Saturday, June 4, 2016

We Didn't Eat Out for a Month- Here's What Happened

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.

The Results

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!
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  1. I'm with you on the eating out! I LOVE to eat out, but since I've been seriously trying to watch my my sugar and sodium intake lately, I feel like eating at home is the only real way I can control that. My kiddos love mexican food and it's SO hard to not eat those chips when they are munching down on them. When we do go out for tacos, I've started ordering a cup of tortilla soup to have something to occupy my hands(and mouth!) while we wait for the real food to arrive. :) Great job taking control of your meals at night!
    Sometimes I feel like whenever I really cut back, those seem to be the times I don't lose a pound. Go figure! So, you're not alone there! Think it's just a matter of sticking to it and waiting for my body to adjust to the new diet changes. I liken it to a fast moving train....takes some time to get it going back in reverse. ;)
    Sorry so long winded! Keep up the great blog work, sweet lady! xo

    1. January,
      You always leave the best comments with such great tips! I would love to read a blog post of your tricks and tips for dieting! You have such great advice. :)

  2. I love this post! People I talk to NEVER realize how much eating out costs! We only eat out once a week, and when I try to explain why, most people are like "oh well I barely spend money, so I can eat out everyday." Eating out is SO expensive!! I don't know how people do it everyday.

    1. I know! It is insane! I really didn't realize the difference it would make. The once a week thing is GREAT. We may try to stick to that!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. My boyfriend and I are so bad at eating out 2-3 times a week, it gets so costly especially on a college budget! I really want to try this challenge of not eating out for a month or at least only going out to eat once a week!

    Amy | Pastel N Pink

    1. That is awesome! I completely think you should try it out!

  4. This is a great post Victoria! What's even better is that anyone can relate to this. Being in college and living with my boyfriend who wants to eat out for every meal, every day makes it SO expensive and frustrating sometimes. Especially when I think about how that money could be getting saved away! Congrats on the Blog Boss Babe mention! :)

    1. Oh totally! Once my husband bought in, it was easy because we did it together! Maybe you guys can find something to save up for and try this challenge for a month

  5. I love cooking with my boyfriend, it's so much fun when we actually take the time to do it. I'm not big on eating out, but he's addicted, maybe I can talk him into trying a ban for one month!

  6. After high school, I went out to eat a lot because I couldn't figure out cooking to save my life. After a while, going out to eat tasted the same everywhere. I was so happy to have home cooked meals when I would visit my parents. Since meeting my current boyfriend 3 years ago, I've learned to cook and absolutely love it. He is a great cook and I have learned so much from him. It definitely helps us save money and I love cooking with him. It's something we can do together.
    Congrats on not going out to eat for a month! Sometimes it seems easier to go out, but there are definitely benefits to cooking.

    1. That is really awesome that you guys are able to cook together! Such a great thing :)

  7. What a great idea. I eat out way too much, especially for a college student. Now that I have my own kitchen I'm really trying to eat in more and save some money!

    Emma | Seeking the South

    1. Good for you girly!! It really makes a financial difference :)


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