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Old 09-12-2012, 07:40 AM   #1
maggs1035
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WOW! I think we're out of control! How much do you spend?

I decided to go look at my bank account online and add up how much money we have spent on eating out :-/ We are a very busy family, we have 2 young adult children who both work, and a 6 yr old who keeps us busy. I also run a daycare out of my home and we had a litter of 9 pups 6 weeks ago! Needless to say, Im a walking zombie. So we find ourselves saying, lets just get subs, or Mc Donald's, etc.... The number that I saw looking back at me was shocking, and this doesn't even count the times when we paid cash! So here it is....

Since March 2012 we have spent $1536.28 on eating out!!!

OMG, this is coming to an end! I could have bought our airfare by now!

What do you guys think you spend on eating out?
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:48 AM   #2
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Nothing. Hard to believe but we really do not eat out! I can't see spending more money for something I could cook at home for less and know exactly what goes in it. But wow, that is a huge amount you spent .
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:52 AM   #3
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We cut our eating out quite a bit in the last couple of years. I would bet at one time it was close to what you have.

We found that cutting out the drive thru was one of the quickest ways to save money!
I take my lunch to work now (most days). When my co-workers ask me to go out for lunch I say "can't. Saving for Disney!"
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
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We eat out on Thursdays with my MIL (she pays) and maybe once every other week on our own. I bring my lunches to work and if we are rushed for time we might have a "scrounge for yourself" night of sandwiches or leftovers. We had a friend in from out of town last weekend and we ate out both Friday and Saturday night and it was painful to me (we could afford it, but man, $70 on dinner is $70 I could spend somewhere else!)
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
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We have our ups and downs with this. It is amazing how quickly it adds up! We are just coming off a very busy time and ate out WAY too much, so I'm trying to rein it in now!
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:13 AM   #6
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For a while we were over $300/month on eating out, but we've cut back a lot. It didn't seem like we were going overboard at the time, but $25 for a pizza every Friday night, and fast food once a week for a family of 4, plus one or two "decent" sit-down restaurants a month really adds up (especially in Canada!).

We are trying to switch from using credit and bank cards to cash only. It's still a work in progress but it helps keep our budget in check...you can't spend more than what's in your wallet.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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We usually eat out for lunch on Sunday. Zaxby's. $12.50 for 2. So I guess that's about $50 a month. Sometimes a little more.

That being said, we take very nice vacations, THAT'S where our money goes.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:52 AM   #8
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We probably spend as much as you, maybe more. But, eating out is where we spend out discretionary dollars - we spend everything else at Disney! We don't go to movies, concerts, etc - we do all of that on our Disney trips. We do have to get out of the house sometimes!
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakenjess View Post
We have our ups and downs with this. It is amazing how quickly it adds up! We are just coming off a very busy time and ate out WAY too much, so I'm trying to rein it in now!
This is us as well. During sports we tend to eat out much more and have probably definitely hit your numbers. We both work and usually have practices four nights a week so it gets really hard to cook at home (unless we want to eat at 9 pm each night), so we tend to grab stuff. However, when we have breaks in the schedule, we always eat at home.

This is definitely an area we could majorly improve on.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:01 AM   #10
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DS (commutes to college) spends about $7 a week on fast food if he forgets to throw food in the car
DD (none) dietary issues...always takes her own food
DH (cafeteria @ work) maybe $25 a month if he did not make a lunch or eats our with the guys once in a blue moon. Usually works right thru lunch (and dinner)
ME none..brown bag it

