Monday, December 5, 2011

Eating Out

In reviewing our spending, in preparing our 2012 Annual Spending Plan, one of the categories we could cut back on is eating out. 

I eat out, on average, five times a week.  Eating out can consist of ordering lunch in at work, eating out on the weekend with my husband, eating out during the week with work colleagues or friends, etc.   I prefer eating out because (1) I hate to cook; (2) I work hard and after working 12 hours I'd rather not spend time cooking or preparing lunch for the next day; (3) I enjoy food prepared by professionals more than food prepared by me or my husband.  But eating out is expensive and adding it up we are spending more than $4000 a year eating out.

So, I'm going to cut back in this category.  I've decided that it would be reasonable to eat out twice during the week and once on the weekend.  My plan is probably to order lunch in on Monday, go out for lunch once during the week and bring my lunch the other three days.  I think that I can probably save $1000 by making this switch, plus I likely will reduce my calorie intake.  I can't cut the bill in half because the grocery bill is going to go up and groceries are expensive too.   I also won't cut back on eating out when we are traveling, when we have guests in town or during the holidays. 

How about you, is this a spending category that you struggle with?  If so, any tricks you have utilized to decrease your eating out spending.


Stephanie said...


We like to eat out, but find the food to be low quality given the price and extremely unhealtful. We try not to eat out more than 3 times a month. We find ourselves eating out for social reasons. People in our social circle really don't invite other people to their home for dinner, although we do. At first we thought maybe people were being rude, but we've figured out that it's just their custom....So we eat out on occasion.

Anonymous said...

we tend to take our lunch 4 to 5 days a week. We go out to dinner on the weekend, never any place fancy, and may grab lunch too if we are out for a while during the day. It use to be standard to have a beer or glass of wine with dinner when out but we found we don't miss it and save $10 - 15 off the bill if we stick to water. We may order in once during the week, either bake at home pizza or splurge and get Thai.

Teri said...

This is an area in which I struggle. I finally (last month) kept my food budget for myself and my teen-age daughter at $450: groceries, school lunches, eating out (includes Starbucks). The lowest I have been able to go in YEARS. What did I do? I kept a running tally every day for the month. I cooked ahead a few times (boiled eggs for weekly snacks, cooked rice and froze it, etc.). There are people out there who enjoy cooking; like you, I just don't. Perhaps my food budget seems high, but it took a good deal of effort on my part. Not sure I'm willing do that this month lol! I have read dozens of frugality books, and I cut expenses in other ways, but by golly, I eat out, and I relish it when I do.