Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Restaurant Diet

The wedding is in three months, and even though it will be a high-class/low-budget affair, it is still demanding an uncomfortable amount of our small paychecks. We were looking at our finances, trying to see where we can save money and cut costs, but we kept coming up empty. The fact is, we already live life pretty cheap. We don't buy new clothes. We don't travel far from home. We get our books and furniture used. And yet, we knew there was something we were ovelooking. Something we could do without. A sacrifice we could make, at least until after the wedding. 

Restaurants. Of course. 

We don't eat out that much - maybe two or three times a week (and that counts soy lattes from Starbucks and a dash through the Whole Foods hot bar). When we do go out, we usually end up spending around 30-40 dollars. That's half our weekly grocery bill for one meal. When you think about it in those terms, it's a no-brainer.

Goodbye, Whole Foods hot bar.

So - no restaurant meals until our rehearsal dinner on November 9. We made this vow one week ago, the day after my birthday, and so far we're doing just fine. I'm bringing coffee to work instead of going next door to Starbucks, and splurging on things like jars of curry sauce (which is certainly cheaper than going out for Indian, and less time-consuming than making my own sauces from scratch). Once school starts next week, I'm sure the allure of going out will be stronger, but I'm planning to combat that temptation by making excellent use of my crock-pot, doubling recipes and freezing the extras, and making sure we always have veggie burgers on hand.

Honestly, I don't think it will be too difficult. It's only three months, and having a deadline and a compelling reason for the challenge helps a bunch. Every time we eat at home, we're helping our wedding be a bigger, better celebration. That's 100% worth what is, in reality, a small sacrifice.