Meals-Made-at-Home March: The Wrap Up

It’s the end of March! Here is the summary of my little experiment of eating at home for every meal.

The Negatives:

The first negative was my numerous slip ups. It was’t truly a full month of eating every meal at home since my will power failed me a time or nine. What is a girl to do, sometimes a BBQ sandwich or gelato’s siren call gets her in it’s grasp!

Here are the dirty facts:

  1. Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut – Whole Foods – $1.99
  2. Tea – random coffee shop –  S2.03
  3. Cocktail – Copa d’Oro – $6.00
  4. BBQ Sandwich, potato salad, iced tea – Huston’s – $9.00
  5. Hamburger, fries, iced tea – Kay N Dave’s – $15.00
  6. Iced Chai – Starbucks – 0 (used gift card)
  7. Crème Brulle Gelato – Gelato place at mall – $4.00
  8. Hamburger & glass of peach lambic – Father’s Office – $24.50
  9. Turkey Melt, French Fries, Iced Tea – Palisades Garden Cafe – $9.88

Grand total of slip ups: $72.40

The tally may seem high but consider this was a greatly reduced amount from what I was doing. You can see why I needed to try cut back on my eating out obsession. Eating out is expensive! Even for simple things like ice cream or a hamburger, it’s cheaper to go to the grocery than eat it out at a restaurant.

The other negative was “cooking fatigue.” There were days when I just didn’t want to step in the kitchen to make another meal.  Sometimes for lunch I would find myself eating crackers, an apple and some cheese while standing at the counter. I just couldn’t bring myself to prepare a real meal or even get out a plate. Along with cooking every meal comes washing dishes with every meal. Thank goodness we have a dishwasher or I would have been eating off of paper towels by the third week.

The Positive:

Even with my failings, I did save a significant amount of money in eating most meals at home. I would rather not say how much but enough that it really makes me want to reform my ways. I don’t think I realized how much money we were spending on food out until this little experiment since it was always lumped in with groceries in our budget.

The Neither Here Nor There:

You may recall, I hoped this little experiment would lead to weight loss. It didn’t. I think I actually stayed exactly the same. And while I am glad I didn’t gain any weight, it is a little disappointing that I didn’t lose any. I will just have to seek out other methods to aid with this goal. C’est la vie.

The Lessons:

If you really think about what you are eating, you’ll find a lot of what you are eating out is not better or even on par with what you can fix at home. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to shoulder this burden. Consider the average hamburger you eat out. Most people can make a burger as good or better than a restaurant burger. Plus, you’ll have more options for toppings, bread etc. than a limited restaurant menu. It’s something I will definitely be considering in the future of eating out “Could I make this at home? Will it be better? Cheaper?”

Second, so much of social life revolves around food and drink. Part of my failings was due to wanting to see friends.  I even asked a friend if we could postpone meeting up for lunch until April because I wanted to avoid further slip ups. With this realization, I think I will be reserving more of my eating out for social events versus just going out to grab something solo because I can.


I’d highly recommend this experiment to anyone who suspects they are overindulging in eating out. You will realize how much you are wasting each month on food you probably could have made at home.  And it will really broaden your cooking at home. I found myself eager to experiment with my cooking since I either wanted to find some simpler options  or because I didn’t want to be in a rut.

It was overall a really great experience and my husband didn’t seem to mind that much either. All in all, well worth it.

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