Monday, April 21, 2008

Eating Out (aka: my financial downfall)

After tracking my dinner spending habits for the past month, I found that I cooked dinner 14 out of 30 days. This is vastly superior to 2 years ago when I ate out almost exclusively. (It did suck after a while.)

The good news: I have more or less achieved my goal of cooking dinner at home three times a week.

I still want to cut down on eating out. Or at least at expensive restaurants in my neighborhood. I have been able to trade eating dinner out on Saturdays for eating brunch instead. I'm assuming it's cheaper. Another incentive for the switch is that I can get out of bed late and famished and be able to cross the street for a great brunch - instead of making breakfast, washing pans, and having bacon smoke infused into my hair! I tend to cook on the weekends because I have ample time to defrost, marinate, and prepare ingredients.

How do I determine my next goal? I am analyzing the past month's cooking data...

I cooked 46% of dinners.

Dinners cooked sorted by day:
Sunday - 3 dinners
Monday - 3 dinners
Tuesday - 1 dinners
Wednesday 2 dinners
Thursday - 2 dinners
Friday - 0 dinners

Meals that are tough to cook:

1. Wednesday night dinner - I volunteer on Wednesday nights, so I can't cook, and I doubt bf will. Unless, I can persaude him to...Dinner most likely will be something easy to prepare (pasta). We usually get very excellent Indian takeout for $9.

2. Sunday Brunch - I adore. I know making brunch is possible, but I wake up at noon - I don't think any of the breakfast-y things I make would cover breakfast and lunch. Hmm....maybe an every-other-week agreement should be made here.

3. Friday night dinner - I'm always itching to get out of the office and do something to kick off the weekend right.

Even with just those 2 meals a week plus 2 brunches a month - I'd be eating out 10 times a month! Which is better than 16, but still A LOT. I think this might be a good goal to work on, it will reduce my dining out to 33% instead of 53%.

I'm sorry to say, I haven't recorded my lunch eating expenditures. I don't think I will start marking my calendar, but I will aim for brining lunch 3 times a week. I would estimate that right now I bring or get free lunch from work 1 day a week.

For the next 30 days, I will go out to dinner 10 times or less. Going from 16 dinners out to 10 dinners shouldn't be hard (crosses fingers)- it's only 6 meals. And while I'm putting all my thoughts on this blog, I might as well throw in that I have a built-in "cheat" for this month. I am going home for a few days and know I won't pay for meals.

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