My husband and I didn't go out to eat for the entire month of April. I thought it might be helpful for you all for me to share my experience. There were some things I expected to happen (and some I didn't) and the results might surprise you as much as they did me! Without further ado- the post!
Things I Expected to Happen
1. I thought we would save money
This is an obvious one, and one that we were most curious about. One day I hope to stay home with our future babies, and when that time comes I would be doing more cooking at home. We were wondering how much money that would save us.
2. I thought I would lose weight
Everyone always talks about the amount of calories we all eat when we go out- especially mindlessly: the rolls, the unlimited chips and salsa, etc. I figured there was no way my cooking would be as unhealthy.
3. I thought I would miss eating out
I looooove eating out. I really thought I would crave it a lot and end up cheating. Initially we set a once a week cheat meal.
4. I thought I would struggle with time management making meals
I am getting my master's and had classes Tuesday and Thursday night for 3 hours each, plus homework, plus my full time job, plus this blog. Where would I find the time to cook and meal plan?
5. I thought our love life might be negatively impacted without date night
Date nights our important way for me to spend time with my husband. I love asking him silly questions and making him open up about things when we go out to eat. I didn't want to lose that time.
1. We saved money
It's a bit strange sharing our credit card spending online, and I'm sure some people are going to be judgey about it, but if people are really going to see the difference, they'll have to see the trends. This is all the statements for 2016. The last one, is 95 percent of April, and the amount is a staggering amount lower. Even though we spent more on groceries, those trips to the store didn't add up to the amount we ever spent at restaurants.
My husband said that another reason we spent less was because since we weren't going out to eat, we also weren't going out doing other things that would cost us money. To be fair, we also didn't travel or make any large purchases or do house renovations.
2. I did not lose weight
I was so surprised that my weight stayed steady. I really thought I would drop 3-5 pounds by not eating out all month because of the amount that we did eat out. This taught me that perhaps my portions are the problem and the snacking- not the meals. However, I will say that I think I "looked better" even though my weight hadn't changed.
3. I did not really miss eating out!
I totally thought I would crave all my favorites! But the truth is, I rarely craved it, and even now that it's over I'm not craving. Perhaps it really is an addiction and I've somewhat broken it. I wrote this post May 12th and I've only gone out once since this "ended." We do have plans to eat out this weekend though for my hubby's birthday!
4. Time management got much easier.
I learned how to plan ahead, and my grocery list making became much more important. I threw away/wasted less food, which is really great! My husband got into cooking too- he made dinner Tuesday nights when I had class from 4-7. That was a shock!
5. My husband and I actually got closer
Making dinner together and spending time together actually made me feel closer to my husband. We made grocery lists together and grocery shopped together. I loved it. When he helped out and made dinners on Tuesdays I just loved him even more!
Overall, I'm thrilled with the results of our no eat out month. I think we learned skills that will help us in the future with saving money and managing our household!
I hope this post encourages you in some way, or was helpful to you deciding whether you should give your household this same challenge!
Thanks for stopping by!