Tuesday, September 30, 2008

October dining challenge

The economy is hitting us. We won't lose our house or have to sell the baby, but we're noticing the pinch.

When I took a look at our expenditures in recent months, I noticed one place that it can definitely be trimmed:

Dining out.

Swankette is a marvelous cook...and she enjoys doing it. In her current knocked-up state, she sometimes doesn't feel like it, in which case we reheat something from the freezer...or we just go out.

Sometimes Swankette has knitting night. And when she does, that means I'm on my own for dinner. Which means...well, I just go out.

Sometimes I forget to take my lunch to work. So by the time school's out, and debate practice ends, it's late, and I'm hungry, and Swankette might not want to cook until a little later...so I just eat out.

It adds up pretty quickly.

So I've decided to go cold turkey for the month of October.

This month, the SwankPoet household will do all we can to make our Dining Out budget a total of ZERO.

In order to accomplish this:

--I will NOT forget my lunch. Ever. The only sure-fire technique I've found for remembering lunch is to put my wallet in the refrigerator in the morning. That way, I'm certain to remember to make it!

--But just in case, I will purchase a big batch of almonds, cheese/cracker packages, and granola bars which I will stash inside my desk drawer at work. Those will be my emergency backup lunches.

--On days when I stay very late at school (like student-led conferences, which will be this month), I will plan ahead with TWO sandwiches, or maybe keep extra carrots and hummus for dinner.

--When traveling, I will pack picnic stuff in a cooler. This weekend will be a little difficult, since I'll be attending a 1PM funeral on Friday. I may be required to make a travel exception...but if we pack the cooler, I can have crackers and sausage and fruit to tide me over until we get to my parents' vacant house (almost said "my vacant parents' house," which would have been cruel, inaccurate, and funny all at once). There, we can eat at "home."

--Strangely, I will be eating out the first two nights of the no eating-out month. The area's debate coaches have long-since had our fall meeting planned at the Eagles' club tonight. I shall declare that this, as a work meeting, is a work expense rather than an eating out expense. Then, we're going out with my in-laws the following night. Can't break that plan. Perhaps I can make the month last from 10/2 to 11/2?

--I'll let you know the difficulties of this as they develop.


Chris Snethen said...

I made the 60th and final payment on my car two weeks ago. Combined with going completely cold turkey on soda pop, the Bean household is beginning to find itself relatively flush with cash of late. Of course it's all going in the mattress or silver eagles, but that's another story. The dining out thing has always been a weakness for me. An interesting thought, but alas it's not for this bachelor. Although I'm definitely searching out smaller portions and cheaper menu items. So we shall see. Good luck to you. Looking forward to following your results.

Alison said...

Dining out has always been a weak spot for us too. We're trying to get better about it (the Munchkin rather helps in that regard, since our old default "don't feel like cooking" place isn't especially toddler-friendly), but it's easy to fall off that wagon.

MCMC said...

Ditto the Gleek household. We had tons of time to cook food when we were in grad school. Now? For reasons we've not sussed, not so much...