I have lots and lots of excuses. I don’t have the time to cook or I don’t have the energy, it was a long, hard day you know. Or, I don’t like the food that I make or I have better, more productive things to do with my time.
Cooking Seems Like Too Much Effort
Whatever the excuse, the fact is that I don’t enjoy preparing and/or cooking food, it always seems to me to be a huge amount of effort for not much reward. But the reality is that my addiction to eating out costs me all kinds of money that I don’t have.
Whether it is Wendy’s or Denny’s, fast food or cheap diners, the average dinner out seems to go for a minimum of $13 and can be a great deal more. Lunches are not a great deal cheaper and breakfasts out, even at someplace horrid like Dunkin Donuts or Burger King, are only a tad less expensive.
Multiply all the meals you eat out by the price per meal and you have spent a lot of money that could easily have gone to better use, like debt reduction or savings for a new home.
Make Your Own Meals and Save
The reality is, sadly, that when you make your own meals, you save money. All we need is a little disciple and we can overcome our excuses and find the motivation to make our own meals.
Take, for example, the classic brown bag lunch. Preparing lunch for tomorrow does not need to take more than a few minutes each evening. There are hundreds of ways to make a cold cut or tuna sandwich interesting and much better for you than that greasy burger.
Average Lunchtime Savings
Moreover, according to howstuffworks.com the average workday lunch will cost you $10, but making your own lunch will only run about $4. That includes chips and a soda. That savings of $6 per day multiplies to $30 per week or an over $1,500 annual savings. Wow!
Let’s look at dinner for a moment. In a recent study published by the Retail Feedback Group it was estimated that the average home cooked meal cost $5.93 per person. This compared with an average cost of eating out of $12.28 per person. In other words, eating out cost $6.35 more per person. For just a couple, that is $12.70 extra spent per meal. A family will obviously cost most.
Save More Than $500
If that average couple eats out just once a week, they end up spending $660.40 more than they would have had they eaten at home.
Eating out costs a lot. When you make your home meals at home you can save a bundle. Whatever excuses we have – and I have a lot of them – as we have seen, they pale before the actual dollars we can be saving. The choice is your. But for my part, I’m hitting the grocery store and seeing what strange but no double wonderful things appear in my lunch bag going forward.