Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eating Out

As a young child eating out was a 

It rarely happened and when it did it was either a very special occasion 
or a trip to Luby's cafeteria.  

I remember how excited I got when I
 found out we were going out to eat. 
I remember vividly enjoying every single sip of my Coke 
because in those days there were no free refills. (remember that?)
I remember how good the food tasted 
because it was special and different.

Now days it seems so very common to either go out to eat or 
pick something up to bring home to eat
 from a restaurant or fast food place. 
As someone who enjoys cooking, we used to eat out only once per week. 

But I've noticed that in the past year or so- as Madison's schedule has gotten busier and as I've gotten older (and more tired :), we've started to eat out more and more often.  Tony's in charge of dinner on Friday nights which means he brings something home from somewhere.  
We almost always then eat out on Sat. as a family and 
sometimes on Sunday after church.  
And then because of Madison's dance schedule, at least one night a week I pick up some fast food for her to eat during her break at dance and
 occasionally pick up Subway for all of us. 
 In addition to that because I don't cook on the nights we eat out, 
Tony doesn't always have a lunch to take to work and ends up eating lunch out on those days. 

I started thinking recently about how unhealthy 
and how expensive all that eating out is.  
When I added it all up it equaled at the very minimum $300 a month.  
I don't know about you, but $300 a month is a lot of money
 AND a lot of unnecessary calories and fat I'm sure. 

So much to the chagrin of my family,
 I decided that from now until the end of May we will not be eating out. 
This will help us save a little money
 and help us to eat healthier at the same time.  

I can't say my family was thrilled about this idea,
 but I think I eventually convinced them. 
(Madison was VERY sad because that girl loves some Chikafila and Chicken Express. )
I do realize it's going to be hard at times but I'm hoping 
that after a month and a half of not eating out, 
maybe our habit will be changed. 

What do you think? 
Will we be able to do it? 
Anyone want to join us?

(FYI- Sonic drinks are not included only because I have LOTS of gift cards from Sonic right now so I'll be using them instead of cash.  Thank goodness! :) 


  1. Well, I have done this exact same challenge myself. (And we were successful - mostly.)

    When Travis started his new job (5 years ago) he and his boss went out to eat almost every single day for lunch. Sometimes it was just a cheap fast food place, other times it was a nicer, sit-down restaurant. Trav didn't really want to eat out every day, but he didn't want to offend his employer, either, since it made him "kinda special" that the boss wanted to hang out with him on the lunch hour.

    Anyway, I tallied up JUST Trav's dining out for one month and it was $600. *Screeching halt*

    I told him to blame me and tell his boss that he had to take a sack lunch for one month. THEN, he could eat lunch out once a week after that.

    His boss started buying deli meats and cheeses and sandwich breads and condiments to keep at the office for everyone to eat lunch there, if they chose to.

    Everyone at the office lost a little weight and it saved us a lot of money!

    You can do it!

  2. Oh my goodness...I totally agree! I have been doing pretty much the exact same thing the last few weeks! Except most of my deterrent is the calories and fat in a lot of the foods I was eating at restaurants. I also watched a show that talked about some of the processes fast food goes through before arrive in your tummy and some of the ingredients. That is enough to scare you off! It will be great for your family! Enjoy your new challenge!

  3. I think it will be a bit of a challenge, particularly on nites when you are on the run. But I think you are the type of person to take on a challenge and see it through. Whenever we needed to save extra money, we always cut the "eating out" first. You would be surprised how much you can save. One thing I did do was called "once a month cooking". I would take one weekend a month and cook lots of casseroles, etc. that could be frozen and just reheated. This helped us out a lot. Good luck in your endeavour.

  4. Absolutely! We did it a month or so ago and have pretty much stuck to it since! Now we only do the occasional eating out when someone is in town and our schedule includes lots of being out and about. I am not much of a cook, but I am learning and we found a whole bunch of new things to throw into our eating "rotation" to keep things interesting. I wish you luck!

  5. I've been trying to cut back on the eating out too for both those same reasons. It's crazy how much it costs to eat out and we could eat a really nice meal (aka not hamburger)at home for the same$$. But ofcourse that also takes more planning and time on my part.

  6. Grrrrr even if I pay she won't let me.... Maybe we can go out this weekend if I make belles.... As a .... Reward?

  7. Shannon-

    Of course you can do it! I think that's a great idea, and a good way to re-prioritize health and finances, not to mention the time around the dinner table.

    We don't eat out much, usually just as a treat. I enjoy the one-on-one time with my daughter. It seems we have different conversations away from home.

    But what I have found is that the at-home meals are sometimes not so healthy, either. My new focus will be to plan more meals in advance, rather than realize I'm missing a key ingredient for a recipe, and popping a frozen pizza in the oven :(