A month of good eats

This is way late, but they say “better late than never”, right? In February, our family decided to not eat any meals out. We would make everything. It worked very well with just a little bit of planning. Plus, February was a great month to start since I was headed back to work and we have a new baby eating up some of that budget we use to allot toward eating out. Most of the things we did proved to be good ideas to practice on a regular basis.
1.) David has a habit of either grabbing something quick (i.e., fast food and unhealthy) or not eating lunch at all, so I made sure he had meat, cheese, bread, and some type of side to have at work. This works well because they have a fridge there. We did learn that maybe David needs to write his name on stuff b/c someone appeared to be helping their self to his bread. We knew this because I got him those thin sandwich buns (no, he was not counting bread slices).
2.) It’s not unusual for someone at my work to order or go get lunch somewhere on a daily basis. This makes it hard for me to not do so, too, even when I bring lunch. This required a little more prep on my part. Yes, I could leave things in a fridge at work, too, but I am bad about not wanting the same thing day after day. I need to break up the monotony. This was even harder since David was away on business the first week. I had to be good about prepping my lunch in the evenings from leftovers or make something. This did help me out in the mornings with everything I had to do.
3.) We had to have quick and easy meals in mind for most of the week, or at least things we could have for back-up in case David was home late from work and Harrison didn’t nap well in the late afternoons for me to prep dinner, or just in case we didn’t feel like prepping a bigger meal because we were tired or wanted to spend that time with our little man. This was huge! It is very easy to decide you are too tired to make something because all your meals are very ambitious and they take too long, or you’re hungry RIGHT NOW and CANNOT wait 30 more minutes (funny, because it would usually take at least that to go somewhere, wait for the food, bring it back, etc).
4.) Prep work: I tried to prep some components in advance. If I knew there was another chicken dish during the week, for example, I would make enough chicken breasts for both meals and that way one component was already done and we could spend less time making dinner.
5.) Not being too picky. Some evenings, we just had to bite the bullet and have something that wasn’t that awesome because we didn’t want to make something, but we knew we shouldn’t go get something. That meant cereal a few times or just pb and j. This was rare, though, and overall we were very good about actually making a meal.
It was very nice to enjoy a meal that we “made” each night and to also not give in during lunch time, as hard as it was some days. Weekends were also tricky because it’s so easy to want to enjoy a breakfast out or to grab lunch somewhere if you’re out and about. We stayed strong, though, and it proved very fruitful.
I think my favorite part was cooking together. David and I had that time (usually Harrison was asleep) to just make dinner and talk to each other. I don’t know about David, but I love when we cook together. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen and making good food, no matter what the ingredients are or how long it takes. We were able to try several new dishes, and I think they were all keepers. This challenge was certainly worth it, and it has helped us be more conscious since.

Eating in: Part 2

Well, we’re 3 weeks into our month of dining in, and it’s going great. As we sat down to our chicken stuffed with Jarlsberg and prosciutto last night, David and I talked about how much we were enjoying all the meals we’ve been having and how none of them have been too difficult to make or time-consuming (which is key now that little man is around). Most of the meals we’ve made, we’ve made together, and that is probably the best part. I love making a good meal for my man, but it’s nice when we do it together. The food just seems to taste better :).
Anyway, besides being budget-friendly, we were talking about how nice it’s been for lunches during the week. Unless we get pizza during the week, we usually don’t have leftovers from getting take-out, so then we’re left figuring out what to do for lunch the following day. We have out peanut butter and jelly and lunch meat and cheese, but you don’t want that for lunch everyday. Leftovers are always nice because you just put them away into a bowl for your lunch and then just pull it out of the fridge the next morning. There’s a sense of pride when you take a delicious dinner from the night before for lunch and your co-workers ask you what it is because it looks yummy and/or smells delicious.
Just one more week left for us, and it’s clear we will make it to our goal. For that, I am excited and overjoyed. It was easy and delicious. Look for a wrap-up of our meals and sorts at the end of the month.