Last week we did not allow ourselves to eat out or get any take-out drinks. While it was inconvenient at times, it was most certainly not impossible.
Let’s look at the positives, although they will probably be no-brainers.
Choosing to make all our food and drinks at home meant that we saved money. Going out to eat can quickly add up and be very expensive, especially if we eat out for multiple meals a day, or stop and grab coffee every morning and then grab something else on the way home. The cost-savings were definitely a blessing. We actually went out for lunch Sunday afternoon (once the official week was over) and took note of how much our food cost.
Often when we go out to eat, we tend to mentally compare, or just wonder, how much less it would’ve cost to make the same or similar food at home. We know that there is convenience, and honestly something special, about going out for food or ice cream or lattes. But if it becomes a regular or daily thing, it can take a chunk out of your wallet.
The second positive we found is that eating our own food meant we are eating healthier (in general). If all you have at home are frozen tater tots and leftover birthday cake, it is healthier to go out and get a salad. But on a regular basis, we can assume that it is almost always healthier to make and eat our own food.
When you go to a fast-food restaurant, or even a nice sit-down place, you probably don’t know everything that’s in the food you eat. You may know how many calories are in your meal, but you don’t know how much oil or sugar is really in whatever you just ate.
Bethany used to work as a waitress, and the kitchen where she worked made a special “house vinaigrette.” There were so many people who opted for that particular dressing because it was surely healthier than the ranch or bleu cheese. WRONG! There was so much sugar in that vinaigrette! Definitely not as healthy as many of the guests assumed.
The last positive we want to mention here is that not having the option to grab something on the go or get a latte forced us to think about if we really needed what we wanted to stop and get. This is really the main reason we wanted to give this up for a week. As we mentioned in the previous post, we don’t think we eat out or get fancy cafe drinks often. But this week, whenever we (mostly Bethany) felt that desire to get a low-fat chai latte from Dunkin Donuts (they’re the best, trust me), we had to stop and think, “Do I actually need this right now? Why do I think I do?” Even if we had a “good” reason, we still didn’t because we didn’t allow ourselves that luxury last week. But we enjoyed the experiment. We want to continue to analyze the cost versus the benefit of grabbing food and drinks on the go or when we are out and about.
Really the only negative, besides the slight inconvenience, was that we weren’t able to go out on dates. But this could also be seen as a positive because we had to be intentional about spending time together at home or taking walks! On Saturday, Joshua wanted to be sweet and take Bethany to a Mediterranean place she’s been mentioning, but Bethany had to remind him that we couldn’t until the next week. Instead, we chose to have a special evening at home and enjoy the beauty of the simple life.
Sunday we ended up going out with a bunch of friends to someplace else, but we will hopefully be hitting the Mediterranean place soon!
Overall, we enjoyed the week. We have always found joy in adventurous cooking. It is nice to eat out or grab food on the go, but it is even more fun to create something edible together! We never know exactly how it will turn out, but it is usually delicious.
Going without quick food/fast food has some major pros. It does require a more intentional approach to meal planning and snack prep, but it is totally worth it from what we have found.