Why I Started to Eat Out Less Often

Are you one of those people who love to eat out? I know I am!

If you are too, then it goes without saying that not only is eating out often quite expensive but also extremely unhealthy.

Unfortunately, I did not realize this until a few months back when I started to wonder where all my money was going to. I decided to sit down and do some number crunching to figure out how much of my monthly income went to eating out. Check this out:

For the month of November 2013

Average meals purchased per week: 5 to 7
Average price per meal: $5 to $7
Total monthly meals purchased: 25

Total monthly cost spent on eating out: $157
Estimated yearly cost of eating out: $1890

The numbers suggested that I spent $157 a month just on eating out! Those numbers were disturbing to me. Although these numbers were not extremely high, most of the meals I have purchased were because I was too lazy to make my own lunch. In fact, I wouldn’t mind at all if that was the amount I spend on social outings as that would be another story.

For the month of January 2014

Average meals purchased per week: 1 to 3
Average price per meal: $5 to $7
Total monthly meals purchased: 7

Total monthly cost spent on eating out: $52
Estimated yearly cost of eating out: $624

Starting in January 2014, I decided to start bringing my own lunch to work. Not only did this reduce the total monthly cost spent eating out by more than half but the total amount of money spent on food was reduced as well. Here are the 4 habits I started to implement.

1)      Packing my lunch to work

The first thing I did was to start packing my own lunch instead of buying out every time I go to work. Whether it be to make a sandwich or to bring leftover food from the previous night, this habit left me with a little extra at the end of the month.

2)      Learn how to cook

Cooking is more than just an art, it is also the healthier choice. When I started to learn how to cook pasta, I did not feel the urge to eat out as much. Why go outside and buy overpriced food when you can learn how to cook it yourself?

3)      Allocate money to eating out

I like to set a monthly budget of $60 to make sure that I don’t eat out too often. Setting this budget not only helps me keep track of where my money is going but it also keeps me honest when it comes to buying fast food.

4)      Make eating out a social thing

When it comes to eating out socially, I am less concerned of eating out too often. Having good company along with the food is much more justifiable to me than being too lazy to pack lunch.

There you have it! Here are the 4 practical tips that I had set in motion for a little extra cash at the end of each month from cutting back on eating out. If you love to eat out as well, I hope these tips will work wonders for you.

Until next time.

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