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Tightwad challenge: dining in

Dining out is likely one of the biggest expenses that is keeping you from saving money at the end of each month. Eating a variety of yummy foods in your favourite restaurants can easily lead to overspending because when it comes right down to it, who doesn't want to eat out? A few drinks out with friends, weekend dinners with someone special, and a few lunches with coworkers throughout the week can really take a negative toll on your wallet month after month. There, we've stated the obvious, but are you willing to do anything about it? We invite you to take on the Tightwad Dining Challenge.
Challenge Yourself to Save It's really easy to participate in the challenge. Here's what you need to do:
1. Keep track of all food related expenses for one full week. This can include drinks, meals, tips, valet for restaurants, etc. It will help to keep an envelope and/or pen and pad on hand at all times.  
2. Go grocery shopping for a week's worth of meals and save the receipts. If you're accustomed to a weekend dinner out, be prepared to cook a nice meal at home.  
3. Add up the receipts from step one, do the same for step two and subtract the two amounts to find the difference.
That's it! Once you have the difference, you'll know exactly how much extra you're spending each month to feed yourself. Keep in mind, writing down every meal-related expense can be hard, so stay disciplined. For some the difference may not be that great, which means you're already doing a good job of staying within a budget. For others, you may simply be shocked at how much you're spending on food unnecessarily. Multiply that monthly difference by a factor of 12 to see how much you could save over the course of a year. Some people live to eat; however, that's okay as long as you are mindful of you are spending. The dining challenge was designed to show you how much you could save without eating out at all for a week, which is probably unrealistic and not necessary in many cases. You can always reward yourself at the end of the week as long as you have been conscious of your dining expenses during the past seven days.


Aunt Bee's Garden said...

I honestly cannot remember the last time we ate out. Not bragging or whining we just don't eat out. For one, we are trying to pay off our debt so eating out is one thing we have given up BUT Secondly, I do not want to spend money on eating out when I can make the same thing myself, that tastes as good if not better and don't have to gamble on the service. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice dinner out but I don't feel like I'm missing out by not going out.

Anonymous said...

going to try to start this challenge next Sunday. my biggest expense is probably eating lunch out at the office. it's hard not to leave when you're on the computer all day!

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