I know you guys do all kinds of challenges all the time, (cleaning out my closet is going to be the next one for sure) but this’ll be my first time. It’s a pretty simple one. I’m challenging myself to not eat out for lunch all week. The only leaky category in our budget each month is eating out. I feel bad because this is all me. My husband and I don’t go out to dinner hardly ever anymore since we tightened up our budget. I enjoy cooking dinner at home, so it’s okay, but a date night from time to time would be nice. And so while I allocate money in our monthly budget for eating out that’s supposed to be for the two of us, I usually spend almost all of it by myself with lunches at work. I’m the worst.
And I know we all talk about how to overcome this all the time. Cat recently wrote about how planning in advance is the key to success and Christine recently shared some great frugal and healthy eating tips. I know what I need to know, I just need to get down to doing.
And so I’m committed. Sunday through Saturday, no eating out for lunch. I started yesterday, which was easy because our managers always buy us lunch at work on Sundays. Even if it’s usually gross pizza, it’s passable because it’s free. Today I packed up some hearty leftovers, a creamy rice and beans and corn dish that should hold me over just fine.
What’s hard for me about this is not so much the food as it’s the psychological aspect. I’m at work so much, that I just enjoy having a reason to leave midday. Sometimes I’m really happy and so I want to treat myself to something delicious. Sometimes I’m in a bad mood and I just want to get out of the office. Some of my coworkers eat in their cars for these reasons, but I don’t think that would work for me. What does seem to work is putting my headphones in and creating my own space in the break room. I don’t chat with my coworkers or even look at who’s coming in and out. So that’s what I’m going to stick with.
What’s important here is a change of mindset. Just like I used to hate working extra hours and now I love it, I’m learning to love eating in for the sake of my finances.
Wish me luck! Ha.