September 22, 2014

About a month ago, I decided that our family eats out too much.  We would eat out at least twice a week and sometimes more depending on how stressed out I was.  If you don’t know, I work full time and then I run a business at night, on top of “maintaining” a house, kids, and being a wife.  So yes, it gets pretty damn stressful and cooking dinner was one of the last things I wanted to do every day.  Seriously!

On August 24th, I threw this out on my facebook:


I wanted accountability – posting it publically to my FB friends would help motivate me to stay on track.  After I posted it, I told the hubby and kids we’re doing this!  They were reluctant at first . . . and kind of annoyed about the whole thing.  Add this to another one of mom’s crazy ideas but at least they humored me and said they would try.

We planned our meals for one week.  Tuesday and Thursday were leftover night, meaning everyone feds for themselves and the rule was anything in the fridge can be eaten.  That also gave me a break from cooking.

Monday | Wednesday | Friday I would make easy recipes because typically I work 10 hour days so I didn’t want to set myself up for failure.  Meals that take 1hr or less to prep and make were on the menu.  Time yourself!  Next time you’re thinking, “Hey we’re going to go out to eat” watch the clock – how long does it take you to load the family into the car, get to the place, order, and get your grub.  Most of the time it took us 30mins from beginning to end to get to the place and then get our grub, unless it was a sit down kind of joint, then it would take us longer.  There are plenty of meals and recipes out there that would take you 30mins or less to make.


I started posting pictures of my meals on Instagram more because again accountability! On the weekends, I would make more complicated meals, because I had the time!


Driving around hurt big time!  Damn drive-thru!  So to combat that urge to drive through, I put snacks in the car like a small jar of cashews or almonds.  If I can munch on that while running errands then I didn’t get the urge to do pick something up.  And really, I shouldn’t be grocery shopping on an empty stomach anyway!  The 2nd week, my teenage even got into it and suggested we make Mapo Tofu.


Going out for Gelato was great!  It was a reward and a milestone you know?  I think that if you don’t keep yourself motivate then you’ll fail.  Sure there are hiccups in the road but try not to beat yourself up too much and always be aware of hiccups compared to excuses.  If you’re going to fall back into the eating out routine then maybe you’re just not ready but once you’re ready – COMMITT!


That was a crazy bonus. . . we both lost weight!  I lost like 7lbs and I can’t remember what the hubby lost.  Now remember, we’re not eating out and that means at work too.  Work is stressful and stress leads to comfort eating (based on my experience and excuse).  “Oh honey, had a shitty day – lets go grab something.” Plus since we’re packing lunches, our portions are more accurate, therefore the weight loss.


Finally, week 4 is upon the family and we decided at the end we’d get sushi dinner out!  But we’re still continuing the challenge and will only eat out once a month.  We did still go get the occasionally Starbucks drinks, but we’re working on that too!  We also shop locally more . . . every weekend or other weekend, we make it a point to go to the farmers market for produce.  Overall, I think we have save $400 to $600 in the month.  That number hits you like a sock full of rocks right?!?!  Ditto.  I think overall, we’re eating healthier and saving money.

Remember when you were a kid and eating out was a rare occasion?  Well I wanted to bring that back and give my kids more than just junk food.  I hope I inspired you because if I can do it you can too.   I’m a wife and mother of 2 kids.  I work 10 hours days and depending on the week . . . I could work in the 60 -70 hr range.  I issue the challenge to you and your family.  Think about your meals for the week; take it one week at a time!  Don’t over complicate it.  Post your results in the comments!  If you’re on social media use #eatathomechallenge.  Remember at the end of the month, come together as a family and decide how to reward yourselves for all the hard work!

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  • Reply Marion September 22, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Yee haw!! I love this :-). The McClellan clan is in!!!

  • Reply Amanda H. September 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    We eat out a lot. Or order in. Atlanta has so many wonderful places to eat but I was just thinking it would be good to try a whole month at home. Seriously, I was just thinking about it today. So… maybe your post is a sign? hmmmmm

  • Reply Tsoniki Crazy Bull September 23, 2014 at 1:03 am

    This is great! We actually rarely eat out as it is, but my kids come home for lunch twice a week and we always eat out for lunches on those days. And over here everything is closed on Sunday’s, so if the tiny fridge or freezer doesn’t have anything, we go to McDonald’s (we’ve been to McD’s more in the past year in France than we were in the past five years in the US). That is a bad habit. So let’s see if we can do no more McD’s on the Sunday’s. LOL

  • Reply Lisa September 23, 2014 at 4:28 am

    Eating out is something I’ve been feeling guilty about – most of my adult life, for cost, nutrition and weight, but what trips me up every time is dishes. I have no one to help me with dishes, so to have to unload a dishwasher before I can start, and wash all the dishes after – it makes cooking after working all day even less attractive. How did your family deal with dishes for your month?

  • Reply Marci Girl September 23, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Earlier this year I went in for my yearly check up and found out I had high cholesterol. Well part of the solution was to cut back on fast food. We were eating out junk like 2-3 times a week. So at first my goal was just to eat fast food 1 time a week, which I’ve been doing for a few weeks now. But now my goal is to eat fast food…NONE! I’ve been preparing large meals and freezing portions for the days I don’t feel like cooking or doing food prep and that has been helping a lot. It is totally a good thing!!!

  • Reply Diane stanley September 23, 2014 at 8:28 am

    this is such a good plan and I’m sure it will get easier as you get more used to it. When all the boys were home I would often double or triple a recipe (like meatloaf, pasta sauce, or anything else that freezes well) and keep it in the freezer for “a bad day”. I still do that. Go Sukie!

  • Reply Charlotte September 24, 2014 at 12:40 am

    that’s absolutely fantastic! Well done!

  • Reply Emily October 2, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    An excellent alternative to a farmer’s market is a produce coop. I participate in one called Bountiful Baskets ( and you get so much produce for only $18.50! There’s no time commitment like other groups where you have to sign up for a year or 6 months at a time, so that works out great for me.

  • Reply olivia October 26, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    i need to do this…..but i’m so lazy. but really, I need to do this.

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