Goal # 23: Don't eat out (or take out) for a month
I started implementing this on August 12th. My motivation for this goal was my desire to make and stick to a meal plan, organize my pantry and freezer, and make purposeful shopping lists. I also knew it would save us money, if I could plan meals that would take advantage of sales. And it would help us eat healthier too. So win, win, win...win, win.
It has gone really well. Initially I spent a lot of time entering our favorite healthy recipes into my new profile at SayMmm.com. I looked a few different meal planning sites with shopping-list-generating capabilities, and this one works quite well for being free. (If only I had the money for an iPhone, then the world of amazing apps could be mine...). So, after entering ingredients for 20 recipes, I pasted those meals into my calendar, and voila! It made me a shopping list with everything I needed to make meals for the next two weeks (obviously I returned the following week to stock up on fresh veggies and fruits). It has taken a lot of the stress out of preparing meals. I don't know why, but I have a really hard time deciding what to have for dinner. This way, I spend only one horrific day making all the awful decisions, and I'm good for two weeks.
For documentation's sake, we did eat out a couple of times, with good reason. On August 23rd, the day we were in the valley for Lincoln's tear duct surgery, we had to do some shopping at Costco, and we ended up eating lunch there. Which almost doesn't count, because we could have bought the same exact food in the cold foods section, taken it home, heated it up, and it would have fulfilled the requirements for prepared-at-home. And when I went to Mesa for an allergy appointment, I visited Amy, who took me to lunch. It was totally out of my control. But it was her treat, so again: doesn't count.
So, bottom line: we've had healthy, balanced meals, and I've been less stressed about cooking. Which is good, because at the end of the day, after homeschooling Bree, my brain and patience are often fried. I need a meal plan that works for me. And Chad can step in and help too, if he knows what's on the menu. And it feels good that I haven't needed to "cave" and call Chad to bring home fast food, even on my worst days.
And it probably saved us money.
I could find out if I weren't too lazy to examine the budget :)