Sunday, March 15, 2009

30 days of NO Fast Food...

Here at the Nagle5, we love fast food. We don't eat huge quantities of food when we hit McDonald's or Jack in the Box, but we eat fast food far more frequently than we should. It seems, in fact, to be the last source of bleeding in our budget and Superman and I have decided that we need that to stop. Just so we're clear here, we (unlike so many others) are not condemning the fast-food industry, the quality or the lack of quality of the food, or anything else. We are simply making a budget/habit decision.

To put it another way, we did the math:
4 - 6 morning dates a month at $9 = $36 - $54
4-6 lunchs with the kids a month a $8 (really! we share) = $32 - $48
4 Friday celebrations (held on Saturday due to scheduling issues) at $25 = $100

Adds up to $168 to $202 a month on fast food. That is, in our opinion, far too much.

Now, we've tried saying, "We'll just cut back," but it doesn't ever happen. Given that, we've committed to each other that we will have NO fast food for 30 days, beginning today. In addition to spending less, we're also trying to figure out what running out for fast food is "feeding". Are we bored, are we lazy, what do we get out of fast food that, until now, we haven't been willing to give up? So, don't be surprised if I start writing about how much I wanted to go get an Egg McMuffin or how the kids would love a McChicken...we're on a Nagle5 journey here and I'm using our blog to keep us honest.

What about you? What might you be continuing to do that doesn't fall into line with your stated goals? Spring is a time of new growth, so why not let that apply to yourself, as well?

P.S. You can buy the mousepad at Zazzle:


Anonymous said...

We just put the kids on a budget two years ago. They get an allowance and they can spend it however they want. I pay for clothes and food, but not for dates. In two years, I paid off $8,000 in debt. How? No more Mom can I borrow $20?

Personally if we could all 5 eat for what you guys seem to, I wouldn't worry about it. We usually spend around $50 a meal at a fast food place and $70 at a nicer place.

Good luck with the adventure. It can be done. When we grew up, there were no fast food places, and momma managed to feed us every single day.

Erin said...

Exactly! We've been kidding ourselves since we're not spending the $70-100 to go out to a "real" restaurant that the money wasn't adding up. I think Superman was really, really surprised when I laid it out for him.

momstheword said...

Yu're right. The money does add up. We've been spending about $20 a week on fast food and that's $80 a month. We look upon it as a hospitality time (we go out after church) but still, we need to cut down. We said no last week but went out today to celebrate a friend's birthday.

So have you tried making an egg mcmuffin at home? They are really easy and very yummy. We just buy sausage patties from Costco and then buy english muffins.

Anonymous said...

We once had a guest speaker who said that we should bless our restaurant workers by going to their establishments and eating. Our tips were technically part of the mission field. I thought it was a stretch, but I don't mind going out to eat after church on Sundays and if God sees it as my mission field, so be it. LOL . We take the kids and any stragglers that follow and go somewhere where we can easily get in and use several booths. Sometimes it's just dad and I at the booth, other times we are joined by a kid and a boy or girl friend, or best friend. I find its a good time to find out what is on their minds. But I am not against eating out a lot less. The trips to the fast food place because I didn't lay out meat and everyone is too lazy to defrost it, but not too lazy to drive into town are the ones I am getting rid of. Hubby and I go out on Saturday mornings. It is our date time. We eat out, shop, run errands. I look forward to the time with him, even if we sit at the table and read the paper together. It's $20 that we spend on breakfast that we aren't spending on a divorce lawyer or two.

I am for eating out less, and really making it an adventure when we do. It doesn't have to be expensive. We ate out today (5 people) for $30. We talked and laughed and got #1 busy looking for a summer job. It was fun. It was planned. I think that's the key, is we have forgotten what it was like to plan an evening out. For it to be special. Instead, it's cold burgers eating with greasy fries. YUCK! One thing I do is I plan pizza night at home. #2's boyfriend brings home a few movies from work, the kids all pile up on blankets in the LR, and we eat pizza and watch movies. Entertainment and dinner for 7 last month was under $40. Last night it was Twilight. :)

So Erin, if you and Superman break down and decide to have an occasional breakfast McMuffin this month, I will forgive you. If you make it all month, I will be so proud of you. I know you can do it.

