A lot of people know eating out means unnecessarily spending a lot of money. Some people spend hundreds if not thousands per month on dining out alone. While it is somewhat enjoyable, this spending with limit your ability to become financially independent. Most people are aware but they just don’t know how to avoid restaurants. Many people act like they just must dine out no matter what.
While it’s true that sometimes restaurants are unavoidable, there are ways to spend money out less often. This post will be your guide to avoiding the money trap that are restaurants.
1. Suggest coffee or drinks instead
Sometimes, you have time to kill or you receive a sudden offer to get a bit to eat. Whether this is a date or meeting, suggest something light. You can go to Starbucks or Panera instead of going to a big sit down restaurant. This will save you money and makes for a better work environment. People at these restaurants are usually busy as well. That means you’re food will arrive fast, they’ll have plenty of laptop plugins and you don’t have to order an entire cow.
These restaurants are great for dates as well since it’s not too involved. You don’t have to sit down for a massive meal together. You can drink coffee, nibble on a scone, whatever – it’s pretty noninvolved. It’s also pretty cheap.
2. Eat at home
Eating at home can suck if you’re not a foodie who likes to cook. But there are options. I myself like to grill enough chicken breasts on Sunday to get me through the week. I add chicken to a lot of meals quickly. You can also plan easy meals. Once you make a meal once, it gets easier to prepare each time thereafter.
3. Drink Soylent
Soylent is a meal replacement beverage. It includes all the vitamins and nutrients necessary to live a healthy life. There are a lot of different ways to get Soylent. You can get it in powder form or in prefilled ready-to-go disposable bottles. Whatever way you slice it, the cost is minimal compared with eating out or even when compared to making many at home meals.
Soylent is perfect for saving time and money. When you travel, pack a bottle or two or three of Soylent. Instead of buying expensive airport food, you can crack open a bottle of Soylent. You’ll get a complete meal for only a couple of bucks.
It’s also smart to eat a few bottles in your car. Whenever you get hungry, you won’t need to go to an expensive restaurant. You can just crack open a bottle. Saves time. Saves money.
4. Pack Your Lunch
Packing your lunch gives you a good excuse not to go out and eat. You will have your lunch ready for you. If you don’t eat it that day, it probably won’t get any better. Pack your lunch and you’ll save thousands over the course of a year.
5. Snack Often
If you snack often, you’ll be less likely to lose your cool and order a big meal at a restaurant. By snacking often, you never get angry hunger pains which cause you to spend money and make poor food choices.
6. Avoid Meetups Around Meal Times
The most common time you’ll find me at a restaurant is when I agree to meet someone prior to a meal time. It nearly always turns into “Do you wanna get lunch?” While this can be okay if you really want to spend more time with that person, it usually turns into a waste of money. If you see the person often, the lunch will probably just be a time where you both overeat and overspend without any real relationship development happening. Agree to meet after meal times.
And That Is How You Eat out Less Often
Eating out has its place. But most of the time, you’re probably eating out with little benefit but a big financial loss. Use any mix of the above methods to avoid eating out. You stand to save thousands over the course of a year.
I’m a personal finance freelance writer and webmaster. I welcome you to visit me at www.thefrugalpreneur.com