Last Month, I ate at home for more consecutive days than I have in as long as I can remember. It was a small feat, to be sure, since most normal people I know do this on a regular basis. I updated the meals list as the month went on to show what we actually ate (as opposed to the original plans I had)
Did we eat anything fancy? No. Could we have eaten healthier? Yes. Is any meal at home healthier than eating at a restaurant? I'd argue, most of the time. Portions at home are much smaller, and I eat less (almost no) fried food at home, and almost always have something fried when I eat out.
So what did I learn?
Part of the goal last month was to eat from our pantry and freezer exclusively. I ended up spending about $30 on groceries the entire month, replacing staples. This part of the experiment was a success. I also discovered it's almost impossible to plan ahead of time from what groceries I'll need- By August 31st, I was totally out of eggs and butter drinks, and the pantry and freezer were considerably more empty. That said, I was impressed how much food we keep on hand. This "clearing out" month was good for us.
I learned that the convenience foods were the first to go, and I had to increasingly cook from scratch more and more as the month went on. I guess I'm lazy- I took the easy way out many times early in the month.
I learned that, if we eat at home more and I'm cooking from scratch, I do a LOT more dishes. Luckily I have a wonderful husband who helped me out on this one. Canning projects also dirtied a good number of dishes, adding to the load.
The biggest thing is, I learned it can be done. Even in the midst of working and get-togethers and family events and church responsibilities and lessons, dinner can be on the table. It's not anything elaborate most nights, it's just simple and filling and good family time together.
Needless to say, September 1st, with an empty pantry and freezer and no meal plan to speak of, we ate out at one of our favorite restaurants. I felt it was deserved.