The change: Do not eat out this week
This may be a hard one for some to do and an easy one for others to do. I know personally I like a Starbucks coffee on the weekends with my husband. We also enjoy eating out as a family once per week. Can you imagine the amount of money that we spend on eating out with snacks and meals in a year’s time? Think about the amount of groceries that we could purchase by not eating out? Or the amount of money that we would have extra to put towards paying off debt or putting towards a special purchase?
Why make the change:
I know that for our family it is sometimes easier to go through the drive thru and grab a $1 menu at McDonalds for the family or grab a coffee drink to a little kick in our day. But all that extra fat, calories, and sugar is doing more harm then good to our bodies. Instead of thinking “live in the moment, I gotta have this,” we need to start preparing and thinking about the future. Plan ahead. If I know that we are going to be running into town and it is going to be near the children’s meal times, I know that I need to make some sandwiches, grab some apples and drinks for them to eat. For myself, I can make a cup of coffee that I enjoy as much as a Starbucks and drink that while driving around instead of purchasing one.
It takes time to make a lunch to take to work the next day. It takes time to pack a snack or even a meal for the children on our errand days. It takes time to do everything. But if you look at the long term plan, those few extra minutes that we are taking making and preparing a snack or meal to take, will be less than going to doctor appointments because of illness or health problems related to diet.
Eating out is such a waste of our money. Money that can be spent on healthful food choices. It is a waste to spend it on fast food that will cost us money immediately and then in years to come cost us in healthcare visits due to illnesses related to a poor diet.
If I add up the cost that we spend on Starbucks coffee in a year’s time its ridiculous. If we go 2 times a week–which is typical and spend on average $25 per week that times 52 weeks comes up to $1250!!! That is a nice chunk of cash that we could be saving towards something else.
The only reason that I don’t save this money is because I fail to plan ahead. If I would take the mentality of planning ahead to make sure that I have a meal packed in the car, fill up my coffee thermos, then the “crave” to eat out would be much less as I would have no need for food.
How to make the change:
Make the change now. Choose to grab a healthy snack instead of eating fast food. Keep an apple or banana in the car and snack on that instead of french fries when needing a crave. Keep your water bottle filled with refreshing water that you continuously are drinking so that you do not feel the crave for a drink of pop.
If your children get snacks when in the car, save money by taking your own. I keep bags of our garbage bag snack mix on hand and take small dixie cups with us on car rides. I can easily fill up each child’s cup with some snack mix to munch on while traveling.
We also keep a case of water bottles in the car to save on getting drinks while out.
If I know we are going to be missing a meal, we make sandwiches to take with us. We like to make club sandwiches and mexican grill cheese for an easy meal in the car. Grab some apples or oranges, and some carrot and celery sticks for a healthful meal while on the go.
If I am doing a weight loss challenge, I will typically take a salad to eat in the car. I will bring a bag full of cut up vegetable sticks for satisfying those munchies while driving around.
You will be surprised at how satisfied you will be after eating a healthy meal instead of munching down a #1 at McDonalds. I know if I am starving, even though my first thought is to run through the drive through if I take the time to eat an apple and then my healthy snack, I am surprised at how satisfied I am and how much better I feel then splurging on that supersized meal.
Are you up for the challenge? You don’t have to completely do away with eating out–just try it for a week’s time. Can you do it?