September is almost over and I have yet to update on the challenge I took a few weeks ago. You may remember I made my own variation of the $75 Grocery Challenge, and challenged myself to not go out to eat this entire month. Let me give you a little update.

The first week was easy. It was easy because we didn't go anywhere. Life would be so much simpler if we only stayed home wouldn't it?

The following week temptation was fairly easy to resist also. We had some homeschool activities. Those are almost always bring your own food or food to share, so that worked out well. But then I ran into my nemesis; grocery day.

We rarely go out for dinner. I am willing to bet 90% of our dining out is lunch. More specifically, lunch on errand day. I do not normally buy convenience foods. Even if I do, there certainly none left by the next grocery day. The mornings of our shopping days I spend scouting deals and making lists. I don't take the time to find or make something we can eat for lunch. Then we find ourselves out and about and hungry. (Big surprise!) Often we call my husband and we all meet for lunch.

It isn't cheap to feed the six of us out, even if we go to the cheaper places and use coupons. I can easily spend, on one meal, a quarter of what I spend stocking up on basics for two weeks of meals at Aldi. It essentially negates all the deal shopping I spent my morning on. I always feel guilty about this going out to eat expenditure.

This month I am determined to break that habit. When we went shopping last week my plan was to start early enough that we would be back for lunch. A few things came up that morning, and my plan was out the window. There really was nothing that could be packed for an on the go lunch. I considered going shopping after lunch, but then we would be into nap time. There isn't much worse than shopping with an overtired three year old. We couldn't wait for the next day. We needed a new plan.

The new plan involved compromise.

It bothers me to buy convenience foods. They are overly processed and overly expensive. In theory, I can make my own snacks and convenience foods for lunch time needs like those that occur on shopping days. The reality is that my schedule rarely allows for that.

The compromise was to buy some convenience foods at the grocery store that are normally not on my shopping list for lunch. I was able to get things that were on sale and I had coupons for, but they still made my grocery total jump considerably. Still, they weren't nearly as expensive as taking everyone out to eat. It is a good compromise.

So, we haven't gone out to eat at all this month. I'm not counting the ice cream that we got after our field trip today that my eleven year old keeps razzing me about. That was a treat, not a meal, so it doesn't count in my opinion.

Don't forget the drawing for Family Feasts for $75 a week is tomorrow. Still time to get your name in the drawing!

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Compromise + work