P and I have fallen into a bad habit these past few months. We have been eating out WAY too often. We have indeed gone over budget Every. Single. Month. We have been on the envelope system these past few years, and eating out is one of our cash categories. At the end of our money, not month,rather than suck it up, and cook at home, we have gotten out the debit card, paid for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and went on our merry way without considering the consequences.
Dave Ramsey says it all the time “You work way to hard, and make too much money, to feel this broke.” We have not spent ourselves into financial ruin, but we have noticed that we have become a bit lazy, and rely on eating out much more than we should. We also never go for one big fancy meal out, we tend to nickel and dime ourselves. We go to Subway, Chick Fil A, or Chipotle all the time. It’s the 10-15 dollar range where we really do the damage to our budget.
I think part of the problem is that P and I never really “go out.” We don’t hit up the clubs, or go to bars, so eating out becomes our entertainment. When we hang out with friends, we usually go out to eat at a local casual restaurant. Our lifestyle is so laid back, that we don’t feel we need or even want to go to fancy or pricey restaurants.
The other problem with eat out so much is the amount of food wasted, and its been a lot lately. We don’t eat out because there is no food in the house, we eat out because we have to cook the food in the house. We cleaned up our diet back in January, and we don’t have many processed foods in the house very often. Eating cleanly is helpful, but its also time consuming. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like cooking. P has been really great because he makes us breakfast nearly every morning, but it’s the lunch and dinner that are the hardest. We are trying to eat according to Paleo, so we don’t keep breads and pastas in the house, so its hard to find a “quick” meal.
I am frustrated with myself, because I KNOW what to do, I just DON’T do it! We really have no one to blame but ourselves. ARG! I need to get back on the meal planning bandwagon, as well as the shopping list.
This weekend, P and I decided that we are not going to eat out for the rest of this month. We just need to quit, reign our spending on food in, and be disciplined.
How are you doing? How's your food budget this month? Where do you go over budget?