January Extreme Challenge

>> Thursday, January 7, 2010

Here's your extreme challenge for January:

Stop Eating Out for a Month

To complete this challenge, you can...

  • Give up fast food for a month. Fast food restaurants are the biggest culprits in eating out - from the napkins, straws, and wrappers to the over-sized food choices, sodas, and factory-farmed meat. Try opting out of fast food just for one month.
  • Only eat at locally-owned restaurants for a month. Even if you're dining habits still result in lots of trash and food waste, at least you'll be supporting the businesses in your community and maintaining your city's individuality. You could also take this challenge a step further and support only restaurants that serve local, sustainable, and organic dishes by searching the Eat Well Guide.
  • Only eat home-cooked foods for a month. You can do it! Go a whole month without eating out.
As always, you can modify these suggestions to meet your family's needs. Just make sure you:

Make a plan.
Write it down.
Post it somewhere you'll see it.

My husband and I have completely different weaknesses when it comes to eating out. Of the two of us, I'm a billion times more likely to be in the car with three grumpy little people and suddenly realize, "Oh, crap, it's lunchtime." My husband, on the other hand, goes out to a sit-down restaurant once a week with his co-workers and orders something meaty. That ritual is one of the few times my non-vegetarian husband gets to eat meat, and it's important to him. I like to see my man happy.

So our plan is...
  1. I'll be going the full extreme and trying not to eat out all month.
  2. My husband will keep up the habit of eating out with his co-workers, but they've committed to only patronizing local restaurants for the month.

Will you accept the January Extreme Challenge to stop eating out for a month? Let me know in the comments what your family will be doing.


You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the latest challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays.

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DramaMama January 7, 2010 at 10:37 AM  

Sadly, for us, the baby step is harder than the jogging stride!! W/kids, it's nuts how many times we stop at that one red and yellow place. They are always open, unlike the local foods restaurant, they have locations you can find easily ANYWHERE, and we know exactly what everyone is willing to eat. We are weak!! But I want to do this. So far this month we've only ordered a pizza. And we had furniture in the kitchen since we were getting new carpet (see how good I am at making excuses?). But I will do my best to steer our ship away from eating out at all this month! We know that financially it's the best option =) Thanks for the challenge...

Green Me Alison January 7, 2010 at 1:21 PM  

This should be easy as it is generally what we already do, although it is good to have a conscious reminder! We are also doing the eat from the pantry challenge, which should complement this nicely!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper January 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

@DramaMama - I completely understand - french fry was one of my oldest son's first words...My weakness is for quick treats, like stopping for ice cream or hot cocoa. How will I keep the kids behaving at the grocery store if I can't bribe them with ice cream?? But I'm going to be strong!

@Green Me Alison - I find the eat from the pantry challenge intriguing, but our pantry is all wheat, rice, and pasta, and I think my kids would start a riot.

Green Me Alison January 8, 2010 at 5:35 PM  

lol. My son is a milk and breath airian, so I do my best to not plan meals around what he eats. The squirrel in me acquired quite the collection of frozen veggies and fruit from the summer, canned sauerkraut, and a dozen squash, so our diet should be pretty diverse. A grain only pantry would make for a pretty nutritionally weak diet!

Robbie January 8, 2010 at 11:39 PM  

I suppose this is an easy one for me - too many unplanned (and a few expected) expenses already this month! Though I don't think the solution was what I did today - hold off on eating out on a busy day and instead munching on the office fudge!

The Raven January 10, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

Excellent! I'm in for jogging for the rest of January and working up the marathon in February. Sounds like a great plan.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper January 10, 2010 at 7:39 PM  

@Robbie and @Raven - Awesome! Welcome aboard!

Condo Blues January 11, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

For the most part we eat homecooked meals. It's easy to avoid the fast food/restaurant food option because I'm working from home.

Put us down for Marathon Runner. Last Saturday my husband and I took advantage of being near a local restaurant that we've been wanting to try forever and had an early dinner as a treat.

Lisa Sharp January 12, 2010 at 12:47 PM  

I would do this but I already do. I have a severe mushroom allergy so I can't eat many places anyway because few can deal with an allergy.

The only fast food I eat is Chipotle, and I don't know if that really counts as fast food.

I can't have pizza out because they are terrible about the mushroom thing. I have even ended up with mushrooms on the pizza when I told them about the allergy so I quit trying and just make my own.

The only restaurant we eat at in town is a locally owned Italian place. We know the staff so they take care of my allergy.

When out of town (to do grocery shopping and what not) we eat at a semi-local restaurant (it's not a chain but not in many places and is not a big chain and they serve fresh food and have well trained staff), a local restaurant that serves organic food, or another semi-local chain.

Both my husband and I feel like crap if we go off our normal diet so even when he does eat fast food or pizza it's rare because he remembers how bad it makes him feel now. Which is good seeing as our organic diet isn't cheap but with cutting out fast food and such I bet we spend less on food than normal families.

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