This morning, I had to decided between this:


And this:


Guess which one I chose?  If you guessed bills, you’re right.  :)  I think my legs need a rest day, anyway.


For the rest of February, I’m trying really hard to eat all my meals in (with the exception of travel meals + my dad’s birthday dinner, which is actually tonight!).  The goals are two-fold:  hopefully, we’ll spend less money by dining in, and I’ll be eating more nutritious foods.


I’ve been thinking a lot about why I get so much take-out so I can better avoid dining out.  I’ve concluded there are three general times I fall prey to takeout:


1) LUNCH – Takeout for lunch happens when I’m too lazy/busy/tired/stressed to pack my lunch and end up foodless at the clinic.  I have no other choice but to call up my favorite restaurants and place an order for takeout.


2) DINNER – Takeout or dining out for dinner usually isn’t triggered by stress, although sometimes, we get takeout because we’ve worked late and just want to eat.  Mostly, we use dining out as a way to escape home and the responsibility of having to clean up.  So eating out for dinner is more about enjoyment.


3) COFFEE – Starbucks.  Enough said.


Now, I’ll have to think of creative ways to get our date night fix at home, but solving my lunch conundrum is pretty easy…. I have to actually plan ahead and pack my lunch.  Duh.


Today’s packed lunch:


Four corn tortillas (such a fun change from wheat) with a filling of chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach, all drizzled in olive oil for some healthy fat.



All packed up to go, with an apple for crunch.


I really LOVED this lunch.  It was portable and satisfying (albeit small; I’ll need a snack soon!).  I loved all the different flavors in the little wraps.  And best of all, it literally took me 3 minutes to prepare, and half of that time was spent hunting for tupperware.  🙂


Are you trying to cut back on eating out, too? What’s your takeout trap?



  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat February 16, 2011, 1:30 pm

    I don’t eat out that much, but when I do, I really love sushi! Starbucks doesn’t really feel like eating out because I have some relatives that know me very well and keep me well-stocked with Starbs gift cards. 🙂 Your lunch looks delicious today, and I’d actually rather eat that than the dishes that a lot of restaurants serve! 🙂 Have a great afternoon girl!

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing February 16, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I had a hard time cutting back on lunch takeout. I’ve limited it to once a week. The other four days, I try to bring really exciting things, or just pack little treats. I pack HUGE lunches (I never eat it all), so that I have plenty to choose from in case one thing sounds boring.

    I don’t buy coffee out, so that wasn’t a problem. We still go out to dinner consistently 2 nights a week and I’m kind of OK with that at this point. I enjoy just the practice and tradition of eating out, so I don’t want to give it up!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 16, 2011, 1:32 pm

    We usually go out when we are both too lazy to cook, or because we want to have “date night” — like we deserve a night out with food and drinks, etc.

    Just this past weekend we had a “date night” at home and it was great — something we need to do more often.

  • Elizabeth@The Sweet Life February 16, 2011, 1:32 pm

    Takeout is really so easy, isn’t it? I can’t believe how much I spend at Starbucks and Jamba Juice–for DRINKS! Good luck sticking to your resolution–it’s really tough.

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 16, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I’m very good at eating in. It’s the coffee that’s my issue. I end up working at Starbucks regularly because I get no work done at home. This means, I need to buy something. I dislike this for two reason: money and calories. Those cals can really add up if you’re drink Starbucks regularly!!!

    • Anna February 16, 2011, 1:51 pm

      Do you have a local library you can work at? Mine here is super nice with huge windows, and no food/drinks allowed so I don’t mindlessly snack!

      • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 16, 2011, 2:10 pm

        VERY good idea! I go to the library all the time for books, but it never occurs to me to work there. I’ll have to check to see if they have free wifi. Thanks for the idea!

    • Allison @ Happy Tales February 16, 2011, 2:22 pm

      I looove the local library! Such a good idea 🙂 I always use ’em for books/movies, but I never actually stay and do work!

    • Jazz February 16, 2011, 3:38 pm

      I’m a librarian, and we have a Starbucks IN the library…. which I don’t mind but it wouldn’t help you any! ahha.

      • Baking 'n' Books February 16, 2011, 5:26 pm


        How do all you guys avoid distractions when your at coffee shops and stuff though? I see people with headphones but music would be distracting as well.

  • Jenifer February 16, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Lunch… most certainly! I really try to only eat out once a week, but I almost always fail. Either I decide I don’t want what I’ve brought (yesterday), I’m really craving… (black bean cakes), or I forgot my lunch. I’m trying though. I set our eating out budget for $150 for the month of February, which we met and exceed last week.

