I’ve started this post five times this morning. In between stories and dishes and weeding, but now I’m sitting down to untangle something so basic. Food. We’re a healthy family. We rarely eat processed food, avoid all the major ‘bad guys’ cook from scratch as much as possible. I’m sure you can guess the rest of our recipe for eating. Well except one thing, we eat out a lot. Not the ‘go out for dinner as a family sort’ but the ‘oh no we forgot to bring a lunch along and we thought we’d be home in time’ or the ‘we need a snack for the rest of the walk home’ sort of eating out family. In terms of these meals we stay pretty healthy but that isn’t the issue. It’s the cost.
I just tallied how much we spent on eating out in the last month and it was a little shocking. No very shocking, especially since we have been trying to pack more of own food in the last three weeks. It’s easy to disregard when you’re only spending seven dollars here or there, except all those seven dollars add up to a freaking lot of money. I counted 62 times that we stopped for meals and snacks, and that’s not including the cash we spent that I can’t account for. In a family that is trying to simplify and cut our spending this is the only area that we can’t seem to fix.
It’s hard for us, we don’t stay home all day a lot so lunch and even breakfast are usually out of the house, and there are days I just can’t seem to put together a lunch before we’re tumbling out the door. The other part to this is Kevin is gone for two, sometimes two and a half day, a week for work and isn’t living where there’s a kitchen. So often he doesn’t have much choice but to eat out, at least part of the time. But hard or not it needs to change. And though the change may seem huge, really it just means eating breakfast at home and packing lunch and snacks before we leave.
I’m not asking for austerity measures, the occasional stop at a cafe is fine, but it shouldn’t be every day. Besides we all love to cook and bake, there isn’t anything we eat out that we don’t already make occasionally. I just need to get more diligent about planning ahead. Scones are probably our favorite breakfast food, but it’s been years since we’ve made any, you get the idea. I need structure for projects like this. Actually it’s more of a life shift than a project. So I’ve decided that I’m going to use this blog to help me track what where cooking and eating every day for the next month (21 days makes a habit right?).
Here are some of the resources I’m going to be using, please share any more that you can think of:
and of course The Denver Public Library