100 Days of No Eating Out: Day 50 Report
Is it really cheating?
It sure felt like cheating when we pulled into the drive-through and my husband rolled down the window. I winced. I was desperate.
I needed a Dairy Queen Blizzard, y’all.
We were about an hour away from home. We were being so good. We’d packed ham sandwiches and chips and apples. We our picnic lunch in the sunshine while we waited for my oldest daughter to complete a piano theory test. It was really lovely.
As we headed home, the craving hit. Soft serve and Butterfinger bits blended together in perfectly soft solid, creamy, cold confection.
Sure, we had to stop in to the grocery store on the way home. We could have purchased BlueBell or any other carton of ice cream, but if you live in the south, you know as well as I do that there is nothing in the grocery store that is ANYTHING like a Diary Queen Blizzard.
My husband said Dairy Queen was not allowed, that it was eating out. I argued that it was not eating out; it was entertainment. So we did what all couples in a healthy marital dispute do…we took it to Facebook. 🙂
My friends were mostly supportive. They’re good people, my friends. Almost all of them said it was not cheating–except Cindy who said it was cheating but to do it anyway. I gotta say, it was yummy, but it did feel like cheating.
Other than that, the only “cheats” we’ve had were buying rotisserie chicken and potato salad from the grocery store deli, and one restaurant meal with my in-laws that I did not coordinate.
You just don’t tell your in-laws they have to follow your 100 Day Challenge. There’s a little tip for you married gals. 🙂
Today marks the halfway point in our journey. I thought it would be fitting to do a Day 50 Check-in.
What Have Been the Biggest Challenges?
Well, aside from the ice cream incident, which set off quite a debate in our car (“what about popcorn at the movies? Samples at the grocery store?”) hardest part has been cooking when I was worn out, or on the verge of getting sick. Thanks to my Young Living Thieves oil, I’ve managed to keep from coming down with the cold that everybody and their dog has been getting. I should probably make up some freezer meals to be prepared.
One weekend, we sent the kiddos to the grandparents’ house so we could take care of some projects. Friday night, it was just the two of us, and we would have loved to have made it a date night. We really felt deprived not going out that night. But, we ended up having a BLAST with one of my at-home date nights from the 12 Months project. So that wasn’t so bad.
Staying on budget with groceries has been a bit harder too. Obviously, we are eating at home more, and that means more food. I’ve probably been buying a few more convenience meals lately–like lasagna and bagged salad–so we have something if I just can’t handle cooking.
What are the Biggest Benefits?
Would you believe me if I told you time is the biggest benefit? I can’t understand it myself. It seems very Twilight Zoney, but ever since we stopped going out to eat “because there wasn’t time for cooking”, we’ve had more time in the evenings. And the kitchen is staying cleaner.
I think it comes down to habits and routines. We eat at home every night. The kids help clean up afterward every night. Daddy does the dishes, and I bathe the little ones every night. We haven’t had to try hard to make these things happen. It just happens naturally because I cook supper, we gather around the table, the baby gets food all over himself… Maybe it is the Twilight Zone.
I’ve found that I don’t even think about eating out much any more. For the first several weeks, it was almost daily that we had to remind ourselves of the challenge. Now, it’s very rare.
Saving money! I mentioned that it’s harder to stay within the grocery budget, but we are making do. AND we’ve been saving a ton on going out to eat. It’s expensive, y’all! The little project we did in January was to add up all our expenses from last year by category. We spent $7000 on eating out. That’s just shameful.
What to Expect for the Next 50 Days?
We’ve come so far, I can’t imagine that we are only halfway through this challenge! On the other hand, I really don’t trust myself to stay out of our old ways now.
There are still some things we need to improve on–like cooking healthier meals and preparing some freezer meals of my own for convenience.
Still, I’m really proud of where we are. It’s definitely worth pushing through cooking when I don’t feel like it and staying in on Date Night. We are enjoying the added time, the routine, and the savings! I can’t believe I’ve only had one restaurant meal in 50 Days!
What’s your verdict on the Case of the Butterfinger Blizzard?
If you’re curious about the rest of the challenge, I’ll be updating my email buddies, the Recovering Marthas, every now and then.