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Save Money By Eating In


I recently sat down with one of my clients for our final check-in session. She originally came to me armed with one rule – she didn’t want to cook. So we came up with some options for both eating in and dining out, of which she primarily chose the latter.

When expenses started going up, she reprioritized. She found that she and her husband were spending almost $50 a day by dining out. This isn’t extravagant eating, it’s more along the lines of a simple breakfast ($5), deli lunch ($8) and a take-out dinner ($12). Now, multiply those numbers by two people and you are looking at $1,000 spent on food in just one month! By replacing those dining out options with eating in every day of the week (not including weekends), they were able to save more than $600 a month.

Let’s do the math for one person:

Meal Items Dining Out Costs Eating In Costs
Breakfast Oatmeal
Tea or Coffee
Lunch Turkey Sandwich
$6.31 $1.80
$0.50 (12 oz.)
$0.50 (~14 chips)
Dinner Thai Red Curry with Chicken $10.95 $1.00 (6 oz. chicken)
$1.00 (a ton of veggies)
$0.50 (1 cup brown rice)
$0.25 (red curry sauce)
Total Cost Per Day $22.11 $6.65
Total Cost Per Month (20 days) $442.20 $133.00
Total Savings in 1 Month $309.20

The eating in costs are based on all organic, non-bulk, non-sale items, and includes a little extra cost for good measure. The dining out prices are pre-tax, tip and accurate based on prices in common eateries.

Even with the buffer, and only modifying your eating routing during the week, you may be able to save more than $300 per month! This month, try adding up how much you spend dining out and start making little changes. Try bringing your lunch to work or brewing your morning Salada Tea at home or putting it on ice and taking it to go. I think you may find that you prefer the food you prepare at home and you will prefer having that extra money in your pocket!

And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes.

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