  • Rae @ Forays in the Kitchen February 16, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Corn tortillas are just as good as wheat because they’re a whole grain as well! I love interactive food – meals that you put together as you eat it. Makes eating so much more entertaining and satisfying! PS – I like your husbands website! I see they got professional pictures taken. I’m starting my own business and want to do the same thing… did they get a photographer to come to them? I was just thinking of going to the Mall to one of those photo shoot places. Any thoughts or recommendations?

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:45 pm

      We swapped services with a prof photographer – I don’t know if you can do that with your business, but I think it’s great idea!

  • Julie February 16, 2011, 1:33 pm

    As soon as I read about this challenge, I vowed to do the same this for the rest of the month! Thank god its a short month haha! I always get tripped up by buying coffee or soda from the vending machines during my break from classes (it adds up)! Thanks for inspiring me to save up some cash for the fun stuff 🙂

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:43 pm

      Let’s help keep each other motivated!

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin February 16, 2011, 1:33 pm

    I am actually really good about not eating out in general. I do a little bit of meal planning, and it goes a long way in terms of packing breakfast and lunches. Every night I throw together my breakfast for the next day, my lunch (usually leftovers from dinner) and a snack for the afternoon. I also started bringing my coffee to work every day – saves a lot of money!

  • Kristen @ That Hoosier Girl February 16, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Subway used to be my takeout trap! I could always seem to justify why I “needed” a $5 footlong to split with the hubby for dinner.

  • Ellie @ The Mommyist February 16, 2011, 1:36 pm

    I used to eat out ALL the time. Now I almost never do. Part of it is financial but I also just feel much healthier when I eat food I cook. I rarely miss takeout. Stick with it and I think you’ll learn to love eating in!

  • Kelly February 16, 2011, 1:37 pm

    Nice, I usually save eating out for weekends, because it’s fun! I like packing my lunch because it helps me keep track of calories better.

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) February 16, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I cannot STAND the takeout lunch situation in downtown DC and would almost rather starve than deal with the lines. I pack my lunch and snacks the night before – I do morning workouts most days, so this is a must – and make that easier by cooking large batches of base ingredients (veggies, etc) and mixing them up with add-ins like salsa, pesto, and other sauces I have on hand.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 16, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I don’t eat out very often because I feel like I eat a lot better at home. Also, if I eat out, I often feel lethargic because it’s not what I’m used to eating!

  • Freya February 16, 2011, 1:39 pm

    My takeout trap is coffees – but it’s the only thing, it’s my treat, and it’s only £1.20, so I don’t feel tooo bad about it :p

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day February 16, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I usually don’t order take out, but I do like to go to restaurants for dinner on Friday nights. I’ve started eating only half of those dinners (unless I’m really hungry) and take the rest home, which means the next day I already have lunch or dinner ready!

  • ashleigh February 16, 2011, 1:43 pm

    I know this tip isn’t for everyone… but I usually make a big batch of chili or soup on Sunday night and eat it for lunch 3-4 days of the week. I always treat myself to at least one lunch, dinner, and coffee out a week, since it’s rare it’s a nice treat 🙂

  • Kacy February 16, 2011, 1:43 pm

    I’m definitely trying to cut back as I prepare to move to D.C. It’s hard, but I have been getting really creative!

  • Kristen February 16, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Starbucks isn’t eating out. It’s a way of life.

  • Megan February 16, 2011, 1:45 pm

    I don’t recall what kitchen stuff you have at the clinic, but with all the $$ saved you guys could invest in a mini fridge or Forman grill for the clinic– it would probably get good use with the two of you and save lots of moola in the long run 🙂

    • Allison @ Happy Tales February 16, 2011, 2:36 pm

      That’s a really smart idea!!!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:43 pm

      I def need to get a fridge, microwave, and coffee maker.

  • Angela February 16, 2011, 1:45 pm

    My takeout trap is definitely coffee.. and after work driving home early, it’s so easy to just stop somewhere and pick something up.

  • Jennifer February 16, 2011, 1:46 pm

    We aren’t cutting back on eating out perse, but I do pack our lunches every night before bed. ThenI don’t have an excuse in the morning not to do it. I have been doing it for over a year now and honestly it takes me about 5 minutes to pack 3 very different lunch’s for me…the dieter, my husband the person who eats anything and my 3.5 year old daughter who needs breakfast, lunch and snacks packed for daycare. I also lay out my stuff for breakfast that I can…scale, blender, protien powder, banana so that I can grab most of the stuff quickly and just get the stuff out of the fridge that I need. I also make sure I also fill a water bottle and put it in the fridge for me to take to work with me in the morning.

  • LIz February 16, 2011, 1:47 pm

    We don’t do take out often, but we do eat out often with friends – social eating is definitely my trap. It’s just so fun to go out with folks and try new places (or eat at those old standbys) but I also tend to feel lethargic and not great after eating out (not to mention the $$) so I’m trying to cut back.

