Eat at Home more challenge
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  1. #1
    Registered User alabamagirl's Avatar
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    Default Eat at Home more challenge

    My big budget downfall is eating out too much for breakfast and lunch at work. Is anyone interested in "buddying-up" to try and make some changes together? I am especially challenged because DH and I commute together and he isn't real crazy about brown bagging. Therefore, my goal this first week is 1-2 lunches at work and breakfast only 1-2 times.

    My strategies are to bake muffins at night to eat for breakfast on the way to work. Lunch is harder. I'm going to try and make a brunswick stew in the crockpot and try that for a couple of lunches.

    Any ideas? Please, the thought of cold sandwiches at lunch is a gagger for me.

    I'd welcome company or any suggestions along the way for some lasting change in this area.

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    Do you access to a fridge and microwave at work?

    If so, take leftovers from the night before. Like chili, spaghetti..

    If you make baked or grilled chicken, use leftovers to top a salad.

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    I try to make my SO healty lunches to take to work.
    I mix fruits together and send them
    I make baked chicken send it cold but he can heat it of not.
    Spaish rice or spaghetti that can be reheated.
    This week I will be making a big boiled dinner Sunday and will send him some of the leftovers for his lunch Monday.
    in the winters it will be hot soups, chilis and things.

  4. #4
    bg
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    I agree with StephanieEffler's idea. Try making meals that will microwave well and not get all soggy during the commute. I compliment my meal with yogurt/chips/lemonade. You could try adding items to compliment your meal that would make you look forward to it. If you have a buddy at work, maybe you could share the lunch? It probably sounds like a corny idea, but I did this for a while, and I liked it as I never knew what to expect. You can either split the meal with them (half a sandwich for you, the other half for the friend) or just exchange meals.

    Another thing I did for a while, was to stock the company fridge (we have three large ones) with enough food for a week. This was prior to when I cooked regularly, so I would buy a week's worth of microwavable meals, ice cream for dessert, juices and so on.

    As for the husband, are there dishes that you prepare that he loves? Ask him if he would like to take some for lunch? My DH used to eat out all the time, and I didn't bother too much about it, because I knew he would eventually come around I purchased some really good microwavable containers from IKEA and use them.

    Hope this helps.

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    fruits with dips or veggies and ranch dip are yummy too.
    cheese and crackers
    bagels with cream cheese would be good for breakfast

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    Registered User alabamagirl's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I need to get in the mindset to do this. One of the reasons I think we enjoy lunches out is just getting out of the office!

    I do have access to a fridge and microwave - no excuses there.

    If nothing else, I could always get lean cuisines on sale and keep them here at work.

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    If you need some more encouragement to want to bring your lunch, set aside all the money you would be spending in a different account. Sit down with DH and think of something you would both like to do. Maybe a weekend away or a nice night out, to reward yourselves until you get used to it. That gives you a goal to look forward to. After you spend the first of the money you saved, set another, larger goal, like a long family vacations, a cruise or something like that. If you spend $50 a week eating out now, it won't take you long at all to save for something really nice. The idea is to put the money to better use than it is going toward now. A vacation (which you might spend money on anyway) is a much better idea than putting unhealthy food into your bodies everyday. Either way, you will have extra money to put toward something great. Good luck!

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    Registered User alabamagirl's Avatar
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    Great idea tbs - thanks! I should never admit this on a frugality board, but we probably spend 80 - 100.00 a week eating out.

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    Breakfast burritos (made at home)
    Bean and cheese burritos for lunches
    The possibilities really are endless, once you think about it..

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    Originally posted by alabamagirl
    Thanks everyone! I need to get in the mindset to do this. One of the reasons I think we enjoy lunches out is just getting out of the office!

    I do have access to a fridge and microwave - no excuses there.

    If nothing else, I could always get lean cuisines on sale and keep them here at work.
    I know what you mean. I feel like I HAVE to get out at noon --- if I stay in, the afternoon drags endlessly. So I inhale my lunch and then I go to a flea market or two or a thrift shop and walk around. Unfortunately now the flea market employees know me when I walk in, but its someplace to go! Or I take a walk around the neighborhood.

    Another thing, I treat myself to lunch out once a week with a good friend. This is the only time we see each other and we both look forward to it.
    ~~Jean~~

    No lie can live forever -- Martin Luther King Jr

    What the people want is very simple - they want an America as good as its promise. -- Barbara Jordan

  11. #11
    Registered User alabamagirl's Avatar
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    jlxian - I think it's important you keep your girlfriend time and don't feel deprived. Guess I could always walk and run errands at lunch.

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    I'm down with the Lean Cuisines! I take leftovers about 80% of the time, and Lean Cuisines the rest of the time. They're easy, and on sale with coupons I can get them for $1.15 - $1.75 each.

    I also inhale my food, read some of the paper (comics, dear abbey, and horoscope) then go outside. If its nice, I'll walk. If its hot, then I'll just walk to the park and sit in the shade for half an hour. I have a co-worker who's my "get out of the office" partner.

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    I'll take leftovers, frozen meals..even group my favorite snacks and make it a meal. For example, cheese and crackers, some yogurt, a piece of fruit, or a cereal bar. Also any meat we had the night before gets thrown on a salad....chop up some string cheese and you have a chef salad.

    I save probably $50 - 80 a week between DH and I.

    Also, I don't eat big meals (anymore) so my desk is stocked with little snacks.

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