Day 10, Eat at home Challenge: Did you make it?

Our dog

Eating at home means eating with your pet. Our dog spends virtually every meal with his head on my husband’s leg. He doesn’t beg by whining, but instead just sits there with his entire head on my husband’s thigh. If he’s too hot, then he passes out on the tile floor under the table.

How did you do eating at home for ten days? I have to say that the first ten days (before I even blogged about it) were easier than the second (when I started blogging about it). My creativity dissipated over the course of the second ten days. We’re moving so I’ve been shopping less and eating down our reserves, which is part of the problem. We just don’t have the food to go around. Twenty days of eating at home prior to a large move? Definitely not the best idea ever, but I really have figured out my “triggers” for eating out. The biggest one being “no food in the house.” Ahem.

There’s still time to enter the giveaway for a coupon holder (the saying on the front is priceless). Please leave a comment on this post or any of the previous posts.

What did you learn about yourself eating at home? My key learnings:

  1. I need to menu plan more often. I just don’t feel on top of all my meals. So I just joined a meal planning service: The Fresh 20. Maybe that’s what I need.
  2. I underestimated how frequently we eat out as family. By focusing on eating at home for practically the whole month of July, I’ve become more mindful.
  3. I underestimated how much the cost of eating out. Again, now that I’m aware, I’m more focused on money. Mindfulness is so important.

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9 Responses to Day 10, Eat at home Challenge: Did you make it?

  1. flodnak July 25, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    We haven’t yet hit ten days, because we were traveling when the challenge started so we started late. But so far we are on track.

    I’ve found meal planning is essential for me. I know some people decide what to have for dinner on the way home from work, but I tried that and nearly went mad. I plan two weeks at a time, and I post the plans in the kitchen. Nothing like two hungry teenage boys seeing that tonight is supposed to be chicken tortilla soup night to make you stick to the schedule!

    What helps me is to have a file on my laptop with meal ideas on it. You can arrange by type of meal, so vegetarian in one column, chicken-centered meals in another, fish-centered meals in a third, and so on. Or you can arrange them by how much time they take to make, so quick ideas for very busy days in one column, things you can partially prepare the night before in another, things best saved for weekends or days off in a third, and so on. In time I’m going to organize these into a grid with both variables, but I’m not there yet. I update the file a few times a year, adding things we’ve tried and liked, and sometimes deleting things that have fallen out of favor.

    When I sit down to plan, I open the file and use that to help me. I also, of course, ask for ideas, but I don’t always get any suggestions. I do a big shopping round every other week, and probably end up heading to the store 3-4 times in between to stock up on produce, milk, and the odd things I forget or that we run out of faster than I thought.

  2. Kelly July 25, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    We used to eat out so much, and that has really decreased over the past few years. A few things that have really helped for our family:

    *Having the ingredients on hand for a few really quick meals. There’s nothing wrong with eating grilled cheese or spaghetti with jarred sauce in a pinch. It’s still cheaper and healthier than fast food.

    *Planning ahead on our busy days. I’m a stay at home mom, and I will often make supper right after lunch on days when we have a lot of afternoon or evening activities and then reheat it when we get home. For working parents, making the food ahead the evening or morning before might work well. Some things, like tuna salad, taste even better when you make them the night before.

    *I made a list of meals for a month. Actually, I made one that is more “winter” meals and one that is more “summer” meals. When I sit down to plan our weekly menu, I look over the list and choose what to make based on what I have on hand, what is in season, how busy our week is, and how long it has been since we ate something. Having it all on one list prevents me from forgetting about something for a while, and makes it easier to prevent making the same thing too often.

  3. Manda July 25, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I guess I just don’t understand why there even needed to be this 10 day eat at home challenge . My husband and I both wok full time and our son is in daycare but we aet at home every night together as a family and we don’t get home until 6:30-7pm every night and leave the house at 5:30 am everyday.

    I honestly cannot remember the last time we went out for dinner or even a drive thru.

    Are people really that lazy about eating at home ?

    • Mrs Q July 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      Well, recent studies have found that 50% of meals are eaten outside the home with 1 out of every 5 meals being eaten in the car. I don’t eat fast food, but we still eat out. As a working mom I find it challenging (and draining) to cook at home all the time. Some days I’m just too tired — even when I know it’s expensive to go out. I applaud you and your husband for your habits.

  4. Tamika N July 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    Unfortunately eating at home just isn’t possible for lunch, since it would take me part of my lunch hour to get home. I’d have to turn around before eating. LOL

    Eating dinner at home has become nuts during the week, but very doable on the weekend. So much so that I’ve told my husband that since we eat out during the week so often, it would be nice to eat at home on the weekend. We’ll see how it goes. LOL

    • Debbi July 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Tamika, I cook all of my meals for the week on Sundays. I utilize every burner and the entire oven. Takes me 2 hours max, because everything cooks at the same time. That way, everything is done and waiting for me for the week in the fridge. Covers my lunches and our dinners. Time well spent, IMHO.

  5. Debbi July 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I have to chime in here. I do love to cook, and we do eat most of our meals in. Rarely, seriously, do we ever eat out unless we are celebrating a birthday or anniversary. I cook all of my meals on Sunday for the week, (because I always say I work very hard to be lazy!), but that covers all of our dinners and my lunches. I will have a work networking lunch once or twice a month; but usually I brown-bag it. Saves me money, time, and I know I am eating healthy meals.

  6. Caty July 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Cute dog!.. what is he, a lab mix?

    • Mrs Q July 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      Yes, he is a Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback. Some people think he looks like a pit bull (?), but he’s just a huge, overgrown Lab. Those Rhodesians are big!

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