As the summer is picking up and my life gets more and more hectic, I am finding it harder to stay true to my simple living goals. I think this is one of the biggest challenges of living a frugal and simplistic life: when you live in a city and work full-time, and then your social life and obligations begin to grow, how do you stay true to not spending extra, not cutting corners to make things easier, etc? When I get busy, I find I am more often tempted to go out to eat, purportedly to save time, and that chores fall by the wayside because I am "too busy." It's funny the mental games we play with ourselves, because in all reality, if I go out to eat instead of cooking for myself, I don't feel as healthy or satisfied with myself as I would if I actually cook a meal, and I know for a fact I am spending more money than is necessary. I have to remind myself constantly that cooking a meal at home is a far better use of my time, and that completing a chore usually only takes a few minutes, and I waste more time if I sit around thinking about doing it or thinking about how much time it will take!
One of my ongoing goals is to always have the ingredients for quick meals on hand. I cook a batch of beans whenever I am able, and put them in meal-sized containers in the freezer- beans with some rice and cheese makes a good healthy lunch for me at work. If I can pick lots of kale and peas from my garden, wash them and keep them in bags in the fridge, then I can throw together salads very easily. By spending the time to put together a big batch of something, I save time over the next week when it comes to making lunches or cooking dinner. And if I have something that I know is easy to prepare, I'm less tempted to go out for dinner!
Does anyone else have this problem? What are your solutions?