The Start of the No Eating Out For One Month Challenge

Debt Repayment, No Spend Month

After reviewing my 2015 spending and seeing that 305 transactions were made at food/dining/bar type businesses, I knew I had to make a change. I could feel a crazy idea forming, and when that happens, I do my best to drag someone into my craziness ASAP.

This time, J was the willing participant. We agreed that for the next month, we would not eat out, whether it be a fast food joint or a sit down restaurant. We also agreed that if someone insists on taking us out to eat, and they pay, that doesn’t violate the rule. Because I work better in coffee shops, and we didn’t want to turn into hermits who don’t see their friends for a month, we determined that beverages alone wouldn’t break the rules. So we could go to happy hour, but not get an appetizer. Or we could go to coffee, but not get a blueberry muffin.
The No Eating Out for One Month Challenge
With all of the rules designated, we hit the ground running! Well, grocery shopping…

My plan in the beginning is to go grocery shopping and bring leftover dinner for lunch the next day. This keeps me from getting bored with sandwiches and chips for lunch. Ok, ok, I never get bored with Chips. But you know what I mean. A cold lunch can get old really quickly. Thankfully I have a ton of pins in my Path to Financial Freedom Pinterest board for how to pack interesting lunches!

I wanted to use this month to become more aware of my spending and also save money. I also figured that it would force me to go back to feeling creative in the kitchen. I actually really enjoy cooking for a couple of reasons. First, I feel better when I’m consistently eating homemade food vs. fast food and restaurant meals. Second, cooking is relaxing for me. I think this is because I get a sense of completion from it. Being a member of an academic-type profession means that I rarely achieve a sense of satisfaction at the end of a work day. I spend a lot of my days reading, writing letters and researching concepts to provide answers to questions. To actually start something and see the final product in an hour or sometimes even 10-20 minutes is incredibly satisfying.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the month brings in my health, finances and mood!

Post to Come: The results of the no eating out for one month challenge!

Do you want to work on eating at home instead of eating out? Today I have joined with a group of bloggers to provide you with a giveaway to Kohl’s! The kitchen section at Kohl’s has such a wide variety of goods that I’m certain you can find the missing pieces of your kitchen arsenal!
Kohl's gift card giveaway


Prize: $150 Kohl’s Gift Card

Co-hosts: Peanut Butter And Whine // Jenns Blah Blah Blog // Coupons and Freebies Mom // Taffeta & Tulips // Peaches In A Pod // SWEET HAUTE // Simone – Your Style Architect // Where My Soul Belongs // Peace and Chaos // Mommies with Cents

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 4/11 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Reply
    Nancy Hilderbrand
    March 29, 2016 at 8:20 am

    My first home was a 3 bedroom 2 story house and paid $8500.00. We lived there 5 years and sold it for $18,000.00. We moved to this house in the country in 1981 and I swore I would die here. Moving is the pits.

  • Reply
    Nancy Burgess
    March 29, 2016 at 10:06 am

    We eat out to much also.Love your idea to stop for a month.I’m starting a month to so it will make us more aware of our habits.Maybe then we can cut way back on our eating out.

  • Reply
    April Monty
    March 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Wow this a great idea,I do takeout entirely too much ,I’m definitely going to do this.

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Great idea!

  • Reply
    March 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Great idea! I was just telling a coworker today that I admired how he brought his lunch every day, and that I need to do the same! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply
    Ellen Brophy
    March 30, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Oh even with three children to feed i’m the worst for eating out. Sometimes the effort of cooking for them to find they turn their noses up at it can be so soul destroying. I’m gonna make an effort to eat in during the week and allow a bit of grace at the weekends.

  • Reply
    Kelly Brown
    March 30, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Gee, with my schedule, my husbands schedule and my sons, we eat out a lot. I know it is so unhealthy!

  • Reply
    Sarah L
    March 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Eating out was one of the first things to go when I wanted to save money for a trip to New Zealand. That’s a great incentive for me.

  • Reply
    Linda Manns Linneman
    March 30, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    We very seldom go out to eat because our budget doesn’t allow it. I enjoy trying new recipes that the bloggers share and I use pinterest often. Thank you so much for sharing

  • Reply
    Farhana Thakur
    March 31, 2016 at 3:31 am

    My husband and I need this. No eating out challenge. I up for it!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2016 at 6:09 am

    We rarely eat out because we don’t budget very much per month for eating out. However, I love cooking and it’s something that we always do together after my husband gets home from work. It’s a chance to chat about our days and spend time with each other. Recently, we’ve been doing something we’ve dubbed “New Recipe Saturday.” We choose an entirely new recipe that we’ve never made before, pair it with a wine or beer and get to work cooking. It’s been a lot of fun, still allows us to eat adventurously, and is a budget friendly alternative to going out to dinner on a Saturday night.
    Heidi recently posted…Light City Baltimore

  • Reply
    Christy Peeples DuBois
    April 1, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    We do not eat out hardly at all simply because we live 20 miles from the closest place that has restaurants. But I do know from prior experience the cost adds up quickly when anyone eats out much.

  • Reply
    Bani Bobb
    April 2, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I’m doing the no spending for a month challenge now for April. Thank you for your insight. It’s really hard on only day 2 but after reading your post I am determined.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Everitt
    April 7, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    I admire you for trying this. What a difference it will make for your family

  • Reply
    April 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    What a money saver. And it’s healthier options eating at home!

  • Reply
    April 13, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Would love to know how it works out :) For the past year we have limited fast food to twice a month, take out (like pizza or chinese) twice a month, and a restaurant meal to once a month. We’ve saved quite a bit but don’t feel deprived since at least once a week we don’t have to cook.

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