We don't eat out more than average, but our "Dining Out" category was creeping up there higher than I want it. When it comes to saving money, this is one category you can completely cut out, and I wanted to see if my family could.
Not eating out for a month takes a lot of willpower, AND a lot of explaining to the kids. So I thought why not get them on board by creating a chart they could help with...AND a reward at the end of the month. They always beg us to go to Pizza Ranch and we always say no, so we all win this way!
Surprisingly - and maybe because of the chart and reward - they didn't ask ONCE to go out to eat. Burger King is right across the street from their 5:30pm gymnastics class . . . meaning, by 6:30 they are starving and beg for some BK nuggets. Not once this month!
We made it the entire month without eating out, saving so much money AND teaching our kids about mind over matter, eating at home, not wasting leftovers, and choices within a budget.
A few things that made us successful...
•This chart, to remind EVERYONE of our goal and reward.
•Meal Planning so I know exactly what we are having, creating no need to stop for fast food on the way home.
•Convenience meals...frozen pizza, Chinese, easy pastas..for those nights you just don’t feel like cooking.
•Leftover nights: be sure to make enough food for leftovers. This is a favorite night at our house because I set out everything and we all pick our supper.
After our celebratory Pizza Ranch dinner this weekend, we are going to start another No Eating Out Challenge. This time, I made a printable for those who want to challenge their family as well! Click on the picture to download your own copy.