Have you taken a bit of time to take a look at how much your eating out habits cost you in a single month? Take even a single week, and you may be surprised to discover that you spend more on restaurant meals than on your Internet monthly bill. Studies show that on average, an American spends 232 dollars a month eating out.
Also, about 38% of the food budget for a month goes on eating out. That’s for the average American, as mentioned earlier. For a millennial, that percentage goes even higher, at 43%. So, as you can see, there’s a lot of money to save if you avoid eating out. Here is some actionable advice that you can count on.
Stock up on easy-to-prepare meals
You might not have time to cook at home every day, and we get it. Especially as a young urban professional, getting your degree in home cooking is far from being your purpose in life right now.
However, this doesn’t mean that your pantry and your fridge should be empty. Frozen pizzas, ready-to-eat meals that only require a bit of warming up in the microwave, cans of soups, and other similar items, should be stocking your home.
Invest in a slow cooker
Who says you must be Gordon Ramsay to be capable of putting together a meal? Slow cookers are the answers to all your promises that you will eat more at home, and less at restaurants and other eateries.
These kitchen appliances are easy to use, and they are usually sold with recipe booklets that tell you how to prepare quick, easy meals. Most of the time, you just put all the ingredients inside the slow cooker, and you can leave for work. Because they work so slow, they require 8 or more hours to finish their tasks.
Also, this means that you will come back home to a warm meal that is ready to serve. What’s the point of going out, when you can eat the moment you arrive through the door? Such items come with automatic shut off functions and keep warm modes, so they are pretty neat.
Have snacks with you
One of the reasons why people eat out so much is because, when they are hungry, and they are caught somewhere away from home, there is no other alternative except for restaurants, or street food options.
To avoid this type of situation, pack your bag with some snacks. It is preferable that you choose some healthy ones, like nuts, but even some less desirable ones like chocolate and cookies may still save you when you’re in a pinch.
Making a few sandwiches and packing them so that you can eat them later at work should not be difficult. There are sandwich makers that can help with that, but you can make them even without such an appliance. Depending on how convenient you like things to be, you can choose to invest or not in extra help.
Even if you do this only two times each week, you can save up to 1,000 dollars, according to statistics. Make it more than two times each week, and see how much you can save. The numbers will keep adding up.
Try not eating out for a month or a week
Going from eating out at least five times a week to a no eating out policy may seem harsh and unforgiving. That means that what you need is to see some results. For this reason, this is what we propose.
Try to avoid eating out for a month, and keep track of the savings you make. You will be impressed at the amount of money you will get to save like this. If you think this is too hard, try it for a week. You will still notice the benefits.
Believe in leftovers
If you cook at home, and you make more food than what you can eat in one sitting, don’t throw it away, and don’t overeat. Just set the excess aside. Leftovers are just as good even when you eat them the next day, and they usually need just a little bit of warming up in your microwave.
Do you find eating out to be the culprit for never saving up money? Learn here how you can avoid this habit and add hard cold cash to your account.