In the middle of January we embarked on a little journey as a family. We challenged ourselves to eat dinner at home for a whole month. This might not seem like a big deal or a tough challenge, but we eat out a lot. Seriously, a ton. As I started counting up the number of dollars spent as well as calories consumed I knew that we needed to make a change. Enter the "Eat at Home Project."
For one month we would eat at home for every dinner. This meant we'd spend less money at restaurants and we'd have more control over the food we put in our bodies. The later was a huge deal for me. As we continue to live a mostly gluten free diet, it's hard to stick with it when going out to eat so much.
Plus, Mike and I had both packed on a few pounds over the last few months and it was time to take them off. I would like to slowly start moving to a whole, totally unprocessed diet. If I don't start cooking on a regular basis, this is going to be impossible.
Another huge motivator for us is the disruption eating our causes on school nights. Shelby has a lot of homework and if we're out eating dinner, she doesn't get started on her homework until later in the evening when she's tired and not super cooperative. There were many nights we were scrambling to get all the school work done, take baths, do our bedtime snuggles, etc. That made for a cranky mom and lots of Shelby meltdowns.
Mike and I were instantly onboard. Mike is always game for anything that involves saving money ... that's the accountant in him. The kids weren't as keen on the idea. They are as bad as we are, often begging us to take them out to dinner. So we made them a deal ... if we made it through the challenge, we'd take them to Funtasticks for afternoon of family fun, plus they could pick a restaurant for dinner post Funtasticks. That was enough to get them excited.
On Sunday we made good on our promise and after a month of dinners at home, we played our hearts out at Funtasticks. We made it a whole month! We ate better. We sat at the dinner table together and talked. We saved money. We felt less stressed and less rushed. "Eat at Home Project" was a huge success. It was so awesome, we've signed up for another month and will head back to Funtasticks (we let the kids pick the reward) again in another month.