Sunday, August 9, 2015

Eating Out/Take-Out in July....YIKES!

Needless to say the months when we are traveling, the Eating Out costs pile up.
Back in May when we road tripped to Louisiana we racked up charges of $545.87 for eating out/take-out.  Add in $105.44 in "non-trip/regular" eating out/take-out that month(1 dinner out when picking up College Boy from school, 2 nights of Chinese take-out and 3 Subway sandwiches another night)and we clocked in at $651.31.

July wasn't much better either.  In fact it was worse!
With 2 short trips to Virginia to help Eldest son relocate the budget took a hit again.
Add in a few nights out while Eldest was home too....hey it was his birthday! lolz......and we ended up forking over $746.35 on Eating Out(including tips).

The regular eating out spending came to $95.00 in July.  That was stuff like Chinese take-out and Subway sandwiches brought home.  We did dine out twice last month as part of our regular "normal" routine-1 trip to a Chinese buffet restaurant and 1 lunch out at Red Robin.
$95 is pretty typical for us in a month.  I like to keep it under $100 so this doesn't concern me.

The "extra" because Eldest was home came to $203.73.  This included dinner out at a steak house(4 steaks + drinks + dessert-we don't usually do the whole enchilada like this), a trip to the craft brewery(drinks + pizza)and a lunch out for me and him only.

Then we add in the 10 meals while traveling and it gets ugly.
And adds another $447.62.
Could we have spent less and not eaten at such expensive places?
You bet!
And believe me, some of what we had was NOT worth what it cost(I'm looking at you Poco Loco!)
But it could have been worse if not for "free" breakfasts at motels 3 times last month and that we were treated to lunch in Maryland when Eldest and I stopped to meet a fellow blogger on the way to Virginia. 8-)

So what did I learn from this?
Not much.
Possibly that I may find it helpful to the budget to keep a running tally during the month on variable spending like this, rather than waiting until the month is over to look at the numbers?
If I had seen how high these costs were running I may have opted for some lower cost meals out at some point.

And that eating out can bust your budget right quick these days if you opt for "real food" out and not just fast food all the time.

August should be a much calmer month in the Eating-Out arena around here.
No trips planned except a one-day "get College Boy back to school" run.  Hubs is doing this alone so I am figuring they'll eat a meal out after the load-in before Hubs comes home.
We've already made a dent in the Eating-Out/Take-Out budget for August as I've been feeling under the weather.  There has been Chinese take-out and a trip to Denny's so far this month.  Tonight might be Subway and then I am back in the kitchen cooking from scratch much to the relief of our budget. ;-)

So how much do you spend on eating out/take-out per month?

Trying to keep it under $100 for August,



  1. I always think we spend way too much eating out. I have to estimate July-our credit card bill crosses 7 days into the next month, so with both groceries and eating out, I always think about a mental count, and then compare to what actually is on the card. I think July, not counting the business lunches at work, though I probably should include those as well, for the family was about $175, though $33 was with a gift card. I bet we should add at least another $100 for work related. Ouch-no vacation days or moving kids, just lackof planning or laziness. Interesting though, I think we always do better when on vacation than we budget for with meals. We end up getting "restaurnt fatigue" so will just pop into a grocery store and get fruit, buns, and deli meat, and make some picnics. I also budget for three meals but often we skip meals, as we tend to over eat at restaurants anyway, then just have a snack. I can't remember the last time we actually spent our meal budget on vacation. Having a decent continental or full breakfast in the hotel is a huge money saver, and even if it is just fruit, we try and take advantage of it.I'm also a pretzel and water carrying mom, which is great for warding off fatigue and hunger.

  2. Too much! Dh takes eldest son out to lunch every Saturday after his (very expensive) lesson. He also enjoys lunch out during the week when errands find us, or him with one of the kids in town. We're talking at least twice a week. And, on Friday, if I give the faintest hint of being weary, he'll suggest we go out, as kids are old enough to stay home. But...that means we bring them something back. Luckily, there are no really $$$ places...we're talking cheap Mexican place, diner or local pub, but it still adds up. Also, maybe I am getting.old, but I prefer to stay home.

    1. Yah I'm getting old too. I'd rather eat at home/stay home.

  3. During the school year it is not unusual for us to spend $100 per month on eating out. I've even gone to $200 some months. Just depends on how tired I am at the end of the day. lol

  4. We try and keep it under $100 here too ($80 USD) but last month was about $30 higher. We rarely find eating out is satisfying - but sometimes I just don't have the energy it takes to whip up dinner :) Eating out when traveling is always our biggest cost - We try and make sure we have lots of snacks and drinks with us in the hotel room though to cut costs.

  5. We usually spend less than $50 a month eating out. With little kids, its just not relaxing to go out. But we do then splurge on making some extras that we would normally go out for like seafood, artichoke dip, prime rib, stuff like that that we make at home then. It is still cheaper than going out but its not stuff that I ever made before we had kids.

    1. When ours were little we didn't go out hardly any.....that and the fact that the nearest restaurant was 45 min. away! lolz
      Splurging on higher end eats is a good compromise.

  6. HA $100 for the month. Are you high???? Even I can see that this one won't work. Not with dropping the dear son off.
    I give up. Why do we write about being frugal when we spend money with the best of them? I have credit card debt!!!!!! I haven't had debt like that for many, many years. And now it is freaking me out.

    1. Well if we stay home and don't travel I CAN keep the eating out/take-out down under $ there! ppppppbbbbttt lolz

      Well your new found c/c debt is because of buying Den a car so you won't be doing that again, right?.....right???!!


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