My First Week-long Challenge: Shifting Mindset

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.


13 thoughts on “My First Week-long Challenge: Shifting Mindset

    • Thanks Petrish, I agree. I’m trying to pack delicious lunches that I can look forward to.

      Taking mid-day walks definitely doesn’t work down here in New Orleans, though. Most of the year, I’d be gross and sweaty within minutes. It’s always super hot and humid here (90+ degrees), except for the very small window where it’s super cold (like right now it’s 37 degrees and I’m dreading having to get from my door to my car haha). I wish we had all four seasons and that I could take mid-day walks!



  2. Hi Chela! Thanks for the link up! I pinged back to you. I guess that’s the term, anyway. 🙂

    This looks like a fun site. Jay and I find food to be our biggest budget buster. We re both “foodies”, so that makes it difficult. Plus he has that energy drink addiction, and I have the sugar one. I used to work in the lab at a hospital and I didn’t like it at all. The only highlight was going down to the lobby cafe at break time and having a piece of pie (pumpkin and chocolate cream were my faves!). But it was the only thing I looked forward to while working there (besides people thinking I was medical personnel because I had to wear a lab coat, that part was fun!).

    Anyhoo, good luck with the challenge. I’ll be watching QQ ! 🙂


    • Thank you Kay! Fortunately, my husband isn’t a foodie the way I am. There are foods he prefers over others, but really as long as he’s got something to eat, he doesn’t much care. So we’re a good balance for each other–I love cooking something delicious and he’ll eat whatever. That’s why I feel bad about using all our eating out allowance. He’ll eat sandwiches for lunch every day and be happy, but I require a little variety! Haha. I’m planning some great lunches for myself, so I should make it through the week and be able to have a date night out, too. 🙂


  3. My husband should join you on this! I think for him, he enjoys getting away from his desk and his coworkers (whom he doesn’t love). So he goes out and runs errands, which is fantastic, but he does it hungry. He always ends up stopping for fast food, even if he has a lunch waiting for him at his desk. It can be a very hard habit to break, but best wishes to you!


    • Thanks! Yes! I definitely understand the wanting to get away. For me, it’s not so much my coworkers, but getting away from the work itself. When I sit in the break room, people still ask me questions, complain about customers, and ultimately if we’re busy, I get pulled back on to the floor. If I’m out of the office, I’m free, at least for that hour. But like I said, I’ve learned that putting my headphones in (I’ve been listening to audio books) has been a great way to relax.


  4. I used to have this same problem! I just stuck to my guns though, and once it became habit, it was no big deal. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel!


  5. Pingback: The Story of a Setback: Stupid IRS and Stupid Me | SmashOdyssey

  6. Pingback: Challenge Results | SmashOdyssey

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