Is it cheaper to eat meals at home or at restaurants?

While at times eating out may be quicker than cooking at home, it can be more expensive over time

It’s a commonly shared notion that eating out is not only cheaper than eating at home, but also more convenient. While at times eating out may be quicker than cooking at home, it can be more expensive over time. Eating out is a great way to see old friends, gather the family, or celebrate an event but to save money, doesn’t need to happen every night.

Be Planful

Where do you most often eat out and why? Convenience, money, kids, and lack of time are all commonly cited reasons to answer the why. Make a weekly calendar and put down when you eat out and where if you are having trouble answer this question, remember we are looking for patterns to break in the cycle.

Track Your Spending

On the same weekly calendar, track how much you spend for each meal you eat out. This should also include snacks, coffee, and anything else food/beverage wise that you do not eat at home. Seeing the cost associated with each meal will help you visualize the cost associated with the meals and how much can potentially be saved.

Set Goals

Set attainable goals for eating at home say 3x a week then gradually build up as you progress. Continuing to keep the weekly calendar to track meals and spending is a great way to monitor accountability and your budget.

While grocery shopping can seem daunting and expensive, there are ways to still save money. If you are cooking for a family, consider getting a membership to Costco or Sam’s Club as they sell snacks, produce, meat, and beverages in bulk at lower prices. By freezing your meat or buying snacks for the whole month you can easily work to lower your food costs each month. Similarly, if you are cooking for only one or two people try meal planning ahead of time so when you go to the store you already know what you are looking for. This helps reduce the number of extra products you think you might need but end up in the trash!  Be sure to check out this blog to get some smart shopping tips.

These strategies are helpful; however, they will take time to achieve. Remember to set your goals and hold yourself accountable each week and over time increase the number of meals you eat at home. You’ll be a pro at saving money on food in no time!

If you would like to talk further about saving money or how to utilize any of these tools, contact a Mary Rigg Financial Coach by calling 317-639-6106.


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