Just get that fancy latte with the siren on it? How about that fancy hormone free burrito? Prepare yourself. You’re in for a wild ride. (not really, but PAY ATTENTION)
Everyone does it, I do it more frequently than I should. Even our parents and grandparents do it.
That’s right you heard me. According to The Food Institute, millennial households spend an average of $2,639 a year on eating out alone.
Along with all of our debt, be it our student loans or car payments we still like our fancy food (with Wi-Fi of course). To be honest I can totally relate. We see eating out as more of a social experience than anything else. By comparison we spend almost 10% more than Baby Boomers do. Hint: There’s a reason more upscale “fast-casual” restaurants are doing so well.
Ahem; Taco Bell
Unfortunately, eating out so often can definitely hold you back from getting out of debt or making that extra loan payment. I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could put that $2,639 somewhere else?
Now, what I’m about to tell you isn’t rocket science. But hey, maybe you’ll learn something and earn a few bucks. That’s my whole goal right? Helping you become smarter with your money.
Here Are Some Things To Do:
Share a Meal
Did anyone ever tell you that you don’t HAVE to get your own meal? It’s amazing the amount of food I see people let go to waste, they don’t even take their leftovers home…
This is an awesome tip for the health conscious or one that just had 2nd lunch. Next time you go out to eat with a date, a spouse, friend, whoever you fancy. Try ordering one course and splitting it!
Besides, we tend to eat too fast anyways and if you’re socializing you will eat slower allowing for that nice tummy of yours to recognize it’s full.
That’s like a 2 for 1. I just saved you money and calories for the new year. You’re welcome.
We all know how expensive and huge restaurant meals can be so why not try it? You can always order more food if you’re still hungry.
Make A Monthly Limit
Remember when I last talked about having different spending accounts? This could be an effective strategy. Heck I use this to maintain my spending. An easy way to do this is allocate a monthly limit (whether by dollar amount or number of times eating out).
Note: It’s always good to splurge every now and then to maintain your happiness, so don’t be afraid to go over your budget every now and then.
Go Grocery Shopping
It’s simple, yet so true. You’re more likely to go out to eat when you run low on groceries. Am I right? Unless you can cook the socks off random ingredients in the pantry this will most likely be the case. It’s way easier to order a pizza than go to the store. They even have delivery!
Obviously you can go absolutely crazy, become an insane coupon person, stock up on goods upon goods of food and never have to eat out again.
But, I’m definitely not about that life. One easy thing to make sure this happens is to go to the store on the same day every week.
Side note: Remember when I said I was doing a 2 for 1? Well, going to the store can also help you cut back calories.
You’re welcome. Again. Man I should start charging you guys.
Side Side Note: When you go shopping, be sure to check the tiny price per ounce on all the price labels. Usually the smaller the packaging the more you will pay per ounce.
BYOB (Bring alcohol with you to save more $$)
It’s becoming more common nowadays, but many restaurants will actually allow you to bring your own alcohol with you.
Here is why it’s awesome.
USUALLY, restaurants try to keep a high margin on drinks. Meaning for every dollar we spend, they charge anywhere from $3 to $5 more. Poopy right? I’m not a big drinker but anyone with a brain would know that stinks. The BYOB model can turn a possibly very expensive dinner into a moderately priced, affordable one. It’s still rare, but do your research and I’m sure you can find some good eats.
What are you tricks to cut back on eating costs?
Good Luck, Newbies