fast food dinners? Maybe Taco Bell or Subway totalling about $20 for the month. If frozen pizza is counted in there, well that's another story
We usually only go out to eat if we have to for an extended family birthday , or an invite like that. These days? With 3 ill parents any take out we have is usually grabbing something at the cafeteria while at the hospital ER or the like. Our cars eat out for us...at the gas station
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:02 AM   #11
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When we were young with little kids eating out only happened on someones birthday, or we'd go a fast food restaurant, get a hamburger per person..that's IT... and then for a splurge stop at a grocery store that had a soda machine out front with 25cent sodas. When my DD first got married and her husband ordered a MEAL..she was appalled.
Now, we go out once a week with friends (a great local Mexcian place that gives us 10% off..weekly under $20) and I go out once a week for lunch (under $10) and once in awhile DH and I will get Arbys or Taco Bell. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, but right now our finances are fine, so we splurge
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:05 AM   #12
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I wouldn't be surprised if we were actually spending about $500/month eating out.
Right now DH has 3 jobs and is out of the house from 5:30AM-11PM most days... he prefers to do drive through 1-2x/day so he can get hot food.
Two of my kids have issues with certain foods and I work full time so by the time I make enough food to pack for everybody, get everybody to therapies and appointments there is no time left to even figure out more packed meals or clean the dishes. I would rather have him spend $5 on lunch (I buy gift cards at a discount for him) than pack him $3 of food and spend 10 minutes packing and cleaning it all.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:19 AM   #13
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That only adds up to around $300 a month, right? (didn't pull out the calculator and it's early and I haven't had caffeine). That doesn't seem bad to me.

I'd say $300/month is probably what we average over the course of a year (not including vacations), for actual sit-down dining out, drive-through, pizza pickup, etc. But that number doesn't seem high to me relative to our income. When we do eat out, we are budget-conscious about it. I always look for coupons, and we drink water (by choice). We don't eat at "fancy" places---Olive Garden/Red Lobster/Texas Roadhouse is about as fancy as we get, and we are 2 adults, one 19 y/o college student living at home, and one 17 y/o high school senior who eats like a truck driver, lol. And, we tend to go to lunch rather than dinner for the cheaper lunch menus. I can't stomach spending $70-80 on a meal for the four of us unless it's a special occasion. No way. We typically get out for around $12 per person, plus tip. That allows us to eat out about once a week, plus I pick up lunch at a counter service or fast food type place about once a week, we get ice cream a couple of times a month, and we pick up Little Caesars ($11 total for two yummy cheese pizzas) about once every two weeks.

Edited to add: I'm a SAHM. Eating out is a break for me, because I pack lunches for everyone EVERY day, I make breakfast for the kids every day, and unless DH is out of town on business, we eat together as a family every night, unless we are eating out. I grew up in a family of 7 kids with two parents who worked full time, and we just scraped by. Eating out was a HUGE luxury for us. I remember my older brothers getting part-time jobs in HS, and taking the family out to dinner out of their first paycheck to celebrate, and it was a BIG BIG deal to go to the Sizzler (this was in mid-to-late 70's). I love eating out now that I don't have to worry about being able to afford it. I do love cooking for my family, but it's nice to get that break once a week or so.

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Old 09-12-2012, 09:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IUTBAM View Post
That only adds up to around $300 a month, right? (didn't pull out the calculator and it's early and I haven't had caffeine). That doesn't seem bad to me.

I'd say $300/month is probably what we average over the course of a year (not including vacations), for actual sit-down dining out, drive-through, pizza pickup, etc. But that number doesn't seem high to me relative to our income. When we do eat out, we are budget-conscious about it. I always look for coupons, and we drink water (by choice). We don't eat at "fancy" places---Olive Garden/Red Lobster/Texas Roadhouse is about as fancy as we get, and we are 2 adults, one 19 y/o college student living at home, and one 17 y/o high school senior who eats like a truck driver, lol. And, we tend to go to lunch rather than dinner for the cheaper lunch menus. I can't stomach spending $70-80 on a meal for the four of us unless it's a special occasion. No way. We typically get out for around $12 per person, plus tip. That allows us to eat out about once a week, plus I pick up lunch at a counter service or fast food type place about once a week, we get ice cream a couple of times a month, and we pick up Little Caesars ($11 total for two yummy cheese pizzas) about once every two weeks.
I was thinking the same thing, over 6+ months, that really doesn't seem totally outrageous to me. I'm sure I spend that also. Not to say, I wouldn't like to cut that back, but it's not awful.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #15
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We use gift certificates when we eat out. On our local radio station they sell them on Saturday mornings... usually we pay $6 for a $10 certificate and normally add another $5 onto that bill so we end up paying $11 (plus tip) for a meal for 4 (usually a pizza or chicken dinner). We do this once every 2 weeks maybe... so less than $25 a month.
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