Financial Friday: Making it a Game to Avoid Eating Out too Much!


It’s one of our downfalls: Husband and I love eating food out at restaurants! It saves time and effort after a long day at work, the food is often inventive and delicious, and I don’t even have to go grocery shopping! We figured out a long time ago that this was one of the budget items that we were going to struggle to keep under control.

While we still eat out a lot, one really effective way we cut down on eating out and thus got ourselves to save some money by cooking at home was by turning it into a game. At first, we wanted to just count each time either of us ate at a restaurant and the person who ate the least won. However! We realized a better way: once ONE of us mentions eating out, all bets are usually off: both of us love the idea of getting some sushi or curry or barbecue, so as soon as someone mentions it, that is actually the moment in which we choose.

So we decided to keep track of how often each of us mentioned eating out, and it became a bit of a game of chicken. When we got home from work, tired and hungry, we’d kinda size each other up, see that the other person wasn’t saying anything, and resign ourselves to making some salads and baking some chicken.

What was great was that we really loved cooking together and eating at home, once we got more accustomed to it. Sure, when we have a totally bonkers day (or month…) we still eat at restaurants with relish, but this competition has made us more likely to get all the groceries we need to be frugal and cook many meals. The winner, ironically, only gets a 30 dollar gift card to some store they want (for me, a craft store and for Husband, a hardware store). Yes, it’s already our money, but we had to figure something as a reward.

🙂 What’s your budget splurge category? Do you have any creative ways to keep that spending under control? We’re definitely a work in progress.

6 Comments, RSS

  1. blissfullycreating November 17, 2017 @ 10:22 am

    i love this idea! may have to give it a try!

  2. living With Anxiety November 17, 2017 @ 5:23 pm

    That’s a really good way to cut back on eating out 🙂
    My budget splurge category is probably my Niece. I just cannot resist spoiling her.

  3. Cindy Anderson November 19, 2017 @ 8:37 pm

    Planning meals, shopping and cooking on not very high on my favorites list. As a result we have had a tendency to eat out more often than not. To help steer that ship in a different direction we signed up for one of those meal delivery services. So far we are really enjoying it. It guarantees that we eat home at least three nights a week. The other four have eventually evolved into meals at home as well. The portions included in the 3 meal/week service are usually large enough that we can split them in half. This means we have the option to get 6 meals rather than 3. Bonus! 🙂

  4. teacherturnedmommyblog November 19, 2017 @ 11:27 pm

    I started a few years ago making a new dish each week. It was part a feature on my blog and part just lets spice up our meal plan. I hate having the same things over and over, but it’s easy to get into the cooking rut. It is so much cheaper to grocery shop then eat out. I also like making dishes that can be transformed into other dishes so the leftovers are the same thing

  5. Vera November 22, 2017 @ 3:15 pm

    My budget problem would be fashion!! I love looking for clothes and buying them. As that cost a bunch I started to visit thrift stores. Besides the fact that you can find really lovely pieces for a bargain, you will have an original style. Plus, you do good for environment. The clothing production is one of the most polluting industries without speaking of the horrible working conditions. So when you buy secodhand clothing, you contribute actively to saving our planet!

  6. momsavestimemoneysanity December 9, 2017 @ 8:09 am

    I completely get this! When I am not properly budgeting, we end up eating out. And it is SO not good for our account with three kids!

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