January Eating Out


Here it is.

In January we ate out 21 times.  Yup, 21 times.  We spent just about $540 in restaurants and fast food joints.  Yuck.

I felt like, it might help to do this left often, if I put the details out there, rather than just skipping over it in our monthly spend report posts.

We ate out three times when we were in Alberta - those I'm happy with.  The Tim Horton's run was also on a trip into Alberta.

 We picked up the tab for us and my mom at the Chinese Food place, and one of the Family Restaurant trips was just me and my mom.  The Greek Restaurant was me, Jordan and picking up the tab for my uncle who was helping us evaluate a home that needed a lot of renovations.

The McDonalds and A&W are mostly Jordan grading lunch and/or a breakfast sandwich (I think).  The couple of times when it was closer to $20 - he grabbed something for me too because I hadn't had a chance to feed myself with Little Man always napping on my lap.

So, I'm not going to say that we're never going to eat out - that's just not realistic.  For the month of February especially, we have several more trips to Alberta to get our stuffed packed and while we cook as much as we can, we're inevitably going to eat out some, and feed whoever helps us.

BUT...I think we have some progress to make in Jordan's lunch/breakfast trips and in the family restaurants for sure.

I don't know what a reasonable goal is - perhaps cutting the total spending in half because we went over budget in the day-to-day spending by about $250.  I know some people go the extreme all-or-nothing route, but I don't think that will work for us.

Maybe if Jordan picks up lunch/breakfast once a week, and we buy dinner out no more than twice a month?  What do you guys think?


  1. That sounds like a reasonable suggestion.

  2. Does Jordan eat by himself in the car? Does he get joy out of that? Or does he do it because he's not prepared with lunch or breakfast? I ask because I think that eating by yourself in the car is a huge money waster. If he's going out with coworkers and visiting, I think that's different. I would shoot for $250 and keep track of how much you've spent. When it's gone, don't go out anymore. Also, you could pack a lunch while you're in Alberta.

    1. No - most days he comes home for lunch. I think the small transactions could be grabbing breakfast or a coffee? I'm not actually sure but will ask him to see what that is and maybe we can come up with a solution together.

      We'll have to find a way to track the eating out together other than the monthly reconciliations I think, because by then it's too late. hmm..

  3. This is where we were bumping into trouble last year, too. It's just so convenient to go through a drive through! And some nights, I was just tired and lazy, so we would go out. We decided to reign it in to one meal out per week, and we found we weren't missing it at all, so now we go out once per month, and on special occasions only.

    I find it really helps to make big batches of things like chili and soup, so I can freeze some for those lazy evenings. And I also always have crockpot freezer meals in the freezer- on busy days, I pop one in the crock pot in the morning, and dinner is ready in the late afternoon.

    Packing breakfast and lunch is definitely a money saver. And there's a gazillion super convenient ways to do it. I love the mason jar breakfasts and lunches- there's lots of great recipes online. And smoothies are a great way to go for breakfast- I make mine with frozen fruit, banana, spinach a big dollop of greek yogurt, and some almond milk and OJ. Filling and nutritious!

    Hope that helps a bit! :)

    1. We do big crock pot meals, and just about always have left overs for lunch during weekdays. I'm wondering if the eating out is a weekend issue? I think we need to do more detailed tracking next month to really hammer out the habit and then we can tackle it better.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. We try not to eat out more than twice a month as it can really put a dent in our finances. Unfortunately, life gets in the way and it can be too easy when everything is moving really fast to get that fast food...

    I would say you're right to have documented it though, its showed you that its something you want to change.


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