  • April @ Crazy Fabulous Life February 16, 2011, 1:47 pm

    We are trying to cut back on eating out! Our trap is getting tired from work and kids and all that and not wanting to deal with cooking and cleaning.

    Cool new website for the clinic! Is that you in the picture where the gray haired man is talking to someone? 🙂

    • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 16, 2011, 2:05 pm

      Ohhh kids are precious, and I’m sure it’s a whole 180 deg. difference trying to cook with them in the house! 🙂

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:41 pm

      Yes! It’s me 🙂

  • Kara February 16, 2011, 1:51 pm

    My biggest take out trap (or ordering pizza trap) is not wanting to do any more dishes. I hate cleaning up after cooking and I’m usually already washing bottles, so sometimes I just need a break 🙂

  • Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! February 16, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I sometimes choose takeout dinners when my boyfriend is out and I feel lazy. I always choose healthy options–make-my-own salad from the place across the street, grilled fish, etc.–but it does add up in terms of money. I do, however, pack my own breakfast and lunch to eat at work every day. I’ve become a packing expert! For breakfast, I stock my fridge at work with 0% Fage yogurt and berries and my gluten-free cereal, and for lunch I pack a big salad with avocado, carrots, cabbage, romaine, and a veggie patty (usually Boca). It’s become second nature by now, and it’s really saved me a lot of money.

  • Heather February 16, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Totally trying to cut back, doing alright so far. My biggest trap is dinner, for a lot of te same reasons you listed. I get enjoyment out of it, it’s fast and no clean up!

  • Sarah for Real February 16, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Nice job on the dining in! My packed lunch today? Can of soup… boo.

    My biggest trap on dining out is that my husband’s version of “cooking” is to take me out to eat. I’m not complaining, I love dining out. It would just be nice to have a home cooked meal without actually having to cook it myself.

    • Sarah for Real February 16, 2011, 2:28 pm

      I just remembered to mention

      They’ll send a recipe to your inbox every day (for free!) that is for a relatively easy dinner using seasonal ingredients. Some of them are a little fancy, some very simple. I love that it includes a shopping list for me so I can grab stuff on the way home!

      • Lili February 16, 2011, 8:35 pm

        Thanks for sharing this website! I had never heard about it – great dinner ideas!

        • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:41 pm

          Cool website!

  • Diana February 16, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I fall into most of the same traps as you, lunch and dinner. I have to be good about planning and making dinner, especially since I tend to take leftovers for lunch the next day. Saying ‘yes’ to take out for dinner usually sets me up for swinging by the cafeteria for lunch the next day.

    I’ve been better lately, having leftovers in the freezer definitely helps when the mood to not cook strikes.

  • Amanda February 16, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I always pack my lunch, unless I am meeting someone for a lunch date (maybe once a week). I do meal plan before I go grocery shopping and usually plan on having 4 or 5 dinners at home a week … so I basically feel like we are wasting food if we go out instead. Having the “menu” planned makes it hard to make excuses!

  • Amber K February 16, 2011, 2:00 pm

    All I do is eat in. My money seems to get sucked away at the grocery store more than anything else. When I crave gluten-free treats they can be so expensive! Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you don’t mind not eating anything fun 😉

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 16, 2011, 2:04 pm

    Dohhh!! Caitlin, you just convicted my heart! haha. Yess I am doing a little better not eating out so much–or at least getting cheaper eats. But caffeine fix and dinner are the culprits for me! I think it’s because I actually ENJOY eating out b/c of the atmosphere sometimes..And trying all different kind of things that I don’t usually make at home. I guess I’m like you, it’s an enjoyment! 😛

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) February 16, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Is that you modeling for the photos on the clinic’s website? 🙂

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:40 pm

      Hehee yes.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 16, 2011, 2:06 pm

    That lunchy looks so so sooo good! Simple, filling, and nutritious! I’m sure some salsa would have put it over the top!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday February 16, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I kinda like my own cooking actually. I pretty much never eat out, so my dining out portion of my expenses are very very low.

    Between my husband and I we spend about $40/month total.

  • KitKat @ Pursuit of Happiness February 16, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I’m *really* trying to cut back on takeout. I can’t help it, I LOVE my Indian and/or Thai takeout and it just doesn’t seem like something I can make myself (well maybe I am just saying that). But lunch is the hardest because the Indian place is in my building and if I bring something for lunch that I’m not interested in eating…Indian it is. Dinner is hard too because after a long day sometimes it’s just nice not to have to cook or clean!

    • Parita@myinnershakti February 16, 2011, 2:42 pm

      Hi! I happened to scroll up and saw your comment. I know Indian food seems hard to make or time consuming, but it’s really not! All you need are the right spices and about 15-20 minutes…promise!

