it actually only makes things worse because stress and negative emotions trigger the unhealthy food behaviours
Cripes, talk with her counselor then! Your home cooking has to be part of the treatment rather than part of the problem.

Consider also the environment in which you eat at home. Is it rushed? Would it help things to amp up the "experience" a bit, set the table, sit down quietly together? Or on the flipside, would plates in front of the TV make it seem less of a production?

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Re: Can an antimustachian purchase lead to greater mustachianism?
« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2013, 11:24:20 PM »
It is great that you have identified your weakness in spending $ on eating out.

I never have been fond of cooking but since my hubby works full-time and is doing renovation on the home, he can not cook (nor should he have to). Well we started eating out about 3x times a week and it really added up to $900 a month. I vowed NEVER to spend our money so recklessly on food ever again.

So I looked up healthy recipes online and watched youtube tutorials on how to make food. Try this guy, his stuff is pretty yummy and fit: http://www.youtube.com/user/leanbodylifestyle

This is also a video of my kitchen fridge/cabinets: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XTRvLHGmCk

Hope this helps:
- Share your goals with your wife, write down how much $ you'll save & get excited about it
- get on Dr. Mercolas Website (it is highly informative)
- watch documentaries like Food Inc., Fat Sick Nearly Dead, etc. for some motivation because eating out makes you feel sick & get fat!! It's true.
- When you cook, you can control what oils, salt, fat, MSM, and other stuff you want to choose to eliminate out of your meal.

Once you start making your own meals, you'll feel better, be richer, look leaner and overall ensure that your child is also growing up healthy.