No Restaurant October: Results

Happy Halloween!  Was your October spending as scary as your costume, or as awesome as mine?  (I’m in a Deadpool onesie this year.)

Well, the challenge has completed, and I’ve gotta say:  though it was certainly difficult at times, this month has been great for our budget!  We both did more cooking, and we’ve recovered a chunk of the damage we did with all the eating out during the renovation.

We ate out a bunch on our Disney trip in the middle of the month, but I mentioned that I wasn’t counting that in the original No Restaurant October post.  Other than that, we haven’t eaten out at all.  There were a few grey-area situations, though:

  • I had to travel to the office for a few days this month, and they offered free Chipotle for lunch one day.  I declined, because this challenge wasn’t just about the money for me; I really wanted to see if we could do without restaurants.  I managed to make and bring enough food that I survived and thrived without a single restaurant or grocery trip while I was in town, which was pretty cool.
  • A friend stayed with us for a few days and offered to bring some Krispy Kreme donuts.  I figured that these were just a fresh version of the exact same thing that could be bought at Wegmans, so we accepted.  ..This could probably constitute cheating, I’ll admit.
  • There was a fall festival on Saturday at the local shopping center, and one of the restaurants was handing out chicken wings with samples of their famous sauces.  I passed – though boy did I want one.

In the post that inspired this challenge, Mrs. Frugalwoods mentioned that having frozen food at the ready is the key to being successful in a challenge like this, and boy was she right!  We loaded up on easy-to-make foods like freezer pizzas and just-add-water mashed potatoes, and they were a lifesaver.

So, how do we keep up the momentum from this challenge?  Well, we’ve decided to limit our restaurant outings to twice a month* from here out.  This seems like a comfortable place for us that allows us to enjoy going out while still limiting its influence.  It does mean that we’ll probably be planning our outings and using our two allowances most months, but that will still keep us from going overboard, which we have a tendency to do.

How was your No Restaurant October?  Having a great / spooky Halloween?  We’re gearing up for Thanksgiving, but we’ve already finished doing our stocking-stuffers shopping for Christmas.**  (Gotta love the Dollar Tree and Five Below!)

 

* We’re allowing an additional outing for each of us if it’s to catch up with a friend in a situation where there’s no easy way to do so otherwise.

** DW’s family picks names out of a hat to fill stockings for each other, kind of like a Secret Santa thing.  DW’s mother (DMIL) doesn’t ever put her name in the hat, though, so we end up making an extra every year so she’s not left out.  She’s surprised every year; it’s fun.

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