So…we’ve officially made it through Eat In Month 2011!
The few tiny exceptions to this would be:
- I had a cup of coffee at Starbucks once, but I used a gift card so it didn’t cost any money.
- On a road trip down to Tim’s parents’ house, we stopped at a gas station and Tim got a soda and I had a Gatorade.
- Tim had a drink at a work happy hour once.
- I got a Diet Coke while grocery shopping at Target once for $0.29 (mobile coupons! woo!).
- We bought a Groupon for $10 for a restaurant, but didn’t use it.
I don’t think any of those really count, though.
The first half of the month was a breeze. We don’t usually eat out much anyway, but we do usually go out to dinner on Saturday nights. While these aren’t usually fancy dinners or anything (hello, Chipotle), they are a nice break from cooking and do serve as a social outlet for us. By the last three weekends, I found myself getting pretty bored on weekends with nothing to look forward to!
I also started having some pretty serious cravings for restaurant and fast food—Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory, carry-out greasy pizza, ohmygod CULVER’S, Panera—knowing I couldn’t have them right away. I’m not sure this is a good thing. Normally, say, I crave Chipotle, I’ll say, “Hey, Tim, let’s grab Chipotle on Saturday,” and we’ll eat it, and that’s it, and it’s gone. Not being able to eat specific things made me fixate on them more than usual, which confirmed my “all things in moderation” theory.
I think this challenge really helped me to think outside the box and try some new recipes on weekends that I wouldn’t normally have experimented with! Instead of going out to eat, I tried new recipes on weekends for something to do, or remade old favorites we hadn’t had for a long time. I made…
- Lasagna (no recipe; improvised)
- Cranberry Apple Pork Roast
- Cooking Light Chicken Tetrazzini
- Beef stew
- Lentil chili
We also saved some money. In December, we spent $116.81 on eating out; this month was basically $0. Since one of our big goals this year is to beef up our savings for things that might rhyme with “louse” or “maybe,” this is putting us one step closer.
All in all, I’m glad we did this challenge…but man, am I looking forward to going out to eat this weekend! I think we may scale back our “every single Saturday is dinner out” assumption, but we will definitely still be enjoying ourselves from time to time.
Did you participate in Eat In Month? How did you do?