Basically the general guidelines

  1. we will allow ourselves to dine out once per quarter to allow for the occasional business meeting or special celebrations
  2. if we are out on business or having a meeting in a coffee house we can order the bare minimum needed to mix in, no need to be bigger freaks than we already are, right? **snort**
  3. coffee does not count, we gave up fancy coffee long ago so the occasional coffee we feel is not a problem
  4. if on a business trip there is no way we will be cooking from a hotel room


Still HERE

Ok so it's been a while but I have to whip in and say we are still here and still not eating out! It's almost September and we have 4 months left in this great crazy scheme. I never thought I'd get this far but here I am, here we are and here is the State Fair. ACK.

Deep fried butter!

Fried Pickles

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Cream Puffs the size of your head

I can resist. My kids can also have a corn dog or some other treat of their choice. And we'll all live happily. Guess I'll make my own deep fried pickles.


Becoming normal

It's becoming so normal now to NOT eat out that when I smell french fries cooking via nose p*rn I don't automatically get in my car and eat a thousand calories of food. I swig some water, snack if I'm hungry and move along.

Which brings me to this weight gain I had in the last month. I felt bloated all month, like a belly bulge and everything. I don't know what was going on but I feel much better now and the +2 is gone, so that's soothing and it's two more weeks until a monthly check in. I'm definitely NOT doing this for a diet, simply seeing IF we can resist easy food for a year. But I have to say the weight loss has been an added bonus to this journey. EVERY TIME I ate out, I over ate, interesting that when I cook I tend to over eat less, am I more prone to save the food? Or is restaurant food that much better? Do I feel like I HAVE to eat it? Never really sure of my motives there, but I am just putting it out there.

So this weekend is the big Bake Sale for me. Share Our Strength, a nationwide effort to end childhood hiunger has paired up with food bloggers across the USA to hold a simultaneous bake sale across America on April 17th. Mine is in Palmer Alaska at Fireside Books April 17th 10am-2pm, come buy some homemade goodies and help me reach my lofty goal of 500 dollars! If you are not local but want to help I have a donate button up on my blog Hey What's For Dinner Mom? where you can safely donate through paypal!

And staying away from restaurants in the past two weeks kept my husband from spending 10x2 going out for lunch. Plus I was super busy with school and sick too so I bet we would have actually gone out twice in the last 10 days or so. I'll conservatively say we would have spent 40 dollars each time. An even 100 saved total in the last 10 days or so. Oh and we were in the big city picking up supplies and you know what that means? Sushi buffet for me and the youngest, I call this embarrassing sushi because he eats so much of it, comes in at 24 dollars. So a total of 124 dollars saved. Not bad.


Still Alive and Still Not Eating Out

This last month has gone by so very fast. I am going to estimate we saved 150 dollars since I last posted. We have been out to the movies, shopping trips to Coscto and thrifting adventures and not once did we go out to eat. I did however take a painting class, as a group pizza was ordered and I ate 2 slices. It was good but salty. I guess I'm not used to ingesting so much salt.

Onward to April. Another month of not going out to eat. Some nights I wish I could hit that easy button and order in. Like today I am sick, or past sick but now tired and worn out. I would order dinner in about 3 seconds in a normal year. But now we ate fresh bread and cheese sandwiches. Cheap actually and healthier too.


A near miss with kissing 60 dollars goodbye!

We, like every other family who can drive, walk or run, went to see the Star Wars exhibit at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. And there it was, no not the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon (although it was there and we DID sit in it) the chance to go out to eat. I know we would have gone out and enjoyed far more than our fair share of fried calamari, Thai pizza and good beer at the Brew House. It was there staring us in the face and we said no.

Saying no saved us some serious calories and money. I always eat more when I've had a beer so I'm sure I would have felt sick and greasy and stuffed to the gills. Instead we ate fruit, granola bars and drank our sweet well water in the truck on the way home.

You know I think part of going out to eat is just satisfying the urge to eat. When I'm hungry, I. AM. HUNGRY. Stand back, bring me food wherever I happen to be is where I will eat. I'm a low blood sugar kinda gal and tend to be a bit snappish. I think, for me, the pull of restaurants is instant gratification. I need to eat, it's there, tastes good, damn ate too much, whoa that's expensive, hey pants don't fit, damn.

I was just as happy to sink a tooth into a granola bar and a tangerine. And our wallet was happy too. I have no doubt that our little family without the teenage inhaler would have spent about 60 bucks on a late lunch/early dinner. Expensive I know, but we would have justified it with well we never get to go to the brew house.


2nd month report

2 months in and I think we are faring rather well. Except for my momentary fleeting thoughts of inhaling falafel last week I have not had any real desire to eat out. Now of course this month we DID have our pre-planned fundraiser dinner that we chose to attend. It was a good time for a great cause so I have no qualms about our choice. I don't plan to go out again for the rest of the year.

My mom has decided that if the kids are with grandparents and grandparents are going out to eat then kids get to eat out too. I wanted to deny her this caveat but in thinking it over I realized that my husband and I made a commando decision without the boys input. And they have been very accepting of our decision, even seeming to enjoy the challenge and saying "yep we can't eat there for a loooooooong time" Also they got really upset when my mom took them out to lunch crying and saying they couldn't go out to eat. Apparently my sister said "well you can stay in the truck while we go eat (guess who doesn't have kids?) or you can come with us". That really got them riled up. My mom smoothed it over by telling them she had talked it over with me first and it was ok. So yeah the kids are into it, which is good.

I'm adding in 10 dollars for not stopping at Falafel King+10 dollars for husbands lunch on Wednesday and 20 for lunch/coffee out over the last weekend. Which brings us to a grand total of money saved:


And I got weighed at my doctors appointment the other day and I lost

8 MORE POUNDS!! for a total of 13 in 2 months!!


Fear the paddle

Last Thursday was the closest I have come to cheating. I was searching for a thrift store in Anchorage and I passed by the Falafel King. Yes, Falafel King almost brought me down.

Know what saved me/the project? Fear of being found out. I grew up in the 70s, the paddle displayed in the principal Mr. Anderson's window kept me from doing a lot of dumb stuff. Fear of spilling, or having onion breath or worse yet being seen kept me looking for the thrift store instead of indulging in hand cut fries and crispy falafel. Oh the paddle!


Money Saved update

We had to go to Anchorage yesterday, now usually this means we go out to eat and buy coffee for the trip. I took an iced coffee, we didn't go out to eat and we made a Costco run without eating ANY samples.

I'm adding 30 dollars for yesterday's trip, plus 10 for lunch out Wednesday for my husband if we aren't home, plus 20 we would have spent going out for lunch on the weekend. For a grand total of 60 dollars added. Plus I have to go back to Anchorage tomorrow and I can assure you sushi would have been calling my name. I think I'll pack a lunch instead, yes?

Second hand stores here I come! Oh, er dentist I mean.