Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday - Eat In

Today was easy. Monday's are almost never a take-out night.

We're still eating, mostly, from storage, and so with the exception of a few root vegetables, pumpkins, and the stuff I canned, there aren't a lot of vegetables in our diet this time of year. Today we had (leftover) Yankee pot roast with mashed potatoes and bread for lunch. Dinner was French toast (using up the rest of the bread from lunch), ham steaks, and potato-carrot pancakes with side of cranberry sauce (I wanted applesauce, but we ran out of that a month ago ;).

We don't really eat out that often, anyway, but when we do, it takes a big bite out of our weekly cash-on-hand budget, or worse, it goes on the credit card. And we don't go to fastfood restaurants. The restaurant is usually a locally owned place (our favorite is the pizza place across from the dance school ;), it's usually take-out (which means no beverages, which can increase the total bill by $10 or more), and it usually costs between $30 and $50 for the one meal (from which there are usually leftovers). I guess it wouldn't bother me so much, given that one $40 take-out dinner is actually two meals for us, except that we have SO MUCH food in our house. It's just silly to eat out ... ever.

And really, the food is not better, it's definitely not fresher (even in the winter when they're buying non-local produce, and I'm not :), and I'm fairly certain that no significant amount of the food they serve is local.

This is a good challenge for me to remind myself of what my goals are with regard to our diet. It's not that I want to be a food-Nazi or anything, but I just keep going back to my central theme, which is being secure in the knowledge that I can feed my family on what's in my cupboard from (mostly) local sources. If too significant a portion of our diet is take-out, then what will we do when take-out is no longer an option - either because we simply can no longer afford it, or because the world has become such that take-out is just no longer an option?

It is about saving money, and it's about being a conscious consumer, and all that, but it's also about feeling secure, and I hope, at the end of this week, I can look back and realize that it wasn't so tough to not take-out dinner, and we'll do the challenge for another week ... and so on ... and so on ....

And, then, maybe, I can talk Deus Ex Machina into putting all of the money we'll be saving toward some very cool alternative energy system so that I can keep running my computer, even if the lights go out ;).

But more likely, it will go toward the insurance deductible to fix my car ;).


  1. This continues to be something we deal with...we simply enjoy eating out, I guess it's as simple as that. Almost none of the other reasons fit our best goals, and I end up figuring out how many of our "man hours" it takes to earn that particular meal out, and how much I could buy with it in groceries. I smiled when I read what you wrote about paying for regular drinks...we do the same thing and order water with lemon most of the time. On the reverse, sometimes we WANT to go somewhere to hole up, and we'll order tea or some beverage with free refills and sit there and talk and linger, maybe splitting an appetizer, maybe not.

    Jack is actively reading about the alternate energy sources, convinced that there will be a way for us to go off grid somehow in the future.

    It's so cool to read your posts and realize we're hardly alone in thinking along the same lines :)

  2. Yeah, sometimes we want to go out, too, and I almost, invariably, end up feeling like I'm being defiant - like I "deserve" to eat out! But I'm not the sort of person who has feelings of entitlement, and so I always end up feeling guilty, too ;). It's bizarre. It's better if I just eat at home.

    It *is* nice to not feel like you're a circus freak, isn't it?

    As for going off grid, I really think it's not as complicated or difficult as we've been led to believe. I really think the key will be realizing that we don't *need* all of the electric gadgets we have, and I'm working on whittling those down to the real essentials (right now, that includes computers and peripherals so I can do my job, and the freezer for all of the bulk meat we have, but otherwise, I think we could be quite happy with less gadgetry ;)