      • KitKat @ Pursuit of Happiness February 16, 2011, 2:45 pm

        Thank you! I think I’m gonna have to force myself to try one night and hopefully I’ll be surprised at how easy it is! 🙂

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) February 16, 2011, 2:15 pm

    I actually don’t eat very much…maybe once a month on special occasions with the family. I enjoy making my lunches too much to go out to eat!

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) February 16, 2011, 2:17 pm

    It’s really hard for me — I think the number one thing is that it’s hard to shop for 1-2 people in order to create the variety you get by going out! I thrive on variety, and eating the same things/ingredients over and over again actually kind of depresses me. Since I slave at work by day and school by night and don’t get out and have fun as often as I should, sometimes food variety is the only “spice of life” I get on the weekdays. Plus, I like to use the “I’m busy” excuse and don’t plan ahead as well as I should.

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews February 16, 2011, 2:20 pm

    I love chickpeas in a salad! So delicious and filling.

  • Jess @ MTL Veggie February 16, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I’m really enjoying reading your eat-in challenge as I can totally relate. My biggest trap is lunch-time when my dinner from the previous night didn’t leave me leftovers for lunch the next day and I have to start from scratch. It’s hard to find the motivation to prepare 2 meals at once and I’m usually in such a rush in the morning that I’ll say to myself “oh, I’ll just buy my lunch today…”

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine February 16, 2011, 2:25 pm

    I’m not much of a takeout person, but I eat out SO OFTEN. It’s the New York mentality- everyone does it, on the weekends especially!! I don’t mind paying for a meal as long as it’s awesome. So disappointing when you shell out to eat in a restaurant and the food is sub-par.

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness February 16, 2011, 2:26 pm

    From other friends and bloggers, I’ve concluded it’s a really good thing for my wallet that I just really don’t like Starbucks…

    And that we also have free Dunkin Donuts at work. 🙂

  • Lee @ RealLeeRunning February 16, 2011, 2:28 pm

    We have been trying to curb out dining out budgets too! Meal planning, buying produce and proteins at Costco, and couponing has been helping a lot!

  • kelly February 16, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Just an FYI, on the Holistic Wellness Center website, under “About Us”, it says: “To learn more about acupuncture, supplementation and herbal medicine click here to visit our blog”
    and there’s no link 🙁

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:39 pm

      Thanks!!! I forwarded this to the husband.

  • Alison @ Around the VeggieTable February 16, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I’m pretty good about packing my lunch; I only forget or choose to go out 1-2 times each month. My takeout trap is just Friday night. Everything about Friday screams “do NOT cook anything! Eat out! Or order in! Just be lazy!” We usually have date night out on Saturday night, but Fridays we often order in because I’m too exhausted from the week to cook. Waste of money, and we rarely get healthy options. Ick.

  • Parita@myinnershakti February 16, 2011, 2:41 pm

    You’re doing a good job! Keep it up!

    My “dining out” trap is when a bunch of people want to get together over lunch/dinner. I used to eat beforehand and just get a drink or a small appetizer, but then my bf told me that was rude, so I stopped. I love hanging out with coworkers/friends, but I wish it wasn’t always over a meal.

  • Elyse February 16, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Over the past few months I have been trying to be more responsible with my moolah!!! Here are a few tips that I use:
    1) I set a budget for Starbucks every month. I set aside $30 cash in my wallet for Starbucks and when the cash is gone no more Starbucks for me :/ but it helps me to spend responsibly & I am not constantly snacking at Starbucks.
    2) In order to stay full longer at lunch I eat a good amount of fruit or an apple with peanut butter. It keeps me full for SO long!!
    3) When I am cleaning up the mess from dinner nightly I pack my lunch and put it in the fridge. That way there are no lazy/tired/running late excuses!
    4) My boyfriend and I do date nights at home all the time. We make homemade pizzas together and watch a movie etc. It’s much better than spending $12 for a so-so movie and $10-$15 per person on dinner!!!

  • Jess February 16, 2011, 2:44 pm

    We solve the “I’m-tired-of-being-at-home” problem by going out for a drink before dinner. My husband is a grad student who mainly works from home, so leaving the house is necessary for his mental health, but we wanted to avoid high food costs and extra calories, so I still cook most nights. The coffee addiction used to be a real problem for me, but now I just keep a bunch of tea at my office, and a nice, big mug. Occasionally I’ll treat myself to a coffee-house-tea, but when I put the numbers together, I just couldn’t do it everyday anymore! Looking at our spending habits was the best motivation.

  • Maren February 16, 2011, 2:44 pm

    You convinced me to eat in this whole week!! With the exception of today (oops), but I had the grocery store salad bar, which I chose very healthy items! It’s my birthday on Sunday, so we might go out for that, but this whole week I’ve been eating in and feeling a lot better! Hope it’s going well for you too!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:38 pm

      We can do it together!

