So, we successfully (more or less) completed our 30-day No Eating Out trial today. The results? We extending it for another month. Can you believe it?
No one was more surprised than we were. But the numbers don’t lie. The money we saved was significant. And since Christmas is coming up fast, it feels like another month of limiting our eating out expenditures is a good idea for all of us.
It’s more than the money though. We discovered a few more things during this experiment.
- We can cook. Sometimes we don’t want to cook. But both parents in this household are perfectly capable of making a decent meal.
- Our kids will eat our cooking. Most of the time, anyway. Things our kids have eaten and ENJOYED, much to our surprise: fajitas, my husband’s chicken and rice concoction, Hawaiian pizza, and pork chops. Not every meal is a success. But our kids can enjoy food that doesn’t start with the letter “p”: pasta, pizza and peanut butter.
- We eat out a lot because we’re bored. Mixing it up by trying new recipes really makes a difference.
- We have a lot of food in this house. This experiment enabled us to use up things that normally would have gone bad before we got to them.
- Leftovers aren’t so bad. My husband repeatedly has stated his dislike for leftovers again and again over the 20+ years that I’ve known him. Turns out, leftovers can be tasty. I started the tradition of “Leftover Night,” where we empty out the fridge and everyone chooses the leftovers they want to eat for the dinner. Works like a charm.
- If you cut down on your eating out budget, you can buy more interesting things at the grocery store. (I’ve got my eye on some budget-busting scallops for next month. Yet I can still feed four of us a scallop dinner at home for less than a casual meal at our favorite family restaurant.)
So the next month starts today, and our plan is to eat out once during a short trip to the coast. Otherwise, I’m breaking out the cookbook and testing some more recipes on my family. Next up: veggie lasagna and stuffed tomatos!