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Eating Out vs. Eating In: Refocusing

Posted By Alyssa Francis On May 17, 2010 @ 11:36 pm In Eating Out Series,Frugal Living,Wordless Wednesday | 8 Comments

The following is a guest post from Katie Hostetter of Frugal Femina [1]. If you are new to our series about eating out, read more here [2].

Katie at Graduation [3]Katie and her friend Beth at graduation

Two years ago, I got the itch to go to nursing school. Even though I had a college degree in a field I loved, I could not get nursing school out of my head. Somehow, everything fell into place for me to go. {Who am I kidding? I know Who orchestrated that whole scenario.} I signed up for my prerequisites at the last possible moment, and I finished them a semester earlier than I had hoped. So I asked the school if I could apply for the fall semester even though the deadline had passed. They told me I could, but there was only one spot left.

Well, I got that one spot, and I got to go for free. Mileage, uniforms, books, classes, daycare, all expenses paid! I had dreams of going to nursing school, keeping the house clean, fixing home-cooked meals, spending every possible moment with my kiddo, being a Mamavation Mom [4], reading the Bible in 90 days [5]. I put a lot on my plate! That didn’t last for long. The last semester of school, I pretty much gave up on everything. I told my husband, Xon, that I couldn’t be responsible for paying the bills anymore, I couldn’t clean the house, I couldn’t cook. So for the last 3 months of school, we ate out for virtually every meal. As in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. And boy, did it take a toll on our budget!

I look back on our bank statement and shudder. $21.06, $18.80, $17.28. It’s not cheap to eat out with a family of three! We went from paying $50 a week on groceries to sometimes paying $50 a day. Ouch! I worked midnights for my practicum and stayed up during the day with our toddler, Bradley. So if I wanted a Starbucks coffee, I got a Starbucks coffee, dangit! We did not do a good job of paying the bills, but I didn’t have enough energy to do anything about it. It took a toll on our health, our finances, our relationship. It was a whole heap of mess there for a little while! All we wanted was to get to graduation and have a minute to refocus, to regroup.

Well, thankfully I did graduate, and we are reestablishing order! I look back and see ways I could have made life a lot easier. I should have:

  • Used coupons at restaurants when we needed to eat out. MyKidsEatFree.com [9] lists all kinds of places for free meals.
  • Stocked up on easy meals at the grocery. I post Kroger deals [10] every week. I could have used them to buy some fix-it-and-forget-it type meals.
  • Bought groceries online. Alice.com [11] offers free shipping, and if you sign up for a new account, you get a $10 credit after you spend $50.
  • Asked friends/family/church members to help. They would have been more than happy to make an extra meal here or there…If they had known I needed help.

I didn’t do any of those things, but I did graduate this past weekend! So now I’m ready to get back on track with menu planning, grocery shopping, and all of the fun things I did in my pre-nursing school life.

Have you gotten off track with grocery shopping and menu planning? What did you do to refocus and regroup?

Katie Hostetter lives on a farm in Kentucky with her husband and toddler. She shares tips on bargain shopping, healthy living, kid activities, menu planning, and other adventures at Frugal Femina [1]. Now that she has graduated, you’ll see her around much more on Twitter and Facebook [12].

Linked to Frugal Fridays on Life As Mom [13] and Mrs. Moneysaver


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URL to article: http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2010/05/eating-out-vs-eating-in-refocusing.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Frugal Femina: http://www.frugalfemina.com

[2] here: http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2010/05/struggling-with-home-cooked-meals.html

[3] Image: http://s937.photobucket.com/albums/ad216/frugalfemina/?action=view&current=IMG_2216.jpg

[4] Mamavation Mom: http://www.mamavation.com/

[5] Bible in 90 days: http://www.momstoolbox.com/blog/bible-in-90-days-reading-schedule/

[6] Mama’s Fixins: http://mamasfixins.blogspot.com/

[7] Once a Month Mom: http://onceamonthmom.com/

[8] Fabulessly Frugal: http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/fabuless-cooking

[9] MyKidsEatFree.com: http://mykidseatfree.com/welcome.asp

[10] Kroger deals: http://frugalfemina.com/category/frugal-living-and-giving/my-shopping-bag-kroger/

[11] Alice.com: http://frugalfemina.com/alice

[12] Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FrugalFemina

[13] Life As Mom: http://lifeasmom.com/2010/05/frugal-friday-high-school-graduation-gifts-that-wont-break-the-bank.html

[14] Image: http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2010/05/eating-out-or-eating-in-six-benefits-to-dining-at-home.html

[15] Image: http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2010/04/how-often-do-you-dine-out.html

[16] Image: http://kingdomfirstmom.com/2010/05/4.html

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