Friday, June 17, 2011

Thirty Days -- Day 31: The Thirty Day Challenge was so yesterday...

As of last night, I have successfully completed my Thirty Day Challenge. In true teacher-fashion, let me break this down for you in a few main areas.
(Photo courtesy of

The challenge was to...
  • not spend any money on food that did not come from my regular grocery store trips, including dining out, fast food, snacks such as Starbucks, or take-out for 30 days (May 16 -- June 16).
A quick recap looks something like this...
  • On Day 1, I realized that many, many people had read about this, so I had no option to fail.  That was good for me.
  • Day 4 found me realizing that sometimes my careful planning was not carefully planned enough, and I had no quick fix to solve the problem.
  • We found new and fun ways to curb our boredom on Day 7 that did not include spending money on ice cream or some other treat.
  • On Day 16 I walked down Santana Row and realized how amazing everything smelled, yet I found the strength to say no even though I wanted to say, "YES, Let me have some of that, and that... and that!"
  • Day 29 gave me time to reflect on how great it is to have friends in your life -- especially when you are trying something different.
  • Yesterday, Day 30, I could successfully say I DID IT!  And then I realized that it was not just 30 days, but 32 days, because I went from the 16th to the 16th (which gives an extra day right there) in a month that has 31 days (and there is Day 32). 
Three things I learned from this are...
  • Our culture GREATLY revolves around food, and especially dining out.  There were times when I could not spend time with my friends because I needed to "just say no".  I don't think this is a bad thing, but I have decided I would like to make more opportunities for my friends to spend time together without spending so much on food.  Let's get back to potlucks and movie nights!  Just as fun, and way cheaper.
  • I am an impulse food buyer.  Giving up going out to eat for dinner was not that hard as I can make really good food at home (although sometimes I just don't feel like it).  The challenge was saying no to the smells that wafted in the air as I passed a bakery, the sight of well advertised food, or suggestions from others.
  • Leftovers.  It is one little word, but it means so much. 
And there we have it, folks!  The funny thing is that I was just invited to Chipotle (one of my favorites) as I was typing this, and I turned down the invitation.  "Nah," I said, "I have some pasta in my fridge, I think I will just eat that.  But have a good time!"  I don't know if it is because I really want to eat the pasta or I don't want to spend the money I worked so hard to save, but I do know this: It was easy to say no.  What a change from 30, I mean 32, days ago!

Just something to think about!


  1. Have I told you that I heart your blog? 'Cause I do! And the picture at the top, made my day!!


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