Tuesday, February 09, 2010

One Small Change: Staying Home

Last month, my "one small change" was to take reusable containers with us when we were out of the house.  We were very good about making sure we had not only our stainless steel water bottles or coffee cups as well as cloth bags with us--perhaps because these have been habits for years.  But this month we were much more consistent about bringing utensils, cloth napkins, and even tiffins or lunchbots with us when we went to restaurants, so we could pack away our leftovers.

This month, inspired by the Conscious Shopper, our goal is to avoid going out to restaurants at all.  For a long time we've been committed to spending the majority of our restaurant dollars at locally-owned places--but for this month, every dinner will be cooked and served at home.

This one small change will dramatically reduce our wastes, potentially reduce our waists as well, definitely lead to healthier meals, lead to a healthier pocketbook, save a bit of gasoline, and give us some extra family time to boot.

I'm a bit late getting this post up--but that simply means I've already had a week on this challenge.  Although I did have one evening where I was craving pizza and a movie, we survived on leftovers and a movie instead.  One of the keys to success seems to be to have the makings for both easy throw-together meals and meals that satisfy the foodie in me.

Although many people swear by having a fixed menu plan, I really like having a list of meals for the week, then stocking the fridge and pantry with those ingredients so we can have the flexibility to choose each afternoon or evening what we would like to prepare.

Things have been really easy for the last few days--since we've been snowed in!

We've set ourselves this challenge just for the short month of February.  We have no intention to keep ourselves completely out of restaurants after the month is over--but I want us to learn from this one small change to keep eating out special--to always be conscious of the choice rather than have it as a default when we're tired.


Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

Your last paragraph is one of the reasons I did it as well. When I was a kid, we barely ever ate out, so going to a restaurant was a huge occasion. My kids have gotten to eat out all the time, and it's no big deal to them. I want to make eating out feel special again.

Lisa Sharp said...

We don't eat out much because I have a food allergy that makes it hard for me to eat out. It's life threatening so I end up being worried the whole meal at most places. We have one restaurant in town that deals with the allergy well (we are friends with the staff) so that helps.

We have found having homemade pizzas made and in the freezer helps. We just put one out put it in the over for 15-20 minutes and we have yummy pizza at home. I just spend one day each month making some and then we have them the rest of the month.


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