On a side note. Before I went to work, I would go several times a week to Walmart and just walk around and look at all the stuff and yes, I would buy stuff. Since I went back to work, I just don't have the energy to sight see at Walmart. Went yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks! I was totally lost. LOL I bought some things we really needed and only spent $170. I was shocked at how much prices have gone up on some of the things I bought. Dog food was $7-8 a bag, was $10. Figured on the buggy I had, I spent around $70 more than this time last year.
It's definitely cutting down on clutter around here, when necessities are costing so much more.

Erin said...

You guys are so awesome...I do think part of the problem is that it has become habit rather than planning, so I think the 30 days will tackle that. I am trying to figure out how we'll do our cheapy date because staying home to have the date defeats the purpose, in my opinion. Moms, yes, I do know how to make Egg McMuffins at home (I even posted about it), so another reason for the 30 days is to try to figure out what, besides, food, I am deriving from my many fast food trips. Sigh...we'll see. Gens, I completely know what you mean about WalMart (for me it was Target) as entertainment is expensive! (And prices have gone way food kills us, too)

Anonymous said...

YOu could do like my SIL. She had a deal with her oldest that she and dad wouldn't watch any R rated movies, if he wouldn't. Then Shindler's List came out and she really wanted the boys to see it, so they went together.

If you lived here, I'd suggest a picnic, or something like that, but I've seen your snow. SHUDDER.

loveaphid said...

OMG no Egg McMuffins for an entire Month? Its not the kids I'm worried about on this one.
Actually now that I think about it, Your Egg McMuffins should be exempt. I think your dates should go under a different category in your budget that is much needed together time that you guys have eeked out for yourselves, If it happens at McDonalds so be it. This is very different in my mind to not feeling like cooking and going through drive through instead, or having cabin fever and using food as the excuse to get out. But I am a push over, so if you want to be that strict with your self, I get it. If you do choose to cut out Fast food all together, Definitely still figure out something for you and Superman to do alone- together. Your Monday dates are important.

Anonymous said...

I'm am so seconding Loveapid. There your sisters (both blood and internet) have spoken. Date night is too important!

Dani Joy said...

I love this idea. Great incentive and then later those times out will seem so much more special.
We love to eat out too! It is such a special occation and time with our family.

Erin said...

LA - You don't think I thought long and hard about giving up my Egg McMuffins BEFORE I suggested the challenge? It was weak, but I was tempted to scrap the whole thing! You and Gens don't need to worry, though, Superman and I will figure something is only 30 days, so we're missing four, maybe we can have one date night instead. DJ, I think you're right...the challenge will make the whole thing better when it ends...we want to make it a treat again.

Erin said...

PS - Gens, I'd love to go on a picnic with you. Have I mentioned that I am panicked because LA is coming here in April and I think it will still be too cold to do anything outside?

Tricia said...

Ok, a few random comments on the fast food issue: (1)I applaud your 30-day plan, but for me, the health aspect incentive would be equal to the budget one. (2)I just bought a microwave breakfast sandwich maker at Target at half-price-$4.98- and thought of you! (I can run back and get one for you if you want!) It makes 2 at a time! (3)Do you know you can buy all your ingredients, including Canadian bacon, at Sam's (or Costco) and make your own egg (Mc)muffins at home for really cheap, very yummy, and at a much higher quality nutritional value that McD's? So have your fast food - at home! (4)All that said, hubby and I have a weekly date with our granddaughter at Chick-fil-A every Tuesday evening because they have craft night and free kids meals. We all have our own FF weakness :)

Erin said...

Tricia, I totally know all that...We think it is because we are home-schoolers who want to get out! I've noticed since we realized that, we're not so tempted because we can address what is really going...we want to mix up our days a bit and keep things lively.