Surviving Dinner: The Takeout Experiment, Part 3

sdtakeFor a week we attempted to eat take-out, stay on budget, and not be too unhealthy.  Learn about the rules of the game and how it went.

Now, it’s time for my reflections on the week.

Takeout Takeaway #1:  It’s not for us.  Saturday night we were enjoying our last evening of takeout and I made a comment about how I was excited to cook dinner and eat a home-cooked meal the next night.  Rusty agreed.

Takeout Takeaway #2:  Planning is critical.  At least at the beginning of the week, we didn’t plan what we were going to eat in advance of dinnertime.  That meant that we spent as much time discussing our options as I would have done cooking.  No time saved.

Takeout Takeaway #3:  Planning is critical.  Oh, I already said this?  It’s totally true.  Not only is it important for the time-saving element, but planning in advance also helps keep your diet in check.  If you wait until it’s dinnertime and you’re starving to make a food choice, you’re more likely to make a poor one.  Like adding a cinnamon wheel to your pizza order.  *ahem*

Takeout Takeaway #4:  Planning is critical.  This time, for budget reasons.  When we first decided to do this, I had visions of finding deals or coupons or kids-eat-free nights and doing cost comparisons and trying new restaurants but life got in the way.  I’m sure if I would have invested time and effort into planning, we could have improved our nutrition, cut our budget, and increased our variety but instead, we usually defaulted to our old stand-bys.

Takeout Takeaway #5:  I loved not having clean-up every night.  ‘Nuff said.

Takeout Takeaway #6:  It’s actually do-able.  We came in under budget and neither of us gained any weight to speak of.

Takeout Takeaway #7:  Used well, takeout can be an effective tool for a family.  For super-busy weeknights or families that really struggle to find family time together it can be really useful.  Even so, it is by no means a substitute for intentional, mindful decision-making and pre-planning.

Because planning is critical.  Did I mention that yet?

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

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