This is my birthday month and last month was my husbands so we have eaten out a bit more than normal. We like fine dining at family owned restaurants. But in the spirit of saving some money this month, we actually ate at a chain restaurant using a coupon. We also ate breakfast out with our son and grandson at a family owned restaurant on my birthday morning using a restaurant.com gift certificate. The gift certificate was free from a business. So it helped to defray the cost.
But most of the year, I cook our meals at home. It is healthier and cheaper. Most restaurants load their food up with butter to make it taste better. Besides that I always wonder what is really in it. Also in my kitchen, I know that it is sanitary and that my hands are clean.
We rarely take home fast food. When we do it is usually Subway or Panera Bread. We don't order pizza. When we crave it, we either use a frozen one purchased on sale with a coupon or I make my own. My husband prefers my homemade so that is usually our choice.
I used Thomas's English Muffins purchased on a buy one get one free sale and used a $ 1.00 off coupon that they sent me for complimenting their product. I purchased the bacon on sale for$ 3.99 a pound. The eggs were purchased on a buy one get one free sale for a final cost of $ .46 per egg. The cheese was on sale for $ 2.00 for 16 slices. So my final cost per sandwich was $ .25 for the muffin, $ .52 for the bacon, $.46 for the egg, and $ .12 for the cheese for a total of $1.35. So for $ 2.70, my husband and I had a yummy breakfast and I didn't have to go to McDonald's to get it. I don't know the cost of one at McDonald's since we don't eat there. But I would wager that it is more than $ 1.35 a sandwich. So even with egg costs so high right now, I still made it cheaper and saved my time.
This is just one example of how I save money on the small things. $ 2.70 - $ 3.00 is probably the most we spend on a breakfast entree. Most meals are homemade oatmeal or granola and fruit. Right now bananas are $ .39 a lb and apples are $ .99 a pound so we have been eating those fruits with meals.
My co-workers were always amazed that I would bring my lunch to work every day and sometimes breakfast. They all told me they didn't have time. Well, make the time. It is not that difficult to make up a number of Egg McMuffins on a weekend and freeze them. Just pull one out of the freezer before you leave for work and microwave it in the office. Or pack a bowl of oatmeal that you can add water to and do the same. For lunches, cook them on the weekend and then just reheat at work. I always had fruit and oatmeal in my desk at work. In case I forgot my lunch, I had bread and a jar of peanut butter. My co-workers picked up breakfast on the way to work and many of them ate lunch out. My husband took his lunch every day except for twice a month when he would go out with his co-workers. When you retire early and no longer answer to a boss anymore, you will be glad that you took the time to make these meals.
So if you are the average American family who eats out once or more a week, calculate how much money you could be saving by eating at home. If you spend $40. per week for your family eating out, you could most likely make a delicious meal for under $10. at home. At a savings of $ 30. per week, you would save $ 1560. over the year. That is a significant amount of money that you could put towards debt, your child's college fund, early retirement or any other goals that you are working towards.
So the next time you are considering going out to eat, think about cooking at home and saving the money you would have spent on one of your goals instead. The meal you go out for you won't even remember in a few months time. Reaching your goals you will remember and it will make such a difference in creating a stress free life.
Never hesitate to ask a question or comment. I will try to answer them all.