  • Rosi February 16, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I always fall prey to the almighty Starbucks. Haha! And dinner… I’m always exhausted when I get off work and wanna just grab something and go home.
    More often than not, it’s the Starbucks though.

  • (what runs) Lori February 16, 2011, 2:54 pm

    My takeout trap is definitely the salad bar at Whole Foods… sadly since it’s SO FREAKIN’ expensive…
    But sometimes takeout is a must.

    Your packed food looks yummy!!! I’m always hauling so much food to work. 😉

    • Rosi February 16, 2011, 9:11 pm

      I am the same way with work food. I’m sure my co-workers are thrilled when they see me and my lunch sack coming. Fridge space seems at a premium sometimes.

      • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:38 pm

        Hahah I used to bring SO much food to my office job.

        • Rosi February 16, 2011, 9:43 pm

          I’m out in the field with my job (a school bus driver), but we have our fridge in the driver’s room for lunch and such things.
          With 150+ drivers, I’m shocked it’s not full all the time.

  • Niki February 16, 2011, 3:09 pm

    I am always trying to be conscious of eating out mostly because of money! I am a full time student and commute to campus and generally have a long day and then work so planning ahead and packing enough food to have all day is challenging but so worth it. I use an all cash budget and allow a set amount of money for eating out, coffee, drinks, etc and when the money is gone it’s gone so I have to brown bag it. This works well for me because I control when I want to splurge without restricting myself too much.

  • Ashley February 16, 2011, 3:12 pm

    My takeout trap is usually when I pass my favorite restaurants. They just look so good I can’t resist going in. Your lunch looks so yummy and easy! 😀

  • Lisa February 16, 2011, 3:14 pm

    My only trap is when I get home from work and my boyfriend starts hinting at getting pizza instead of making dinner. I almost always give in!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape February 16, 2011, 3:14 pm

    That is a great lunch!! My take-out trap is going out for lunch with friends. I’m in college, so a lot of friend time revolves around food.

  • Stephanie February 16, 2011, 3:22 pm

    I sometimes wish take out was MORE convenient. 🙂 🙂 I only work 3 blocks from my house so once I’ve spent a boatload on groceries for the week…a drive somewhere for food never sounds as convenient as just going home and making something.

  • Catherine February 16, 2011, 3:23 pm

    Good luck with the bills, may they be speedy and small 😉

    At my job now it’s rare that I don’t bring lunch to work. It helps that a good number of my co-workers also bring lunch, so I don’t feel like going out to lunch is such a social thing. However, at my last job, I was kind of miserable, and there was nowhere in the office to eat, so when I brought lunch I’d have to eat it at my desk (depressing town.) To get out of the building, I often ate out for lunch, and it got expensive.

  • christine February 16, 2011, 3:29 pm

    I’m usually good on weekdays- I’m a teacher so I don’t really have time during the weekday and am usually home at night with plenty of time to cook.

    Friday through Sunday is a different story. I love happy hours and social dinners- I’m not really a “clubbin” kinda girl, so my friends and I (especially when it’s with other couples) do dinner. I guess it’s all about balance. We try to not eat at expensive places when we don’t have plans with friends, but still, after a long week at work it’s tempting to splurge on Saturdays!

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans February 16, 2011, 3:30 pm

    I try to bring my breakfast and lunch to work most days and eat the majority of my dinners at home too. I prefer being able to control what goes into my meals. When I do eat out at a restaurant its usually for the social aspect more than anything.

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 16, 2011, 3:35 pm

    Basically don’t do takeout b/c between being GF and vegan, most takeout isn’t going to cut the mustard. AND…it’s expensive and i am frugal 🙂

    I plan ahead and batch cook and make planned leftovers. Saves time, money, and my sanity!

  • elaine! February 16, 2011, 3:37 pm

    I haven’t gotten takeout (except for SBUX maybe 1-2x a week) since I started batch cooking at home at the end of January. I’m kind of disenchanted with the restaurants in my area right now (the recession apparently is taking a toll on restaurant food/service quality…) so I don’t miss it.

    If takeout is a trap after a long day at the office, why don’t you stock your fridge or freezer with easy to reheat meals? When you come home, all you have to do is pop that sucker in the microwave (…or simmer on the stove, or whataver). Sometimes I eat straight out of the container I stored the food in, because I store most of it as individual portions.

  • Susan February 16, 2011, 3:41 pm

    I basically never eat takeout. It’s kind of embarrassing – between my lunch bag (a bag I bought years ago at a tag sale – probably 1 1/2 feet by 1/2 a foot) and my workout bag, I take up twice as much space on the train to work as I would without them! But totally worth it – I get to eat wonderful homecooked food, to my desires, and I get to save money as well!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:36 pm

      Rub off on me!!

