30 days of dining in- Day 16

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

16 days of not eating out...sounds simple enough, right? In all honesty, it's been great. There's a whole slew of great things about this project, but here's a few of my favorites:

1. I'm watching what I eat more. Am I on a "diet"? No. But I do have a very good idea of how many calories, etc. I'm eating every day because I'm preparing nearly all of my meals (with the exception of the occasional microwave meals I have for lunch). I feel better, and I can say that my clothes are definitely fitting a little looser than right after the holidays. Bonus!

2. I'm getting rid of the stuff in my pantry/freezer that's been sitting around for a while. Everybody has it- that bottle of sweet and sour chicken mix that you've bought 3 months ago with the best intentions, yet never got around to making. Well my friends, that is on my meal plan for this week. Being a couponer you tend to develop a stockpile of stuff that unfortunately sometimes goes to waste because you can't get around to using it before it goes bad. I am starting to scrounge a little bit, but that's really a good thing. After this project my pantry is getting a nice organization overhaul. Plus it's forcing me to be creative.

3. My bank account is thanking me - big time. I really didn't expect that after the first two weeks I'd have almost $500 more than I usually do. I had done the math and knew we were spending a ridiculous amount of money eating out, but I was still shocked when I balanced my checkbook. If we keep this up we can be completely debt free (aside from the mortgage and boat) in about 2 more months. Is that worth the time it takes for me to plan, shop, and cook each day? Absolutely.

I have to admit, we cheated just a teensy bit. I took a friend out to lunch at Panera last week for her birthday (cost was about $17) and we did have a few drinks/appetizers out with friends this past weekend (around $40). I feel a little guilty about it, but we are right back on track now. Maybe I'll just have to make it up next month. :)

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