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One Month Challenge: Dining In, Week 1

[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. Last month, we watched Melanie push herself to work out every day. This month, Megan is gonna go 4 weeks without eating out. Can she handle the heat of the kitchen??]

Sitting here writing this, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve lost my mind.

I’ve decided to challenge myself to not eat out for the entire month of December. And only 4 days in, I’ve already got a hunger for some delicious food that doesn’t require me cooking. Let’s not forget that the only dishes I can cook successfully are Kraft Mac and Cheese and Cup O’Noodles.

So what led me to this crazy decision? No, not a sugar induced high, but Mint.com.  Looking over my Mint account, I started to notice a trend.  My “Restaurants” numbers were always ridiculously high and one of the top things I spend money on, month after month. To be honest, until I was trying to figure out where I could cut spending (thank you, student loans), I had never realized how often I eat out and just how much of my money I spend on food.  What’s even more disgusting is that I know I’ve spent cash (lots of it!) on food as well, I just don’t have the documented proof staring at me from my computer screen.

The other reason I wanted to try this challenge was to force myself to have to cook. I know that one day I am going to be a real human being and I’m going to have to know my way around a kitchen. Unfortunately, that time is coming more quickly than I’d like and I can’t live on microwavable noodles forever.

Being the busy (and lazy) girl that I am, I’ve grown accustomed to coming home after a long day of class and work and just running out to grab fast food or picking up my phone and ordering delivery.  Now that I don’t have that as an option, I’ll finally get around to finding and trying out some recipes.  I always read the awesome recipes posted here on CollegeCandy and now I’ll have no choice but to try some out!

Let’s hope I don’t burn my kitchen down.
Or starve when I mess up every single thing I attempt to cook.

Now, all that being said, I did set one exception to my “no dining out” goal and that involves gettin’ my drank on. Although I’m not eating out, I’m still going to drink out. Going out to bars is a huge part of my social life and if I can’t have food, I’m gonna need some yummy drinks. BUT! I promise no drunken food, at least not until I get home. (Pizza bagels, here I come!)

I can’t wait to keep you updated on this challenge and hope that some of you will join me along the way. It won’t be easy, but I’m hoping it will pay off….literally.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go raid my kitchen and pack a lunch for tomorrow.

[Check out the other One Month Challenges we’ve taken on. And if you’ve got a challenge you want to tackle (and be held accountable for), email us and we could feature you next month. Come on – it’s good for you!]

    Comments

    Comments

    1. Ashley says:

      I tried the "Intro to Cooking: Sausage-Stuffed peppers" on CC, and they were great! Also, I just invested in a cheap crock-pot and it's saved my sanity. Good luck!

    2. Charlotte- University of Birmingham says:

      Get hold of a few student cook books for inspiration, have a flick through and note down anything you want to it. If you make something that serves 4 then you can freeze the remaning portions and just microwave them when you need them.
      It really helps to plan your meals in advance.
      Since I came to America I've noticed how much more I eat out. At home I probably eat only only 2 or 3 times a month, but over her eating out is definitely a part of the culture. I sometimes find myself eating out 3 or 4 times a WEEK.
      I'm definitely really interested in how you do- good luck!!
      Keep us posted on any tasty recipes you find :]]

      Charlotte http://www.girlnextdoorfashion.net

    3. Ashley says:

      eating out is soo much healthier too…i know I totally freaked out when I found out how many calories "healthy" options at restaurants had…ugh>.<

      good luck!

    4. Dina says:

      Definitely will once I move out here in a little bit.. Not looking forward to it but I am excited to try!

    5. Spagetti is always a simple and quick option. You can add hamburger to it or not, and have a side of garlic bread. Also, I love tacos and fajitas and those are easy one too. Finally, there are tons of cookbooks dedicated to quick meals, including ones especially for students. Good luck. ___ _http://studentswhostillhavesouls.blogspot.com

    6. MichST says:

      Hey College girl here who loves to cook and regularly cooks a big dinner for everyone once a week. Allrecipes.com is fun for new recipes and taking leftovers and turning them into some yummi sandwichs/soups to eat on campus during the week that does not taste like what I made during the weekend! Good luck!

    7. alexandra says:

      I'm currently doing this too! And also mainly because of my bank account. I've realized even when I get fast food I spent at least seven dollars on a meal. When I'm home, even if it's just warming up canned soup or making mac and cheese, I can spend less than three bucks per day on food. SO much better. I also have set the criteria that I can only buy juice once a month—that shiz is EXPENSIVE, and a ton of calories that you don't need at all.

    8. Amy says:

      I REALLY need to do this along with you. I work in a restaurant, and even with my 50% off each shift, the total each week still adds up to much more than a grocery store trip… I'm in some great need of cash and this might just be the push I need to get myself to stop getting DELICIOUS food out and maybe learn how to make something more than a sandwich or a lean cuisine… and maybe learn to plan ahead a bit too! (that's the other problem… running out the door late without breakfast/lunch or just being too hungry to wait for a meal to cook!)

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    10. Beth says:

      If you need a book full of easy recipes, the 4 ingredient books are great. I got my mother the first two last year for christmas, and am planning on buying the 3rd this year.

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    22. this will def one hard challenge..one of my vices is sweets …desserts and shopping and I can't give up either one too easy…:/

      10 Reasons You Will Never Be Successful (Must Read Article in 2010)
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