  • Meghann @ Meghann on the Move February 16, 2011, 3:42 pm

    my husband and I also felt that we were spending too much money on take out and dinners at restaurants. the worst was that none of it was special – just burritos and diner food. so this year we made a pact – we are only going to eat out once a week, and that one meal has to be at a restaurant we’ve never tried before. that way we are really spending our dining dollars well! so far it has been pretty great (we live in new york so there are a lot of choices). of our 6 dinners out, 5 were excellent! plus, it makes a dedicated date night for us. win-win.

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:36 pm

      That’s how I feel – none of it is special!

  • Rachel February 16, 2011, 3:43 pm

    I don’t mind cooking, or carrying a lunch, but I hate grocery shopping! So I tend to put it off, and then I end up with no food in my kitchen in the middle of the week and no time to shop. And then I’m stuck eating takeout. I’m trying to deal with this by forcing myself to go to the store at least once a week.

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:35 pm

      Gawd I love grocery shopping – my favorite thing.

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence February 16, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I try to keep take out to once a week, when I’m really bogged down with work. On campus, it’s just so much easier than going out!

  • Anne @ butter and bear February 16, 2011, 4:13 pm

    We eat take-out once or twice a week. As long as we keep to that schedule, then it still feels like a treat.

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing February 16, 2011, 4:14 pm

    I am getting pretty lazy about meals as of late! I don’t mind preparing food but the thought of cleaning up has been really off putting lately. Funnily enough, as of today I’m making an effort to be better about it :).

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In February 16, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Love that lunch idea! I’m looking for new ones since I bring my lunch every day to work. I tend to do leftovers from dinner (a great reason to actually make dinner too!) or do Veggie burgers & fruit.

    As for dinner, I really just enjoy cooking. I love buying new veggies and therefore have to think of ways to use them!

  • Bec February 16, 2011, 4:19 pm

    I just got your book in the mail today! So excited to start reading 🙂 What I have been trying to do (a trick from my mom), do most of my veggie prep on the day I shop to save time/cleaning throughout the week and than as I cook/prepare food clean up, put dishes in hot soapy water, srub some pans etc and than I can enjoy my meal knowing all I will have to do is clear my plates after I am finished.

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 4:40 pm

      Thank you so much for reading my book!

  • Kelly February 16, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I pack my lunch everyday because of the lack of good restaurants where I currently work, the expense, and because I like to know what I’m eating most of the time. Starbucks is definitely my #1 takeout trap. B/c I work in a Starbuck-less town, I feel like I deserve to stop every time I have the opportunity.

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) February 16, 2011, 4:22 pm

    It’s become habit for me to pack my lunch. When I havbe a free minute while cooking dinner or while cleaning up dinner, I either pack leftovers for the next day, or I make a salad or sandwich. Having a routine helps! 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) February 16, 2011, 4:46 pm

    I nearly always buy lunch – which can be $$ after a while. I need to work on packing my own lunches!

  • Jessica M February 16, 2011, 5:23 pm

    I too want to cut back on takeout. I spend money on my lunch break when we have food at home. One thing we have a ton of is canned soups. I stocked up last year when I got a good deal. So I’m going to start using it up! They are technically free! I have a ton of Amy’s chili. I think that could be tasty with greek yogurt and corn muffins.

    Another thing I never eat is sandwiches. They are very cheap to pack as a lunch! I need to find some good combos that I like. PB & J is the first that comes to mind! Maybe I will try homemade hummus with veggies?

    One thing I did this week is made a big batch of scrambled egg muffins with veggie sausage. (Recipe here: I usually eat breakfast on the go and these are a tasty and healthy choice! The recipe made 15 for me!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:34 pm

      Oooo. That recipe looks awesome. I might try that!

  • Juli D. February 16, 2011, 5:27 pm

    I meal plan on Sunday morning, shop Sunday morning and usually my packed lunches consist of leftovers from those planned dinners. For the husbands lunch I make a big pot of veggie/bean burrito filling (once every other Sunday) and he usally makes 8 burritos at a time and freezes them for his lunches. However, I always have standby’s available (salad and/or sandwich). We rarely eat dinner out, however, we regularly drink out. We are big fans of microbrewed beer, so if we want to get out of the house we go to any of the amazing microbreweries in our area and have a pint. Cost is under $10 and we get our “going out” fix.

  • annette February 16, 2011, 5:40 pm

    I don’t eat takeout at all…I love homecooked and home-made/prepared foods!

  • Rachel February 16, 2011, 5:47 pm

    My takeout trap is the weekends – I’m never in the mood to eat anything I have in my kitchen whatsoever. It also doesn’t help that I usually grocery shop on Monday nights, so by the time the weekend rolls around it is slim pickins in my kitchen…

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad February 16, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Starbucks has been so addicting for me lately. I need to break the Skinny Vanilla Latte cycle!

