Dining Out: How Much Does It Really Cost You Every Month?

If you actually took the time to sit down and add up every time you spent on eating out last month, you might be shocked at how extravagant the total is. The latest research indicates that the average American family spends up to $8000 a year on food-related expenses.

While it is important to treat ourselves once in a while, this represents a great area, many of us can improve on to trim some fat from our budgets and improve our financial health.

How Much Do People Spend Eating Out ?
Families can spend an insane amount of money on eating out if they eat out for all of their meals. If you were to spend $10 a day per person and eat three meals per day in a four-person family, how much do you think that would be by the end of the month?

Let’s do the math here real quick.

Three meals a day for four people at $10 per day per person? So that would be $40 per day for the family. $40 times 30 days would be over $1200 by the end of the month just on eating out.

Since eating out is generally a series of small expenses you do not realize how much you are paying a month but when you add it all up you might be surprised that the meals and coffees can add up to a substantial amount over time.

Why Does It Cost More To Eat Out Than Eat At Home?

The biggest reason that it costs more for you to eat out than it does for you to eat at home is that you are paying for additional labor. When you decide to cook for yourself, you are providing the labor that goes into the meal.

But Don’t You Save Power by Eating Out?

Some people mistakenly think that cooking at home is expensive because of the utilities used.  While running a refrigerator is expensive, the other appliances in your home use far more energy than a stove and a refrigerator. Many people underestimate how much you spend on eating out because it can be relatively inexpensive meals but if you add all of the meals together it is most likely more than your entire utility bill. While you might see a slight increase in your utility bill if you are staying home and cooking more you will still be saving a significant amount of money. If you want to save even more money you can look in to efficient cooking gadgets like an air fryer or instant pot. These devices are can cut cooking time which helps with convenience and can help cut your Nyseg Electricity costs.

Top Tips To Managing Your Meal Expenses   

There are many small choices you make every day that impact the amount you spend on your food each month. The following advice will help you to optimize your lifestyle so you can spend less to eat more high-quality food.

Skip The Morning Coffee And Brew Your Own

Making your own coffee in the morning is an easy way for you to save hundreds of dollars each month if you are someone who drinks coffee every day.
It doesn’t sound like much at the time, but if you were to spend five dollars on a coffee every morning for a month, it adds up. In total, it will be over $150 by the time you flip the calendar.
If you decide to choose this route and through your own, you will also likely have a healthier experience as well. Many coffee joints and chains are notorious for loading their products up with sugar unnecessarily.

Learn How To Cook At Home   

One of the most effective ways for you to cut down on the amount that you spend on food each month is to learn how to cook. It is just a simple fact of life; cooking for yourself will always be less expensive than eating out.  

Here are 6 steps to help you get started:

  • Cook your way through a cookbook.  Pick a simple cookbook, like this one Gordon Ramsay’s Home Cooking: Everything You Need to Know to Make Fabulous Food (find it on Amazon).  Cross the recipes off as you make them.  Do them all.
  • Read the entire recipe first.  Just like any instructions, look through the whole thing before starting.  Make sure you have all the ingredients on hand, and that you understand everything.  If not, move on.
  • Don’t try hard recipes at first. Look for recipes with less than 3 steps and 4 ingredients. Leave the more complex recipes for later.
  • Cook a lot.  Force yourself cook at least 4 times a week and your skills will start to improve.
  • Don’t bake.  Baked dishes, especially deserts (cakes, etc.) are far more tricky.  Look for recipes that can be made on the stove-top in one pan.
  • Sign up for a great meal delivery service. These services will send all the ingredients you need, along with an easy-to-follow recipe.

Learning to cook is an essential skill that will help both your health and your pocketbook. It can seem like a daunting task but stay the course and you can become a top chef.

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