The end of no restaurant month

Today marks the official end to “no restaurant month.”  Thoughts of Hacienda’s queso, baskets of chips and salsa, and piggie pie pizzas are filling my mind.  But to be completely honest, the time flew by and I really didn’t crave anything that I wasn’t able to recreate at home.  We are ending our last no restaurant day with an italian pasta bake…. simple, but very yummy.

Reasons why this month was easier that I thought it would be:

1. No one invited us to brunch at a restaurant this month.  We were able to convince all of our brunch friends to have homemade meals.
2. I eat lunch at home every day during the week anyway, so nothing new there.
3. I already make a point to cook at home during the week, so having to make three or four meals during the week wasn’t weird at all.
4. We cheated (twice… read below)
5. We planned ahead on the weekends to make it easy to not break the rules.
6. There are an insane amount of recipes for delicious food online.  Not eating out gives you the chance to recreate some of your restaurant faves at home.

In regards to our cheat meals, we did have two each.  One of mine was a work lunch that I had to attend and the other was when my parents came into town and really wanted Mexican food.  But, neither of these meals were actually paid for by me, or were suggested by me, so I don’t feel as bad about them.  Going into this month, we knew there would be situations where we honestly didn’t have a choice, and my work lunch was one of them. 

For me, the weekends were probably the hardest part of the challenge.  Eating out is such a social thing and is a really fun way to start a night out.  And I will admit, I was totally jealous every time someone came over with a takeout box of mini tacos.  I am really impressed with how well Wes did. He is used to eating lunch out every day of the week at work with his coworkers. 

A couple people have asked us why we decided to do this. I honestly just wanted to see how long I could stay away from restaurants. It is such a simple solution to just grab a sandwich or a salad instead of actually having to plan through meals on the weekends.  With just a wee bit of extra thought, Wes and I were able to make it through the weekends restaurant free without a problem.

Now that the month is over, I think it will be nice to have the option to eat out again, but I also think that we will end up cooking more on the weekends. It really didn’t take that much extra planning.  I definitely recommend giving no restaurant month (or week) a try.

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