Sunday, November 4, 2007

Results from October Challenge!!

You might have read that we challenged ourselves to not eat out in October and be better at what we spend while grocery shopping. It wasn't always easy, but I think we did pretty well. I added it all up and our difference between Sept. and Oct. is amazing!! This is just for grocery shopping (food only...no cleaning supplies or paper goods) and eating out. In October, we spent $390 and in September we spent $1040!!! That means we saved $650 in the month of October!! I broke it down even further...

In September we spent $405 on eating out and $635 at the grocery store. Considering that pretty much none of that $635 was spent on meat (as we have a freezer fully stocked with meat), that is a lot of money!! Especially if you factor in that we budget $400 a month on groceries!! Now, we haven't changed this budget in years and I realize prices have gone up, but with not having to buy meat, there should be no excuse for our spending.

In October, we did break down a few times and eat out. Here is a list:

  • We got a snack at Auntie Anne's (a pretzel, large soda, small lemonade, pretzel sticks, and two dips)=$11
  • The boys and I ate at Costco (one slice pizza, chicken bake, soda)=$5.50
  • Bought something at Safeway deli (hey...it isn't eating out if it comes from the grocery store...right?? ...NO!!)=$8.00
  • Hubby ate at McD's for breakfast a couple of times =$12
So, that brings our total for eating out in October to $36.50 and grocery shopping to $353.50. We even packed a lunch a couple of weekends for family outings. Once was when we went to the park (typically we would have stopped at Subway) and the other was when we went to Mt. Vernon. Mt. Vernon does offer food, but the fast food area is seriously over priced. In Sept. we ate there and spent $32.50 on a chicken salad sandwich, a burger, nachos, personal pizza, 2 sodas and chicken nuggets with fries. They have a restaurant there that you can eat at for about the same price and the food is WAY better, but it has been closed for special events the last two times we have been there. I also packed a lunch one day when the boys and I went to the mall!!

I'm not saying that eating out is a horrible thing. I think we all deserve a break occasionally. The problem for us was that we were doing it way too often. It didn't even feel like a treat anymore. Our 5 year old came to expect it and would announce almost daily that our month was up. He even started saying we could eat at Wendy's or Taco Bell because they are cheap....it is the restaurants that are expensive. Today he asked if our month of not eating out is over. I informed him that it is, but that we are going to be eating out WAY less than we used to. We truly needed something drastic to get us to stop. Although we were not perfect, I think we did great. I admit, too, that knowing I would be sharing this information here helped keep me motivated. I feel we can improve more on our grocery shopping, so I need to keep up with planning meals based on what we have in the house. I feel that if we are doing great at not eating out, it is okay to splurge a little at the grocery store. It is WAY cheaper to buy a treat at the grocery store (that will most likely last more than eating it once) than buying it at a restaurant and having it all gone in one sitting. We just need to work on balancing it all out. We did great on not eating out, so I feel that is why we still spent close to $400 on the groceries. To not feel too deprived (LOL), we still got a few special things at the grocery store. Also, there were several things purchased at the grocery store that will last us more than the month.

Anyway, all that to say I am very proud of us....now we just need to keep it up!! And....I hope that I have inspired you if you feel you need to work on this area!!

5 Comments:

teachermomof2 said...

Congratulations on meeting your goal! Your savings are impressive. My goal is to cook dinner at home every night this week.

Lisa
http://catholicmomof2.blogspot.com

Chrissy said...

Hey, you did great! How awesome that you were able to exercise that kind of self control. you should be proud!

Christi said...

I think you did awesome! You really stuck to it, which is more than I can say - and now you know you can do it!

Way to go!

Audra said...

WOW! That is huge. I am proud of you for being faithful to fulfill your challenge. The results were amazing. Thanks for sharing with us. Love ya, Aud

Mom Chatter said...

Way to go... that is an awesome savings! It's so great that you've taken something away from your challenge as well... here's to bringing meals home again! :)