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.