It’s day 5 of 33 Days and 33 Ways to Save Money and Reduce Debt. The subject for today is eat out less often. I have a big problem in this area. In fact, this month I’m challenging myself to not eat out at all. Up until now my family has easily spent at least $100 every month on eating out, and that needs to stop.
I’m obviously not an expert in this area, but I do know that if I want to change my behavior, I have to have a plan. Here are some of the things I’ve done to prepare myself for this month.
I make a menu for every meal every week. This week I know what I’m having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day. Once I made the menu, I made a list of all the food I needed and bought everything I need to cook for the week. Now I can’t use the excuse that there’s no food in the house to justify eating out.
I also plan to use my crockpot on nights that are going to be busy. Soccer season is starting up soon, so I know there will be nights when we don’t get home until 6:00. On those nights, I plan to have dinner waiting in the crockpot, so I’m not tempted to stop for fast food on the way home.
I also bought ingredients for quick, easy meals. I know that I have a tendency to get headaches, and there’s always one or two nights a month when I don’t feel well enough to cook. I knew that I needed a plan for those nights, so I bought some pasta and canned sauce, frozen pizza, and cans of soup. If I’m really not feeling well, even my husband and daughter could make these things.
The bottom line is that you need to know why you eat out. Once you know why you do the things you do, you can work on implementing strategies to avoid your behavior. So why do you eat out? If you’re trying to cut back, what are you doing to help yourself with that goal?
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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