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.