That time I added up all our eating-out purchases...


Honesty time. Labor Day weekend was a bit rough on our wallets. By no means did we go broke or anything but Monday night we sat down and thought, "Man, we ate out a lot this weekend". And really, it's mostly my fault. I'm typically the one that says "Let's go to Steak 'n Shake!". Which, by the way, does wonders to all my hard work throughout the week of eating healthy. Mike normally puts up a bit of an argument (he is a stronger person than I) but end the end, I typically get my way.

Well Tuesday morning came around and I was still thinking about how much we spent eating out. I thought to myself about how that money could have been better put towards paying off our school loans quicker or even getting the bikes we've been wanting for ages. I started to get curious about how much we spent in a month. So I logged onto our online banking site and started calculating the total. I'm not going to lie, when that grand total popped up on my calculator I was sure I had made a typing mistake so I hit Clear and started over again. Much to my dismay, that first number was correct. In a month's time, we had spent almost $450 eating out and buying drinks. Ouch.

We had said things before about how we need to not spend so much on eating out but it never seemed to make a difference. We'd be doing really well and then when Saturday morning came and we were heading out to the dog park, stopping at McDonald's and spending $8.00 couldn't do any harm, right? Well, looking over the list of purchases, 75% were under $10.00. Little fast food trips add up! Not to mention the bad food we're putting into our bodies while trying to eat healthy.

I think seeing a concrete number on paper really made it sink in. That $450 could have put a major dent into Mike's smallest school loan. Or it could have paid for half of one of our bikes. It could have paid 30 days of Doggie Daycare for Harvey so he can have a few days a week with other furry friends. It could have gone towards our travel savings. It could have been put away early for Christmas presents. It could have been a full new wardrobe for Mike and me. It could have been a partial down payment for a new car, which Mike desperately needs. Or you know what? It could have just gone into savings for any possibly emergencies in the future. 

But no, it went towards Egg McMuffins I now have to burn off at the gym, restaurant meals I'll never remember, and alcohol that made me feel like crap the next day. It's official. Something's got to change. I just want to tattoo $448.37 onto my hand as a constant reminder of that money we'll never get back. Mike and I have decided to sit down and think up fun meals for weekends that we can create at home and will be just as fun. Maybe I need to start up my new recipe a month challenge? It's always fun to cook a meal together and now that Mike is working a normal day shift, we can eat dinner together on the week nights as well.

So here's to taking a hold of our money and not wasting it any more hard earned money on food that's no better than what I can make at home. Here's to entertaining ourselves on the cheap, whether it's at home, at a park, or just walking around the neighborhood. Here's to being all-around healthy people. Body and money. Anyone have ideas on fun things to do during the week/weekend that don't require a lot of money? I'd love to hear them!

3 comments

  1. This is the exact same situation my wife and I (and I'm sure billions of other people) are having. At the end of the paycheck we have no money and yet nothing to show for it! Because it all goes to food we don't need to buy! I'm scared to add it all up, though. Kudos to you for that. And good luck!

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  2. You are a brave woman! I too know we spend a lot of money on eating out and I'm scared to see the number in front of me.

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  3. Oh my goodness. I have been exactly where you guys are! My husband and I finally did the math one time and realized it was insane. So, we have been using a cash envelope system for almost a year now and it has done wonders! It takes a bit of work at first...actually making the budget. But after that, you just take out the money when you can (we do it when we get paid, so twice a month). And then you pay for everything cash...and when eating out money is gone...well, it's gone etc. It is tough at first but it has really helped us reach savings goals and such. I hope that helps you guys out! It feels so good once you feel back in control of your money.

    p.s. sorry for the crazy long post. if you have any questions feel free to contact me...but I am definitely no financial expert. ha!

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-Allison