Eating out can be a convenient and easy meal option, but it’s an expensive habit. Most of our monthly budget goes into food and related expenses. If you’re in the habit of eating out regularly, you may not be aware of the toll it’s taking on your finances.
The expenses of eating out can seem subtle at first. But if you look closely, you’ll find that you’re actually spending much more than you expected.
Let’s take an example. Let’s suppose that you only eat out during your lunch hour and during the working weekdays. If your preferred meal costs $9, it comes to around $45 per week.
This small cost accumulates to around $180 per month. That’s on top of the cost of groceries and meals you have at home. Also, if you include eating out with the kids or a spouse, the cost can easily go up even further.
Now let’s make a comparison that may seem absurd but will put things into a clearer perspective. Imagine applying for a payday loan online (same-day deposit). You borrow $1000 at an interest rate of $18 per $100. At the end of the month, you’d have to pay back the amount with an interest of $180. You’d either have to be a fool or incredibly desperate to borrow money on those terms.
So, if you wouldn’t want to pay that amount just to borrow $1000, why should you pay that for food? It just goes to show that when you think of eating out, our finance I.Q. can sometimes go out the window.
Here are some practical tips to help you reduce the expenses on food and eating out.
1. Menu Planning
Plan your menu and meals in advance. If you don’t know what’s for dinner, it’s easier to start heading towards the nearest fast-food restaurant.
Planning can also allow you to buy groceries in the right amounts (which saves money). Planning ahead lets you utilize different ingredients for separate meals, which prevents further
2. Focus on Food Prep
Do as much preparation as possible before you head to work. This allows you to come home to ingredients ready to cook. Using a crockpot, marinate overnight, set ingredients, etc. are a few ways you can prep your food so that its easier later when you cook.
3. Use Convenience Food
They’re named ‘Convenience Food’ for a reason. Whether it’s grated cheese, pre-cooked meat, frozen veggies, etc., they all cut down the cooking preparation time. Once you get the hang of convenience foods, you can slowly shift to fresh produce later.
4. Create backup meals
There will be times when you just don’t feel like cooking on your own. Even the most energetic and active among us have these days. Keep items like bagged meat or frozen foods for quick backup meals. This way, you still get a meal without having to spend excess money.
These are a few practical ways you can reduce the habit of eating out. Remember the comparison of the $180 cost in the payday loan online (same day deposit)?
That’s the kind of financial waste you’ll rack up if you decide on fall back on old habits. Stay focused, and determined. And you’ll find that you have money to spare with more nutritious meals on the table.