5 Reasons I Plan Dinner Out Nights - and Why You Should Too! | Mostly Homemade Mom

5 Reasons I Plan Dinner Out Nights - and Why You Should Too!

January 23, 2015
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pizza Hut. The opinions and text are all mine.

I am a gigantic proponent of menu planning and the freedom it gives us cooks during the week. The ability to have all ingredients on hand for the entire week to create yummy and nutritious meals for your family is a true sanity saver. I do have one question for those of you that regularly meal plan like me.

Do you plan "dinner out" nights?

It may seem contradictory to my thoughts I just stated, but you really should plan nights to eat out! Here are my top 5 reasons:

1. The cook gets a night off. 
     Ok, this is the one that is making you say, "DUH" to the screen. But hear me out. How many of us are so focused on serving a hot meal and cleaning up, that we really don't get a chance to enjoy the time spent with our family? I know I'm one! Half the time my food is cold before I even sit down! It's so refreshing to just sit and enjoy each other at a restaurant and not have to worry about everyone getting their meal hot and their various drinks and cleaning up spills... etc. 

2. You make healthier choices when you plan to eat out.
     This goes hand in hand with regular menu planning. I don't know about you, but when I don't plan meals and I'm hungry and stressed out, my go to is the drive thru - certainly NOT the most healthy option, but it is the most convenient option at that point in time. When you plan a night out, you can pick a family favorite restaurant that has more nutritious options for your family. 

3. Cooking inspiration abounds! 
     I love, love, LOVE getting inspiration for new meal ideas when I go out to eat! Sometimes when an ingredient I want to try is a bit pricey, I'll order it out first to see if I can come up with ways to incorporate it into meals at home. I've come up with some of my favorite recipes and desserts from the inspiration I get from eating out! And for those of you that don't particularly enjoy being in the kitchen, it just may encourage you to get in there and try something new.

4. It fits within your family's budget.
     There's no doubt about it - when you're rushing around, everyone's hungry, and you have nothing planned for dinner - it's really cheap to get a bag of burgers on your way home from work. You know what's not cheap? Doing it once, twice (or more... yikes!) times per week. It adds up. Quickly. I'm telling you, the temptation to do this goes away if you know you have a planned night out with your family at a favorite restaurant coming up. Of course that sit-down restaurant may cost more, but if you only plan it once or twice per month it's certainly cheaper in the long run. It encourages you to make a dinner plan and stick to it - because you'll be rewarded with an awesome night out!

5. It's totally FUN!
     I mean I know this goes without saying, but it's gotta be one of my favorite reasons to plan a night out. We have a total BLAST with each other! I mean really, who doesn't like to eat out?! My husband and I even occasionally get to (gasp) hold hands across the table! I'm so glad we get to plan for this family activity together.

We have LOADS of local restaurants that have become favorites of ours, and we've recently rediscovered Pizza Hut on a night out together we had planned. We were able to try out their new "Flavor of Now" pizza options - SO fun! The kids of course ordered their favorite personal pan pizzas, remember those from Book-It school reading incentive program? Yes, they still do that! 

Paul and I decided on a stuffed crust pizza, topped with premium crushed tomato, grilled chicken, and a buffalo drizzle. OH MAN was that pizza good! I actually ordered a small side of ranch dressing, which was perfect to cool off the spicy buffalo wing sauce. They give you a choice of 5 new toppings, 6 bold sauces, 8 crust flavors, and 4 drizzles to choose from. We decided that next time we visit, we'll try the salted pretzel crust with creamy garlic parmesan and fresh spinach - yum!

Be sure to check out Pizza Hut's Flavor of Now site to see all of the combinations you can create. Click here to conveniently order your pizza online - hot and ready for you!

Here are some of my favorite pizza recipes:

Meatball Mozzarella Mini Pizzas

Ranch Veggie Pizza

Cheesy Herb Pizza Sticks

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Give Pizza Hut's all-new menu a try with 5 premium new ingredients, 6 bold new sauces and 10 amazing new crust flavors. Build your own creation now at PizzaHut.com.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pizza Hut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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