Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'd rather confess, I'm an eat-out-aholic

True Confessions

I have a confession.

I eat out.

A lot.

Not just a lot - but frequently.  I am too embarrassed to admit how many meals (and how much money) I spend eating out.  I think the trend started a long time ago - way back in college, because who wanted to eat the crap they passed as food - and it just never let up.

It has its advantages.  My kids have grown up going to restaurants, so they know how to behave well while there.  It takes the stress out of planning for and making dinner.  It tastes good - most of the time.

But the disadvantages are huge.  The finances can't keep up with me.  My kids may be growing up to think it's normal to eat crappy food all the time - and worse yet, that it is the most perfect reward for doing even the smallest task.  And, of course, the weight gain.

Every week, from Monday til Thursday, I am pretty good at eating.  I eat veggies, and fruit, no fried food, and hardly any sweetened beverages.

But, then then Friday rolls around.  Who wants to cook Friday night?

And then Saturday arrives.  It's the weekend, let's celebrate!

Then it's Sunday . . . might as well take advantage of the weekend while I can!

Before I knew it, I was too busy/stressed/tired to cook some weekend nights too.

Now, I could probably eat this:

But, I usually cave, and get this:


My confession: I'm a eat-out-aholic.

What does an eat-out-aholic do to try to get it in check?  Well, the setting day or number of visit limits didn't really work.  And setting a budget didn't really work either.  So now we are getting drastic:

No. Eating. Meals. Out. . . for a month.

(The only exception: my daughters birthday (when we are taking her out to an amusement park) and our anniversary.)

"That's not too bad" you may say, but for me, it's unheard of.  To be honest, the thought of doing this makes my stress levels rise.  It will be hard.  Hard to plan, hard to follow through, hard to not wuss out on.

But, I have a problem, and something has to be done.  I just have to do it.

Do you have any fantastic (yummy, but easy) recipes to share?  Have you kicked the eat-out-aholic habit?  Please, I beg of you, help a sister out with you input below!


  1. Mandy, you can do it (sounds like I'm talking to myself!), but you can! All those things you get at restaurants, you can make at home. Because you are making them at home, you control the ingredients, you can find the low-fat versions to make. It may not taste exactly the same, but it's close. And it can be fun to get the family involved!

    I know what finances look like after a month of eating out a LOT... believe me, I know. That money can go towards much better things, things you and your family deserve.

  2. YOU CAN DO IT, Mandi!!

    I'll be back after I get my son in bed with some tips :) because I, too, am a recovering eat-out-aholic. For reals, yo!

  3. You can do this. Breaking the habit is going to be hard to do. The key is to not leave home at all if you can help it. Then you won't be as tempted to eat out.

    Crockpot, beef pot roast, miscellaneous seasonings from your cupboard, carrots, potatoes, onions. cook on high for 6 hours. Melt in your mouth goodness.

    Or plan a "cook-in" with your kids. It could be fun. Try it. They might like it.

  4. You can do it! Says the woman with the same problem...lol. Just found your blog, and once I read this post I knew I had to comment!! :) My family has made the same pledge before, though we usually only do it for a week at a time.

    French dip sandwiches in the crockpot are super quick & easy to prep, and yummy too! Chuck roast, can of french onion soup, and beef stock to cover. Cook on low 8 hours. Shred the meat. Split a hoagie roll, layer on the cheese (provolone is my fave), pop under the broiler, add the meat, and serve with a bowl of the strained cooking juices on the side!!

    Good luck to you! Another thing I've done is hand each family member a cookbook and have them pick out a recipe for the week. Gets them involved (more likely to actually eat it) and keeps me from having to make all the decisions! :)

  5. I know you can kick this habit too! I have a friend who cooks 30 days worth of meals and stores them in the freezer for those days when life is too hectic to plan and execute fabulous meals. This keeps them within budget and off the super-calorie-pumped eat-out foods. I've never tried the 30 days idea, but there are plenty of recipe combos out there to make two meals at once. You know, like roast chicken one day, and stir fry with leftovers the next? That kind of thing. Two-fers! You can make a mean stir-fry or stew with leftovers!

    Another idea - have a "party" where you and some friends make several meals together to store (hint, hint, I'll come!)

    And if you get hubby in on the idea of budgeting for something else (a trip to the Bahamas, a motorcycle, a sweet amp, a blissful weekend away with you) you'll have more support to do it for the long haul.

    If mom can kick the cigs, you can kick this one! Rock it babe!

  6. I am *exactly* the same way. I know this is what is keeping me from losing weight AND hurting our finances. Why can't I just plan my meals and forget about those restaurants and yes, even fast food joints? I need to get a grip. But it's really hard. Good luck! I know you can do it. Heck, I know I can--it's just disciplining myself to actually do it.

  7. we were the exact same way until about a year ago. Hubs has been out of work so we keep eating out to a minimum. Although - we were more delivery people than go out and sit to eat. We do love both though! Good for you for trying to break such a habit!

    much love