Thursday, February 3, 2011

Eating In

For the month of January, we challenged ourselves to eat each meal at a home. In other words, no eating out. This was in an effort to curb some spending, plan better and eat more healthfully. We weren't eating out a lot, but we were relying on it a little too much. If we had late afternoon plans, we would just stop at Chipotle or Graffiti Burger for dinner. Sundays we would often combine brunch with grocery shopping.

To successfully eat every meal in a home takes some planning. We would plan out dinners for the week and then always have breakfast and lunch staples on hand. By the end of the month, I was a little burned out on menu planning. It is a task that I don't enjoy while I am doing it, but I appreciate having the plan as the days go by.

While we did improve on planning, the jury is still out on the money spending. Our grocery bills went up, but I think we still came out ahead over a couple of meals out. Certainly, meal for meal eating in is less expensive (for example one night we had filet, salad and baked potatoes at home for about $20, the same meal out would have been $50ish).

It was a great experiment and while I'll loosen up the reins from here on out, it did teach me that we don't need to eat out quite as often as were as long as I have a plan and stick with it.

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