October 25, 2009

Recent Spending on Eating Out

Around a year and a half ago I wrote about how we were spending a lot of money eating out. At the time we were hitting around $900 a month on just eating out. Thats a lot. At that point I made an effort to control costs.

We've been keeping our eating out costs down in a few ways:

  • I started bagging my lunch. That alone probably cut the spending around $100 a month.
  • We cut back on our breakfasts. We used to eat out breakfast on Saturday and Sunday but we cut it back to just Saturday. This cut around $100 off as well.
  • Consciously trying to keep the costs down. Simply being more mindful of your spending can help keep the costs down.
So far for 2009 our monthly spending on eating out is averaging about $660 per month. Thats a considerable improvement from the $900 we were spending.

Why am I looking at this now? Well its important that you keep an eye on things to make sure that you're continuing to make progress. If I didn't keep watching the budget then our restaurant trips might increase and our spending might creep up slowly. We might get back to the point of spending $900 a month gradually over time without realizing. So it is important to keep tabs on things and make sure you're

Could we cut the spending even more? Of course we could but we choose to spend the money on dining out rather than spending it on other things. I really enjoy eating out and this is a luxury expense that we purposefully budget for. We prioritize this spending above spending more on other luxuries like entertainment or travel. If our income dropped or we otherwise didn't have the money to spend on such a luxury we'd quickly cut eating out significantly.


  1. We've tried cutting back on "eating out" as well. I'll avoid alcohol and save $10-$20. And we've tried to eat more at "middle" restaurants instead of the pricier ones.

    And even tried to eat more at home. Not sure that saves a lot as our grocery bill goes up. We need to work harder on the grocery bill, otherwise we're trading one "evil" for another one.

  2. I think it's great you've cut back. But where do you live? I can't even imagine spending that kind of money eating out monthly.

    Our budget for dining out is $100 month and we usually don't spend that month.

  3. Bucksome, we live in a suburb of a major west coast city. It is not especially expensive here but its not cheap either. WE simply eat out a lot. Usually 4 meals out a week for my wife and myself at $10-$25 per plate. The places we eat are not cheap fast food places but a mix of typical sit down restaurants up to nicer seafood place McCormick & Schmick. I usually tip 20% too, so $110 of that spending is in tips.


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