I really, really enjoy eating out. For quite some time now, I’d been spending around $200-$250 a month eating out. Just for me. I’d been “trying” (and failing) to cut back for a while, but things really came to a head after our trip to New Zealand.
I spent $320 on eating out that month (food is crazy expensive in NZ) and decided enough was enough. I also wanted to be able to send a little more to our mortgage instead. So that was it. I committed to spending less on eating out. In my case, that meant eating out less often, since I normally ate out nearly every day.
So I put a plan in place, and it actually worked! (Yes, I’m still amazed.)
Here’s how I cut back on eating out:
- I committed to cooking one meal a week myself
- My husband and son agreed/got volunteered (respectively) to cook occasional meals
- We agreed not to eat out on the spur of the moment. We could still eat out whenever, but it had to be planned at least a day in advance (and preferably further in advance.)
- The rest of the time we’d eat leftovers or food on hand around the house.
I spent 68% less the first month on eating out, and am on track to maintain that new, lower level of eating out this month.
As an unexpected side benefit, I’m enjoying the eating out that I do do even more. The food actually tastes better when you appreciate it more, instead of being used to it.Posted in Spending Money on 08.19.11 with 44 comments.