My family is in the midst of a month-long hiatus on eating out. The idea for this adventure sprang from some budget-busting car repairs combined with an acknowledgement that we’re getting a little lazy about our food choices.
We have a history of eating out too much. When it was just the two of us, we did it a lot because a) we don’t like to cook and b) we could afford it. After we had kids though, this problem rectified itself because it’s really not very much fun to eat out with toddlers. But now that my kids are older and can sit still long enough for a waiter to serve a meal, we’ve gotten lazy. At the end of a long day, it’s easier and more fun to say, “Let’s go to Red Robin,” instead of, “Let’s go figure out what hasn’t expired yet in the refrigerator.”
So we decided to test ourselves with the “No eating out” rule for 30 days. There are a few exceptions. When my husband was on travel on the East coast, he had a pass, of course. Plus we’ve decided that Dutch Bros. coffee does not count as eating out, because you are technically just drinking.
It’s been harder than I thought it would.
I am rather proud of one thing — two weeks into this trial period, we’re starting to expand our cooking skills. Hubby made a lovely roast dinner tonight. Last night, I had a successful French onion soup. Plus, I’m dusting off the cookbooks to find a recipe involving baked chicken for tomorrow.
On a related note, this experiment is forcing me to use the food that we actually have in our house. I’m using up leftover cheese and potatoes that normally would go bad before I got to them. I’m also making my kids eat the cereal in the cupboard, instead of rushing out to replace the empty box of Rice Krispies. Go figure.
This trial period has shown me that we should probably expand this experiment beyond our deadline in a couple of weeks. More on that as things develop.