14 August 2011

Dining In

I went from Monday night to Saturday night last week without going out for a meal!  That is quite a change and one that I am excited about.  I've been tracking my expenses the last few months and, although I already knew it, it is motivating to see how much I spend on eating out.  That large orange section is Food & Dining and I'm thinking it probably shouldn't be my #1 category.  I will be working on doing better.  I've cut way back on the "Big Gulp trips" that I take with caboose.  Going back to work has helped with that.  I am going to stay away from Starbucks; I got in the bad habit of stopping in there at the end of the last school year.  I need to do a few more things to be successful at dining in more and cutting back on the Food expenses...
  • Do better about choosing 2 or 3 dishes to cook each week.  The leftovers can fill in on the other nights or can be taken as lunch. I need to remember that these can be simple things - grilled vegetables, stir-fry, black beans & rice, chicken on the grill.  Planning a meal doesn't have to be a big, expensive production. 
  • Write down what I am going to cook that week on the chalkboard.  That solidifies the commitment and hopefully will be a great reminder.
  • Get groceries, but not just random things.  Go with a purpose, buy just what I am going to use.  A full frig is so much easier to make a lunch from than an empty one. 
  • Schedule my school visits so that I can stop by my house for lunch, which is what I did successfully last week.  Sometimes packing up a lunch isn't very feasible, but it is always easy to make a quick stop in and fix something. 
Hopefully these goals will help out with my new fitness goals as well!


  1. Great job! Eating out is definitely one of my top "extra" expenses too. Sounds like you've got a great game plan to help stay on track.

  2. I follow your example- so tonight--garbanzo and sweet potato koftas. Yummy. Made as a casserole as I couldn't face the patties.-- that stressing of a day at work.!! Having a glass of wine while cooking helped, can't do that every night though.

  3. i know you'll do a great job at sticking to this. i find it very fun when it's all said and done.

  4. J. Pepin has 2 great books on this -- The Fast Food My Way ones. Good to browse through just for ideas on how to approach some standard ingredients differently. also most are few elements simply prepared -- great for week night prep.

  5. im with you! so glad my new job has me out of the starbucks loop and food court lifestyle!

  6. stoppable, i may have to check out those books next time i see you.