Monday, September 24, 2007
Every season, I sit down with my bills and reevaluated our budget. I do this every season for several reasons but the main one is that in the fall, our water, heating, and electric bills are very different than what they are in the Summer, or Spring or Winter. Also, every season, we have different children activities that cost different amounts of money. I like to take a fresh look every 3 months and see what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong.
This leads to me our eating out budget. I LOVE to eat out. My husband does too and so we have always budgeted a lot more for that than most. We are not extravagant people at all but eating out is one area that we both are willing to dump a lot of money. In looking at our budget, I realized that a lot of the eating out comes when I am out doing errands with the kids and I have not planned very well and I am starving. I don't think well hungry, and even if we are on the way home, and I could just delay my hunger for about 10 minutes, I swing through a drive-thru and grab something. Now that McDonalds and Wendy's offer healthy choices, the "I'm going to get fat" guilt is gone and I order away. I'm happy, the kids are happy but our budget is not happy.
While looking at our spending, I was reminded about a conversation in the back seat of my car about a week before school started. My kids started to argue about what place they wanted to go for lunch. "I want Panda." "No, we have already gone there 2 times this week. I want Barbacoa" "Mom, toothsome #1 wants Barbacoa and I don't feel like it. Maybe we can go to Wendys." I laughed at the time but it is frightening to realize that they just assumed we were going to eat out for lunch--the thought that I would actually make them a sandwich had never entered their minds.
So, back to the budget, in reevaluating it again today, I decided I have to cut out eating out for lunch and only eating out for dinner once (ok, maybe twice) during the week. This is going to be SO hard for me. My husband doesn't call me McJanice for nothing and already I am going through some serious sadness. To help me, I have already loaded my car with snacks to help me get through the hungry times until I can get home and eat something. Wish me luck.