I always connected grocery shopping, making my own food, and eating at home with saving money each paycheck. I have always felt as though it was the most responsible thing to do. I grew up with my mother telling us that eating out was such a huge financial waste, and modeled my adult lifestyle after her important money lessons from my childhood… only to find out that she may have been a little off-base. You see, for our entire relationship my guy and I have strictly purchased our groceries and cooked a meal for dinner together. I have always voted against eating at restaurants because of the added expense of the drive, the food, and the top. However, I never considered that working at home entailed all the energy. When we are preparing a full gourmet meal each night, we crank the heat on the stove. The burners are all powered up, with tons of heat and energy passing into the surrounding indoor air. The oven is often powered on, keeping our dishes warm or broiling them. The air vents are also running on full blast, pulling the contaminated air out of the house and into the outdoor air. After that, the AC is running at full blast for hours to try to bring down the off-kilter indoor air temperature. It was only last week when we had to eat out each night instead of cooking ourselves that I saw our energy bill drop to half of the usual cost. That’s when I stopped and thought about how energy inefficient and hot our gourmet cooking is for the first time… and realized that when my mother was talking about cooking at home, she was referring to throwing frozen chicken nuggets into the oven.