Goal: Stop Dining Out.

It's no secret that John and I love grabbing a meal together at one of our favorite local cafes. We have a knack for finding little hole-in-the-wall diners and cafes that specialize in home-cookin' or unique eats. Because we both work pretty long hours, on weeknights we often find ourselves at one of these special restaurants for some yummin's. 

There's also one really good part of dining out: John buys. 


The other night I actually had to open my wallet to pay for a Tuesday night dinner, and I wasn't pleased. 


Our dinner cost $27 (including tip). I should also disclose that we both had water to drink and didn't order anything fancy like an appetizer or dessert. 

Holy cow. 

We seriously can't be spending that twice (or three times, who are we kidding) a week. Fifty dollars a week is what we could spend on groceries for two weeks. 

There's a problem though. We both like to relax after work, not spend a bunch of time in the kitchen cooking dinner and packing our lunches for the next day. Granted, John has to take cold or room temp food for his lunch since he doesn't have a microwave available, and I usually take leftovers since I have a fridge and mini-kitchen in our teacher's workroom. But still, it adds up to at least an hour and a half in the kitchen, including prep work and clean up. 

Time is valuable, people! 

Here's where John and I need to recommit ourselves to saving money and saving time on weekday lunches and weeknight dinners. 

Numero Uno: Pack lunches in an efficient way once a week for grabin'-and-goin' in the morning. 

Numero Dos: Dine out once in a seven day period. 

On Sunday night I spent just 25 minutes prepping items for our weekday lunches. I figured this would save me some time each weeknight because most of the prep work is done, other than portioning out leftovers or making a cold cut sandwich.

Here's what I did in those 25 minutes: 

Portioned out jalapeno chips (John's all time fav):

Portioned out peanuts (a mid-afternoon snack):

Plain yogurt (for our lunches):

Homemade granola (to go in the yogurt):

Spinach dip and carrots or crackers (for lunches): 

 And fresh fruit (for breakfast or whatever):

Here's to hoping this was the best spent 25 minutes of my life.

And pray for us. Dining out once a week is gonna be harrrrdddddd.

UPDATE: I'm proud to say that after two weeks of following our goal and portioning our meals, we've only dined out twice. Holla! Although, we did go out drinkin' socializing and spent quite a bit of cash, so we're gonna need to buckle down a bit next week. 

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