Eating out is something that is super convenient, for busy people. Especially parents.
However eating out consistently can add up very quickly, even when done cheaply.
Even the 5 dollars daily budget easily adds up to 150 dollars in an average month.
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It’s easy to fall in the habits of:
- fast food for breakfast or lunch $5 daily (double if you get both) =$125
- grabbing some food on the way to or from doc appointments $7-8 weekly =$32
- dinner or takeout $30-35 each occasion =$60-70
- the morning coffee from Dunkin or Starbucks $4 daily=$100
- the energy drinks from the gas station $5-10 daily =$125
On average it is easy to spend close to $450 a month on the above items. This is a huge portion of income!
Eliminating one of these could save you big.
Starting small and trying to eliminate the one or two of these will help cut expenses from eating out.
Most people like to look at a yearly figure just because the numbers are almost astronomical.
However, monthly is the most relevant and really puts into perspective what is going where.
Limit the days you buy coffee or fast food
Start small and select what days to purchase your convenience items, I get it some days you will run late and give in. That is okay, the idea is to be more mindful of spending habits.
- Make your coffee at home a few days a week, by the pot or the Keurig. (get a nice insulated cup for your coffee so it stays fresh)
- Make your breakfast by eating cereal, toast or a bagel with cream cheese.
- Buy your favorite prepackaged coffee or energy drink in bulk.
- Pack your lunch, the initial investment may be around 20$ for a lunch box and accessories
Saving money when you do eat out
It’s inevitable, you’re not always going to have time to pack a lunch or run late.
Some ways to save when you do eat out:
- go for the special
- get on the rewards program
- use the coupons sent in the mail with the ads
- keep it simple
- look at the value or dollar menu
Packing lunch to save money
Always packing lunch meat or the same thing will grow old after a while.
If you have a way to heat up food at work, pack some leftovers.
If you don’t grab an ice pack and pack your favorite drink, a bag of chips(buy the family pack of chips) and a sandwich.
Use different lunch meats and other foods that don’t need to be heated.
Packing your lunch can save you around a hundred dollars a month!
Which methods did you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
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