It is always difficult to stop when you start any kind of habit. Drink a soda here or there, and all of a sudden, you can't live without it every day. Pass by the vending machine at work during your breaks, and what was once an occasional candy bar has now become a daily "must have" snack twice a day. Same goes for eating out. Grab some fast food or have a nice dinner three times a week and before you know it, it has become a daily occurrence. So, what do you do? How do you break a habit that makes you feel good, makes you happy, and makes your family glow with excitement. The answer, I'm afraid to say, is easier said then done: go back to when it all started out as a treat.
The other day, my 5-year-old daughter was asking what we were having for dinner. I told her that we were having pizza. To that she asked, "In a restaurant?" I began to explain to her that since we have food at home, I had made the pizza. I also told her that we only eat at restaurants once in a while. Just like when the kids have ice cream or cake, we consider eating out a treat.
If you and your family are used to ordering in or picking up fast food at least every other day, I'm not going to say that it'll be easy as pie to quit. But then again, no one ever said that getting out of debt will be smooth sailing either. You'll hear complaints from your family, you'll get sly remarks from friends who are used to eating out with you, and even you will kick yourself in the bum for agreeing to make this lifestyle change, but you know what? You won't regret it when you wake up one day and realize that you are no longer in a financial hole, and you can once again eat out, reach into your purse or wallet, pay for it in cash, and smile knowing that you've done good!
Chances are, however, that if you stop eating out, start eating at home (again), begin shopping for food that is organic, all natural, locally grown, has no added preservatives or hormones - you may stop eating out all together . So then if you really think about it, grabbing lunch with your friends or taking your family out to dinner will actually then be a treat! Now, that is something to look forward to and smile about.