Although it’s not the true end of the month, I thought I would check in with my experience of my self imposed challenge not to eat out for a month!
1. I was innovative, with packing everything for a two day road trip. So I know I can be ‘frugal’ and skip eating out. (I will summarise grocery costs at the true end of the month, and see if there’s been a noticeable increase, and probably update this post with more info).
2. I did cheat. There were a handful of take away coffees (some even in single use take away cups!). There was one breach in the first weekend, and then two breaches the following two weekends. I also went out with my next door neighbour for Vietnamese. I didn’t want to reject her suggestion (it’s our first ‘date’), and cooking at home wasn’t practical with going to open houses on the same night. Last night I got sushi from the sushi place outside the grocery store – so it’s sort of out, and sort of not?!
3. My boyfriend was on board (but bored!). He encouraged me to stick at it (like last night! He cooked nachos, but I didn’t want nachos). Though it’s become a common placeto say ‘we’ll do that/go there in August’. Bring on August and some dates!
4. I did buy some ready made meals from the grocery store, such as garlic bread, soups and (freezer) pizzas. I’d like to move away from processed foods, as I’ve mentioned before, but it’s just too hard sometimes to balance all the things you want to do, with LIFE! So I gave myself leave passes.
5. I’ve certainly spent less money, with every week having some of my weekly allowance still in my wallet. That being said, I’ve spent way more than a usual month as I outlined here, and more recently with the rental bond and that sort of thing.
Overall, it was an interesting challenge. I proved to myself that I can cook at home, and eat at home, and it’s not all that taxing, though I do occasionally take short cuts with ready made meals. It is a little more socially challenging to not eat out, and my relationship with my colleague seems less strong after missing our weekly lunch date. Actually, in light of my role change, a few one on one lunches might have been better to keep the relationship strong, even though I’m ‘jumping ship’.
On the whole, I don’t think I’ll re-do this challenge for the sake of it. It’s good to know I can tighten the belt, but it’s all been a bit too much of a challenge in these later weeks of the month, with all the moving plans.