Monday, May 4, 2015

April Eating Out

I was reading Cindi's latest post over at Thrifty At Sixty and decided to add up how much we spent at Chez Sluggy on eating out/take-out last month.

                                  Image credit the BarfBlog
Usually our eating out/take-out spending is counted in the Cash Withdrawals category of our monthly spending.  Cash withdraws encompass all small cash spending for the month which usually includes take-out, dining out(but that is sometimes put on the c/c instead), hubs haircuts, dry cleaning, his coffee habit and when he buys lunch at work, any incidental purchases for the home(repair items, tools, when some kid comes to the front door to sell us something for school fundraising, the Sunday newspaper, etc.)

I started this exercise thinking, "Gee, we hardly spent ANYTHING on eating out/take-out this month!".
Well I was wrong, as

April Eating Out/Take-Out Spending
Chinese take-out  $18(we got 2 meals out of this)
Bob Evans eating out  $22(used a coupon)
Popeye chicken take-out  $20(we got 2 meals out of this)
Subway sandwiches take-out  $12
Domino's sandwiches take-out  $12

Granted 2 of the meals we got 2 meals out of them so 7 meals for $84

I noticed a pattern that ALL of these meals were Weekend(does Friday night count as the weekend? lol)expenditures and all but 2 of them were Lunch meals.  Only 1 of the 7 was eaten away from home.

I was going to start keeping track of this category of spending but we are on vacation in May so I KNOW most of the meals(if not all)eaten while traveling will be eaten out, so this won't be representative of our usual amount of eating out/take-out spending.

Since we can afford this amount easily in our budget, I am not looking to reduce this spending.
But I do like to know what we are spending and where.
If we ever need to cut corners more on monthly expenses, this is the kind of thing I'd target to reduce or cut out altogether.

Our eating out/take-out spending is more about a break from the routine of cooking at home for us, rather than it being about a great tasty and flavorful adventure in dining.  We don't buy fancy foods when eating out, just stuff we don't make at home(fried chicken, Chinese cuisine, etc.) or a quick sandwich.
It helps that we are not paying for a family of 5 any longer when we go out.  Heck even Chinese take-out for 5 use to cost us $40+!

Have you ever kept tracking of your eating out/take-out spending?
Do you have an eating out/take-out category in your budget?
Are you trying to cut down on your eating out/take-out spending?




  1. We have done nothing but eat out lately... But you have inspired me and I shall thaw some chicken tonight!!!!

  2. we eat out on a weekend much too often!

  3. I used to keep track of how much we spent eating out, which is what made me change our ways. We still eat out too much for my liking, but we do much, much better than we used too. $84 is not bad at all!

  4. Hi Sluggy...we hardly eat out any more since I started freezing meals to pull out It help that 2 of the 3 restaurants in a one mile vicinity of us have closed and the one left has gone downhill. I often felt cheated as the food did not justify the expense and I knew I could make it better at home and of course cheaper. We don't travel any more but sometimes we are out and about and split a sandwich.

  5. We literally never eat out... With my food allergies it's more trouble than it's worth. Some months I order in pizza for the kids far too often though! April was one of those months... I'm aiming for *zero* times this month & making at home instead!

  6. Our eating out is terrible right now, my son has track practice every day after school .... I pick him up, then on the way to his next activity we usually stop somewhere & eat. I mean, the kid's gotta eat ...right?

  7. We eat out every Friday, unless we are at the lake. It is built into the budget, and at least once every two months we eat at a really nice restaurant that we budget for also.

  8. Hi Sluggy. Thanks for the shout out!
    On our monthly budget I have allotted $450 to cover groceries for the two of us (I shop mainly at Aldi and loss leader sales). I also have a category for 'meals out' which includes my husbands' coffee stops, snacks, emergency lunches out (he brown bags) and restaurant meals and/or take-out (we take out chinese twice a year and get a few ice creme cones out in the summer). That budget category is set at $100 per month. I have my budget in an Excel spread sheet and update each and every time any money is spent. There have been times when we'll go to a fancy restaurant and actually spend $100+ on one meal and when we do ALL other expenditures in that category ceases for the rest of that month. Every time we DON'T go out to eat, that money saved is an investment in our future. Will it be coffee now or cat food dinners later on in life? That's the question.
    When we vacation, we either go in our RV where we cook our own meals or rent a condo where we can cook our own meals.We always pack a cooler for the trip. Breakfast & lunch is often covered this way. Eating at a fancy restaurant while on vacation is categorized in our 'entertainment' which we very rarely do, but it accumulates over the year @$100 per month = $1200 per year. That's usually enough for us to have a great time on any and all vacations throughout the year.
    With all the commotion over restaurant foods (hidden trans fats, salt, sugar, questionable ingredients and several bouts with food poisonings and irritable bowls) it behooves us to buy and prepare as many of our meals as possible. Again, the money we save is categorized as an investment in ourselves, our health and our future. We also adhere to zero tolerance food waste.
    It's not subject to whether we can afford it or not. We feel it's just the right thing to do for our bottom line.
    Thanks for listening.

  9. I do not EVEN want to add up what we spend on eating out. But we can afford it and don't go into debt doing it.

  10. I loosely keep up with eating out which has been more since I don't have water. Usually, I just get a whopper jr, so it is not so much. I still cook most meals, but there are days...

    In the past, eating out was not an issue or a category. Sometimes, exbf and I go out. He pays and understands how sick I have been and how tired I get. This last week, I decided to avoid going out, and I have....mostly.

  11. We rarely eat at a sit down restaurant. When we do, it's because we have a gift card that was acquired free with points from our credit card (which we always pay in full).

  12. I hope you don't mind if I say: That photo you posted makes me not want to eat out (or eat much of anything.)

    I used to keep track of it, but we cut it down to nothing and now we've returned to the occasional pizza delivery or even pizza sit-down, and maybe a waffle here and there. And some fast food. that's probably what should be tracked. A few things for five people in the car add up, and when it's multiple times per month.... Ughh... I don't really want to know the total.

    1. The photo alludes to a classic Monty Python sketch from "The Meaning of LIfe" film. Mr. Creosote. If you dare your queasy stomach go watch a clip of the sketch on's even worse! lol

  13. I have an entertainment category where I put take out/restaurant meals. We try and limit it to $100 per month. Most months we are under that.


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.