2.01.2014

Eat in Feb: It's a Challenge!

Friends it is February 1st and you know that means? CRAZY STUFF is going to be happening to your meal time! You are going to be planning meals, whipping up lunches, grabbing breakfast to go from HOME and pushing the timer button on the coffee maker BEFORE you go to bed! Did I mention the best part? You are also going to start seeing little green dollar men on paper magically appear in your wallet for all your effort. So what am I talking about specially?

Can you tell that's a refrigerator?
If you remember this post you know that TNTL is turning over a new leaf! We will be focusing on one area each month learning new ways to save in that area. The whole month will be broken down into smaller weekly challenges with in-depth and informative posts to help you reach those goals! I will be providing a FREE printable Calender each month for you so it is easier to follow along!

Lets talk Eat in Feb!
To print click on the image and print from your menu settings
 Week 1: 
  • The Challenge: Create a Pantry and Freezer Inventory (one will be provided for you on Feb 4th) but if your chomping at the bit ( aren't you?!) feel free to create your own!
  • Weigh in Wednesday: I really love you all and love sharing with you. I also get lonely and want to hear from you so on Wednesday's I am giving you the opportunity to share with me! You can do this by any form of Social Media (here are the links FB,Twitter,Instagram) emailing, and if you're my neighbor hop on over and tell me! I am even going to be hosting a LIVE Q&A via youtube/google hangout more on that later! SO share your thoughts and fears during week one!
  • Blog posts: The posts on Tuesday and Thursday are going to be directly related to the monthly challenge. So you are going to want to pay close attention to them. They are going to help you and motivate you to complete this challenge! Week one's posts are on inventory and meal planning (everyone say UGH!)
  • Rules: This week you are allowed to eat out, man I am nice! HOWEVER,  replace one meal by eating in and NO SNACK STOPS! (hmm...Maybe I am not so nice, huh) Complete your inventory list.  
Week 2:
  • The Challenge: Create a family staples list (I will provide an example of mine and a blank printable on Feb 11)
  • Weigh in Wednesday : Share your completed inventory lists with #eatinfeb you can do this on any social media platform or by email! 
  • Blog Posts : Week two is really going to help you create an easy system for planning meals and buying the ingredients at the lowest price point.
  • Rules : This week you are allowed to eat out on Valentines day AND one other day. NO SNACK STOPS! Complete your family staples list and meal plan for the eat in challenge!
Week 3:
  • The Challenge: No eating out. None, zilch, zero, nada, nothing from any restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, drive-thrus, or any place else that you would have to pay for food you did not make! 
  • Weigh in Wednesday: We are going share our favorite homemade meals! You can post a picture or link from pinterest or just the recipe on any social media platform (use #eatinfeb), in the comments below, or by email.
  • Blog Posts: This week you are going to need resources on how to eat on the go. We are all busy people and it is a time saver to stop and pick up lunch and a snack but it is a huge MONEY WASTER! We are going to talk about eating on the go and look at the financial world of eating in.
  • Rules: NO EATING OUT at all this week. No buying coffee in the morning, no ice cream sundae to celebrate a birthday. Only eat/drink what you have bought at the grocery store and prepared at home. 
Week 4: 
  • The Challenge: No eating out. None, zilch, zero, nada, nothing from any restaurants, gas stations, coffee shops, drive-thrus, or any place else that you would have to pay for food you did not make!
  • Weigh in Wednesday: Live Q&A! I will be answering all your questions about food (well all of those that deal with money!) I will be posting the directions for how to join me on Feb 24!!
  • Blog Posts: We are going to talk about how to cook when your busy. 
  • Rules: NO EATING OUT at all this week. No buying coffee in the morning, no ice cream sundae to celebrate a birthday. Only eat/drink what you have bought at the grocery store and prepared at home. 
 Did you notice that the title had the word challenge in it? You did! Good, because this is not going to be an easy task for anyone! Me included. You are going to have to step outside your comfort bubble and gussy up!

I would like to go over a few rules for the "Eat in" portion of the challenge:
  1. Gift cards should only be used if you don't have to pay tip. IE spending money eat!
  2. If you have a business function that requires you to eat out and pay you may do so. If it is an informal dinner please use a coupon or try to find a way to eat cheaper. 
  3. If you have a family function that requires you to eat out you should choose to extend the challenge another day. (PS remember this is a challenge sometimes you have to say no) example- every month my and my two best friends go out to eat. Last month I told them I was cooking for them this month so I could stay true to the challenge!
  4. Husbands (why do they need a separate category?) I know that my primary audience is female so you are probably bringing this idea to the table. If your hubby works like mine eating lunch away from work is more of a breath of fresh air then about the money. SO you need to decided what works best for your family. We have a Jen and Jeff allowance and that covers eating out individually. He will still be getting his, I will not (because I am not eating out!). However, he is going to take a lunch twice a week during the challenge so he can test the waters so-to-speak. IF you like to eat away from the office for this reason do so but PACK a LUNCH!
  5. Emergencies. We all have them. If you are broken down or have to spend a long night in the ER please feed yourself and don't extend the challenge unless you see fit!
  6. Grocery Shopping: The idea is to save money. You do not want to increase your grocery budget to compencate for not eating out. You want to learn to plan meals and learn sales cycles. If you eat out everyday add up how much you spend and only increase your grocery budget by 25% of that number Eample:
Lunch out everyday $7.00 x 5 days = $35.00
Add 25% of $35.00 to your weekly grocery budget
 That is $8.75 Or a lb of lunch meat and a bag of carrots!
Purpose: Everything has a purpose. Eat in Feb. purpose is to focus on ways to save on the #1 expense after your mortgage!

Reward: Well the intrinsic reward will be the satisfaction of knowing that you can plan meal and cook at home amiss your busy life!  The extrinsic reward will be a FREE ticket to Get a L.I.F.E. (if your local) or a FREE take home binder shipped to you and a 2 hour session with me Via phone/Skype (if your not local) when you participate using #eatinfeb!

Well friends are your ready?
Did you know I was a HUGE HIMYM fan..so sad it's almost over!