Surviving Dinner: The Takeout Experiment, Part 2

sdtakeLast week I wrote about our one-week challenge.  Today I’m going to tell you how it went.

The quick summary is:  it did not go well.

More accurately, it did not go as expected.

On Sunday, before I had even gone to the grocery store, we changed the rules.  We crunched some quick numbers and realized that we would likely be eating fast-food dollar menu options or cheap pizzas if we were going to stay in our budget while eating out for both lunch and dinner.  So, we decided lunch would not be take-out, but instead commercially prepared frozen dinners.  That would slightly increase the “grocery” expenditures, but allow us a little more flexibility on dinnertime options.  Besides that, nothing else changed and our budget remained at $170 for the week.

The Results

  • Grocery Trip – purchases included coffee beans, creamer, grapes, bananas, apples, peaches, Marie Callender freezer meals for Rusty, Lean Cuisine freezer meals for me, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and spinach to feed the baby, some miscellaneous food snacks for Conlan’s school emergency kit, and a 9V battery for our smoke detector.  $57.60
  • Sunday – Qdoba Ancho Chile Burrito for Rusty, nothing for me.  I decided I wasn’t hungry after a weekend of camping and eating poorly.  Then, later in the evening, I discovered I was starving and ate leftover boxed pasta from camping.  So far we’re doing great.  :/ $7.54
  • Monday – After a ridiculously lengthy conversation about what we were going to eat, we decide on 2 separate places despite my insistence that we get our food from the same place.  Rusty was going to go pick it up, so I guess it didn’t affect me.  Rusty got a Subway sandwich, discovering along the way that our local store is not participating in the $5 foot long promotion, and I had 1/2 portion of teriyaki chicken & rice with the sauce on the side.  Why did I think this was going to make dinnertime easier?  We’re nothing but frustrated.  $15.48
  • Tuesday – We decide we’re going to get Papa Murphy’s pizza, but can’t agree on what we want.  Rusty wants PIZZA NIGHT! full-on pizza deliciousness while I want a more sensible Tuesday night calorie-conscious option.  He comes around and we decide on a Veggie DeLite with chicken added.  He heads out to pick it up while I reflect on how surprisingly stressful this eating plan is.  Then, he calls me and I pick up the phone and ask, “Do you want me to turn on the oven?” and he says “The front end of my truck just collapsed.”  Stressful, indeed.  $1075.32  $13.69
  • Wednesday – I swing by Subway on the way home from work.  This one was participating in the $5 foot-long promotion.  Easiest night so far.  $11.61
  • Thursday – We all get food from Wendy’s.  A burger meal for Rusty, a kid’s meal for Conlan, and chili & a baked potato for me.  $18.66
  • Friday – TGIF!  As I feed the kids, Rusty runs out to Qdoba for some Friday night burrito love.  $18.02
  • Saturday – We’re done!  *sigh of relief*  I tell Rusty to decide what we’re having for dinner.  Pizza!  No, wait.  Chinese Food!  No, wait.  Five Guys!  No…pizza.  This decision-making is becoming crazy-making.  We end up with the meat-lovers pizza Rusty didn’t get on Tuesday.  And a cinnamon wheel because, hey, it’s the weekend.  $17.52

Total spent for the week = $160.12  Under budget by $9.88!

I’ll be back next week to give my final thoughts on this experiment.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to plan this week’s meals.  Which may or may not consist entirely of salads.

Wondering what I’m doing here?  Learn more about the idea behind Surviving Dinner.


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