  • Jacquelynn February 16, 2011, 6:32 pm

    Ahhh, yes… me and my fiance are trying to eat in more. He is particularly bad about going out to lunch at work. My weakness is this AWESOME veggie burger at a place here called “Squatters Brewery” and chinese/japanese food… I just love it! 🙂

    Have a great dinner with your pops! Can’t wait to read how it was.

    • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith February 16, 2011, 6:56 pm

      My husband is bad about eating lunch out at work, too! It didn’t matter what I cooked, bought or stocked the kitchen with, I would always look at my bank account and scream, haha.

      • Jacquelynn February 16, 2011, 6:59 pm

        Haha! I know, he is all about trying to eat in… til he has to take lunch! I offer to make sammies or something, and it sounds good at night, but in the morning he changes his mind. His coworkers are enablers… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, lol!

        • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith February 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

          Oh my goodness, his coworkers were enablers too! And they weren’t eating healthy, either and enabling each other to eat all things fried, ha. He doesn’t work there anymore and is on a post-work cleanse!

  • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 6:39 pm

    My takeout trap is my boyfriend. Or…I am his takeout trap. It works both ways! We used to eat out all the time. Then we realized that we had no money, and we started eating in all the time. Now I prefer to eat in together!

  • Julia February 16, 2011, 6:44 pm

    I dont know if there is a 7-eleven near you, but their coffee is quite awesome. The cappuccino machine they have….well.,. everyone in my office is addicted to it, AND its only 99 cents refills when you bring in a tumbler! They have pumpkin lattes, caramel machiatos, vanilla lattes,….Check it out! I will never buy coffee at Sbucks again. Im totally serious! Even my coffee loving BF admitted 7-eleven was good! 🙂

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:32 pm

      I wish 7/11 was near me!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 16, 2011, 6:47 pm

    My takeout trap is sushi! I usually go about once a week just because I love it so much. 😛

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith February 16, 2011, 6:54 pm

    When I was in grad school, coffee was always my weakness. It just made class so much more enjoyable! But now that I’m living in the middle of nowhere and Starbucks is 15 minutes away, I’ve kicked the habit. I haven’t had Starbucks since I moved from Atlanta in DECEMBER! Who am I?

  • Shanna, like Banana February 16, 2011, 6:59 pm

    I bring a very similar lunch everday. La Tortilla tortillas filled with a broccoli/carrot slaw and some salsa and a light Laughing Cow cheese. It’s perfect!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:31 pm

      That sounds really, really yummy!

  • Dee February 16, 2011, 7:07 pm

    Ah, thanks for this post, it’s a good reminder. I get trapped as well, pretty much for the same reasons as you. Planning seems to be the element- when I plan the day before, I get it right, when I leave it to chance, I usually don’t.

  • Anne Marie February 16, 2011, 7:40 pm

    Since we’ve been working on our house so much, we’ve been eating out CONSTANTLY since none of our stuff is there. It’s definitely taking a toll on my body 🙁

  • Kim February 16, 2011, 7:43 pm

    We hardly do takeout anymore which has been amazing for the budget.

    One thing we love to do is on our date night we pick out a new recipe that we cook together. It makes the whole experience fun since 99% of the time I’m alone cooking in the kitchen.

  • Zo February 16, 2011, 7:58 pm

    I rarely do take out….I do have my struggles with the vending machine at work. I try to pack enough food so i won’t buy anything, but sometimes I can’t help it. It really annoys me since the food is so overpriced…also, at least once a week there’s some poor person’s food hanging in midair because it didn’t release properly!

  • Laura Ann February 16, 2011, 8:04 pm

    You’re doing such an awesome job with this challenge, and this lunch looks absolutely delicious (and simple)! I’m definitely going to make that. As a person who works really hard at saving money by eating in, I’m cheering you on!

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:30 pm

      Thank you!!! I need the support 🙂

  • Lee February 16, 2011, 8:08 pm

    I’m really good about bringing my lunch to work almost every day. I probably go out to eat once a week for dinner, maybe twice. I pretty much never get take out though. If im going to eat at home, I’d rather just go to the grocery store and get something.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit February 16, 2011, 8:11 pm

    I’m kind of meticulous about when we eat out, and we hardly do it at all these days, which means a lot of simple meals like my dinner tonight, 2 fried eggs, toast and veggies w/hummus.

  • caitie February 16, 2011, 8:53 pm

    I am actually really good about not eating out bc I take public transportation to work so once I am there I dont leave! I always always pack my lunch the night before to save time in the morning! And I am just money conscious and hate spending money on eating out unless its with family or friends or something special!
    Also, it is seriously a huuuge help (for dinners) if you make a monthly, even a weekly loose schedule of what youre going to eat. You can always swap them around if you aren’t in the mood for something. Looking at the calendar and seeing it say a specific meal is so helpful. Takes all the brain work out of it 😀

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:30 pm

      I think I need to plan meals – you’re right!

