How Do You Save By Losing

I had hoped that by now I would have written a more prolific blog post or two about the joys of minimalization and simplification while relaxing and enjoying down-time from a May 17th hysterectomy. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, my doctor decided to push my surgery back 3 more weeks. So, here we are at Memorial Day weekend and I'm still a fully functional woman (who doesn't want to be). My new surgery date is June 7th, which means that this Friday is my last day of work for a month. 

In the meantime, I've been loading up my Pintrest boards with articles to read, ponder, and somehow put into action. I've started following other sojourners in this world of simplification and seeing how their mindsets and ways of doing things matched up alongside my own ways, as well. So far, I have a long way to go. Even though I've been on this journey for 5 years now.

One thing that did happen at the time it was supposed to happen, and that was the boyfriend built shelves in my garage, so that I can continue to figure out a way to reduce the amount of clutter and clutter "black holes" in my garage. It isn't 100% finished, as I'm still in the process of purging and putting what is left into labeled bins.

But enough about the garage. I am more interested in the results of my not eating out for a week. Yes, last week, I decided upon a challenge by the boyfriend to go without dining out for one week. Let's just say that I wound up with more money and less pounds by the end of the week. What did I do differently? Well, here are a few little quick things I thought about and did:

First, I was challenged to look at how much I was spending in contrast to how much I was bringing home. For me, this turned out to be 40% of my net income. That's a lot when you think about it. I read an article recently that said that singles spend on average $5,000 ($10,000 per couple) just dining out alone on average per year. I was spending more than that. I was spending nearly triple that amount a year. 

Second, I was challenged to look at what and how much I was eating while dining out. I have been on the diet roller coaster for years now, most recently losing and then regaining 50 lbs in less than a year. That is 100 lbs in and out. While I was losing the weight, I was not eating out. When I did eat out, I was gaining weight. In just this first week, I lost 5 lbs total just by choosing to eat in rather than eat out.

Third, I was challenged to put into action the plan to eat in rather than eat out.  This past week, I joked around about subsisting on primarily chicken salad. While I did eat it 3 days in a row, I didn't just eat that alone. I had purchased easy grab-and-go types of meals, since that was my main issue with not having the time to prepare and cook then eat. So, I purchased pre-made breakfast sandwiches (Jimmy Dean D-lights), bananas, and low fat yogurt for breakfast. Then I purchased prepared lunch items (like a local farm's chicken salad cups and Walmart Marketside salads), and then I actually prepared dinners (BBQ pork chops, pizza, veggies, and more). 

In the end, I saved a whopping $100 by not dining out all week, and like I mentioned above, I lost 5 lbs in my first week. So, what am I going to do this week? Well, tomorrow is payday and I do have one of those chicken salad cups left. I think I'm going to see how long I can keep this up and how much more money I can save and weight I can lose (rather than the opposite).

If I keep this up, I'll have lost the rest of that 50 lbs again and have saved that 40% of my net income!