Stop Eating Out & Start Eating Your Groceries

personally, food is always in the top half of my expenses

Isn’t it sad how easy our generation is swayed by advertising when it comes to food? We love to try new meals, new restaurants, and claim it’s the best way to get together with friends and family. Food makes things less awkward, food makes us happy, food is fabulous. Personally, food is always in the top half of my expenses. I spend about $300 a month or more on groceries, and then another $200 on eating at restaurants or grabbing a quick meal due to convenience. But why?

After going through my spend since January, it didn’t take long to realize how stupid I was being. Why was I buying groceries if I wasn’t even going to eat them all, or take the time to try all these new recipes I pinned? It came as a shock to me when I realized I had spent over $100 on Subway and Tim Hortons within 2 months. What a joke. Especially since I can make all of their meals with my eyes closed. Well, things changed and they changed fast.

I currently spend maybe $40 eating out each month, purely because I like to have a treat every once in a while, and I think you should try to too. I spend 95% of my food budget at the grocery store, and that’s just the way I like it.

Never the less, here are 5 reasons you should stop eating out & start eating your groceries:

  1. You’re currently spending 2x your budget on food. You may not even realize it, but you are overspending your food budget and claiming that eating out is “entertainment”. We all know going to a restaurant shouldn’t be considered entertainment. No one is performing for us, no one is playing the piano at our table or juggling with flames. So let’s kick this categorization and start placing it where it belongs. In the same budget as groceries.

  2. Stop wasting, and save. It’s really that simple. You currently buy however much produce – and how much of it do you have to throw away at the end of 2 weeks? We are all so bad for this habit, and it’s time to reverse. Buy your groceries in smaller purchases, and make more trips. This way you avoid buying too many at once, in turn, losing money on wasted product. You can also try freezing produce to help it last.

  3. Your health. Duh. When you prepare your meals at home, most of you will prepare the healthier option because we have time to think about what we want to eat. Am I giving you too much credit? Nah, you can do it. You can also prep the meals days in advance, therefore avoiding the “too tired” excuse when you have to make your lunch for work.

  4. “Dining out” budgets are the easiest to cut, but the hardest to resist. Test your willpower or try out new ways to overcome temptation. If it means you take out $100 at the beginning of the month and that’s the only cash you have to spend on eating out, then so be it. You might second guess your choices when you realize you could save that $100 and put it towards a trip or some actual “entertainment”.

  5. Know what you’re eating. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I personally have a lot of worry when it comes to not knowing what is in my food. For example, you might think you’re choosing the healthier option (rice over potatoes), but in the end, it’s probably worse for you because of the salt levels. “What we don’t know won’t hurt us”? Yeah right.