If you eat out four times a week or more, you probably spend a decent amount of money and don't eat the healthiest food. For about the same money, or less, you could actually hire a personal chef who comes to your house once a week and makes meals that you can then re-heat. Typically they do the shopping also, so all you have to do is give them some idea of what you want to eat. This is great if you are on a special diet, trying to lose weight, or struggling with a new way of eating or cooking. For example, you can request low fat meals or vegetarian or vegan meals, then leave it to the chef to figure out what you should eat and make you some (hopefully) tasty meals.
I have looked into this service in Boise in the past and had a hard time finding anyone. Recently, however, I have noticed there are several personal chefs advertising services here, including:
Cuisine by Gary
Joy of Not Cooking
Dine by Design
A Table in Thyme
You can also hire a personal chef to make a special dinner, whether a romantic anniversary dinner or a dinner party for several people. What a great idea!
I suppose that my interest in America's Top Chef got me thinking more about the personal chef option. That's a fun show to watch because of the creativity the chefs demonstrate in approaching their challenges. Also, having literally been starving in Madagascar, I would say I have a new appreciation - and desire - for good food these days!
One of the problems I have with cooking vegetarian or vegan is that I run out of ideas and when I get busy I don't have time to research recipes and experiment with new ingredients. All my fallback positions and comfort foods involve meat, and most of them dairy as well. As I develop more versatility, I enjoy doing so, but when I get busy we fall off the wagon and resort to old habits. Hopefully a personal chef can help by being there in busy times to provide healthy eating options, and to expose us to new options.
So far we've tried it for two weeks, and I don't know if we will stick with it long term or not, but it is kind of nice not to have to worry what's for dinner, and to know that you're eating something good for you made with fresh, organic ingredients for less than you'd be paying to eat out. Granted, it is hard to cook for a vegetable hating vegan, but so far I have been impressed that I have truly liked some of the dishes - and they are things I never would have tried making on my own because, in theory, they are unappealing. In practice, they are quite good!