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) February 16, 2011, 9:12 pm

    Looks like a great lunch! I rarely do takeout because I’m convinced I can always make a meal at home that takes better, is healthier, and most of all cheaper!

  • Nicole Baumann February 16, 2011, 9:16 pm

    This is probably a mean reply for a no takeout post, but I was listening to Cosmo radio this morning (which I think you were on during your book tour). Kenny was talking about Cowfish, and it made me think of you….he was also talking about how beautiful the women in the south are, that also made me think of you 🙂

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:29 pm

      Aww Thank you!!! Cosmo radio is pretty fun 🙂

  • Jen February 16, 2011, 9:21 pm

    Hi Caitlin

    Why don’t you pack a picnic for dinner one night? It’s such a fun and romantic way to enjoy dining out, without the expensive pricetag! Even if you drive somewhere pretty and eat homemade burgers in the car, it’s still lots of fun!

    Just a thought 🙂

    • Caitlin February 16, 2011, 9:28 pm

      Awww this is such a great idea! I think I will do this the next time we have a night off.

  • Ashley February 16, 2011, 9:26 pm

    My takeout trap is probably a combo stress/reward. First, i want to eat out because I’m stressed & don’t want to deal with making dinner, and simultaneously, I see eating out as kind of a “reward.” After hard, long days I feel like I deserve it, ya know? It’s hard to break the cycle!

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 16, 2011, 9:30 pm

    When Stephen and I disagree on what to cook for dinner, we end up eating out. I can pretty much scrounge around and find something to eat at any time, but Stephen is more picky.

  • Michelle February 16, 2011, 10:25 pm

    Hey Caitlin- I have a few years on you…… but my 1/2 PR is 1:52 and no, I would never have taken a walk as a run.

  • Jolene ( February 16, 2011, 11:46 pm

    I haven’t been consciously trying to cut back on eating out … but I have definitely been eating out less than I normally do lately.

  • Rachel @ Healthy Teacher February 16, 2011, 11:54 pm

    We only eat out twice a week. But, if I forget my lunch, don’t have time to make coffee, or have a rushed breakfast, I’m very likely to frequent a starbucks…or if I feel like I “deserve” it. 🙂

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged February 17, 2011, 7:42 am

    I’m certainly not a expert runner by any means, but I don’t count walking minutes towards training – to me, it’s just staying active in another way. I’m all about walking too, and coming to find out it’s super easy in Orlando!

    As far as eating out, it’s definitely a trap with all these fun and unique restaurants. Lakeland had all of five places to eat, but O-town has so so so many great ones that I want to try! I’m trying to limit it to places with Groupons. At least that way I can cut the bill a bit but still enjoy trying the food!

  • Kristina February 17, 2011, 9:44 am

    So, I’m jumping on after the fact, and this is more of a comment about how to stick to not eating out. For me, I start to miss eating and cooking at home if we get in an eat-out/take-out cycle. It doesn’t happen very often, but on occasion, for a variety of reasons, I start to crave just a simple, home-cooked meal. I also like limiting eating out or taking out because then it makes it THAT much more of a treat when we do go out to eat. And, since we haven’t been spending 20 dollars here, 15 dollars there, we can usually opt for a nice place and not worry about blowing our budget.

  • Danielle @ InDeesKitchen February 17, 2011, 5:20 pm

    I travel, and we both know that tempts me to eat out. Such a bad habit! I love your tips on how to travel + eat healthy.

  • Ginger May 3, 2011, 7:38 am

    Dear Catlin,

    This is really an awesome blog. Though I am years ahead of you and a naturopath and runner myself, I find your posts very inspiring.
    Your picture looks lovely, too.
    Taking your lunch with you is certainly a healthier, more creative and less expensive option than eating out junk food. Well, except for nicely prepared salads…
    Coffee is another issue. I used to love coffee but I think it has the potetial of making you addictive and rendering your body acidic. I personally switched to tea, though the smell of coffee is still enticing…

    I blog for people with chronic high blood pressure, thus coffee is an issue.

    Keep on writing!



  • Ginger May 3, 2011, 7:38 am

    Dear Catlin,

    This is really an awesome blog. Though I am years ahead of you and a naturopath and runner myself, I find your posts very inspiring.
    Your picture looks lovely, too.
    Taking your lunch with you is certainly a healthier, more creative and less expensive option than eating out junk food. Well, except for nicely prepared salads…
    Coffee is another issue. I used to love coffee but I think it has the potetial of making you addictive and rendering your body acidic. I personally switched to tea, though the smell of coffee is still enticing…

    I blog for people with chronic high blood pressure, thus coffee is an issue.

    Keep on writing!



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