Friday, June 1, 2012

June Challenge: No Eating Out

Who doesn't love a good burger and fries and maybe a frosty too?

Baskin Robbins Chocolate Fudge ice cream is my favorite!

A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen is Daniel's favorite!

Starting today, our family is taking on the challenge to NOT eat out for the whole month of June, unless someone else wants to buy us dinner. ;)

Our goal? To see how much we eat out, how much money we save and what of that money can go toward our growing grocery budget needs. 

While we do know how much money we spend on eating out (I just calculated from our debit card for the month of May and it was around $50. Eek!), having that money at the end of the month will show us we're doing it too much. It's not the dinner that's been getting us, it's the ice cream!

I menu plan each week and very rarely stray from it but come Friday and Saturday we crave delicious ice cream! So we'll gather our little family, ride a mile down the road and pick up a sweet treat. Now that Nyla is eating a little ice cream she's been getting a scoop of her own. Well that's almost $2 for one tiny kids scoop! Eight dollars later the 3 of us have some ice cream. This is not a good habit to be in, especially when I can make a quart of ice cream for 

Sunday afternoons have been getting us too. I didn't have anything planned for lunch on Sunday's since it is a day of rest. But it was getting to the point where we were hungry, nothing looked good so I'd make a trip to Wendy's or McDonald's. This hasn't been a good idea, obviously. So I made some frozen pizza's and that's been on the menu for Sunday's after church. And it's worked out great! It's not leftovers that we're sick of and it takes less than 20 minutes to bake and then we devour it. :)

How are we going to break the habits of going out? It won't be easy. But we've upped our grocery budget from $220 to $250 for the month of June (and future months) and I'll make ice cream each week if we want. I have a wonderful ice cream maker, delicious recipes and Pinterest always has new and exciting things to try. I'll also try my hand at some restaurant knock-off's if we have a craving for one of our favorite places. 

The goal of this isn't to never eat out again, it's an experiment and it's to help us see that we need to cut down on our spending habits. And eating out is the perfect example of cutting down on spending habits. We all say, "I don't have enough money." But how often do we eat out? And by the time it's all over we've spent at least $10 on the meal, per person and does that even include tip at a sit-down place? We need to adjust our thinking and adjust our spending. We can cook just as many great meals at home as we get in a restaurant. And at more than half the price, at least!

I'll update each week along with our weekly menu plan and tell you how it's going. This is a great challenge for us, not because we eat out a lot but we need to see how much we spend.

Do you have any challenges for June? If so, what are they?

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