One of my 30 before 30 goals was to go a month without buying carry out. January was my month for this goal. I put in an exception for planned outings with friends, since most of my social activities involve food or drinks. Without that exception, it would be a long and lonely month. Of course, the exception overwhelmed the rule. In the course of the month, I participated in ten planned meal outings–outings coordinated in advance, with friends, and in a real sit down restaurant.
Despite the numerous restaurant meals (you can only imagine how many more this would have been in a typical month where carry out was allowed), Mr. Beez and still saved a good chunk of cash. We made sure that when we went to the grocery store, we picked up plenty of cans of soup, microwave meals, and other quick fix options. None of these are ideal meal choices, but a can of Campbells is still much cheaper and healthier than yet another fried rice dinner. (I’m not claiming canned soup is healthy, it’s a block of salt, I know that…it’s just better than having a million meals of carry out).
What I learned in January had nothing to do with food. It was a month of learning that “Good Enough is the New Perfect.” At the end of the month I wondered if I should do a do-over, and make myself have a full month of no restaurant food whatsoever. I realized that that doesn’t fit with our family’s rushed lifestyle. Even if it meant I finished the month a few pounds lighter and with a few more bucks in my pocket, I would have spent the month stressed, without seeing my friends, and unhappy. I did the best I could, I’m carrying practices from that month over to the rest of my life (I bought 17 cans of soup at the grocery store this week), and I’ve accepted that even though I didn’t get a “perfect score” it is still OK.