Devin and I used to eat out 3-4+ a week. Honestly, we lost count. When money was tight, I made the suggestion of going a month without eating for one of my 101 in 1001 goals. We decided to post the results on my blog as accountability and we both groaned a little bit.
For a month, we decided:
- No date night eating out
- No grabbing snacks between classes to stay awake
- No buying Chinese and splitting the meal for lunch + dinner (seriously, my vice)
- No buying a Coke when I had a migraine
Great news: IT DIDN’T KILL US. At the end of the month, I only had one restaurant receipt from a blogger meet up I hosted at Steak n’Shake. Could it have been avoided? Sure, but it was certainly nice to go and meet people!
We learned a lot from skipping on eating out for a month. Some of it was a little surprising! I thought I would share below what I learned from restaurant fasting.
- Cooking your food isn’t always cheaper. When you aren’t eating out for any “treats”, you find that sometimes it just isn’t that cheap to buy food. We did find that we ate a lot less though.
- What you pack is what you get! As a commuter student, I needed to pack two meals plus snacks for everyday I was on-campus. If I didn’t pack enough, I ended up with the joy of being hangry.
- I began stocking up my work space on-campus with food. It helped me save money, but also kept me from getting super hungry in a pinch. I didn’t depend on it, but it was helpful knowing it was there!
- Accountability was key. I will admit there were so many times I wanted to just go run away from campus and go chow down on Chinese food, however, I had been really open on my blog and friends with this and it kept me from doing so.
- Weight loss is a lot easier when you aren’t eating out. I have been able to have very successful weight loss experience so far and I really do owe it to limiting eating out.
- There is nothing moderate about cutting something out cold turkey (dorky pun intended). I think it was great for us to do this, but I realized I began worrying about people inviting us out to eat etc. because I would need to cancel.
My takeaway from restaurant fasting was that it was a great option to make us be more aware and mindful of what we were eating and what we were spending our money on. I was able to spend my whole personal budget on clothing for this past month because I spent my money wisely and I much prefer that.
After this month, we are going to just do once a week date nights or when we are invited out. When money gets tight, we will definitely try this out again though!