The Necessity of Having Restaurant Budgets
Like every other expense in your life, you need a budget for meals outside the home. If you eat out a lot, then it is just as important to have a restaurant budget as it is to have one for travel expenses or utilities. This will help you stay within your overall budget and not go over it. It will also help you save up for the next time you want to go out to eat and it may even allow you to dine out more often.
You may be wondering why restaurant budgets are so important. Well, there are many reasons why they are necessary. First of all, if you have a restaurant budget, then you won’t spend too much money on food during a single restaurant meal. You can also be sure to not overspend on something that is not crucial for your day to day life. Restaurants are a luxury after all.
Staying Within Your Restaurant Budget by Tracking What You Spend
It is important to track your spending as you are doing it. It is far too easy to just blindly order, only to be surprised when the check arrives. The next time you go out to eat, try using this handy restaurant budget tracker. It will help you stay within your restaurant budget by tracking what you spend.
1) Before going out to eat, download a budget tracker app and familiarize yourself with the functions.
2) Enter the name of the restaurant and the date of your visit so that you can reference it in the future.
3) Then enter how much money you have in your meal budget and how much money you want to spend for food and drinks in total.
4) Finally, pick items off the menu that you want to eat and compute your total. If you are within budget, great. If not, you will need to slim down your selections to cut your costs.
Tracking your meal in such a way might seem like an inconvenience, but you need to look at thing from a different perspective. Instead of seeing these changes to your selections as an opportunity lost, think of them as an opportunity gained. It will allow you to stay within budget, reach your overall financial goals and perhaps give you the ability to enjoy more meals outside of the home.
Ways to Stay On Budget When You Eat Out
Eating out is a great way to enjoy some time with your friends and family. But it can also be quite expensive. If you want to spend less, here are a few tips that will help you stay within your budget when you eat out. Most of them will not even dampen your enjoyment of the experience.
– Order smaller portions or share dishes with others. Most restaurant meals and serving sizes are excessive. By taking advantage of this tip, you not only save money but spare yourself a few inches on your waistline.
– Avoid ordering alcohol. Alcohol is the biggest money maker for a restaurant because of the huge markup. Avoid it and save money on the cost of it and avoid losing your inhibitions, something that might make you over spend on other areas of your meal.
– Consider the specials that many restaurants offer during lunch or dinner hours. Choose restaurants that offer e-clubs or reward points for purchases. Tis could save you as much as 25 percent of your meal, although it will slightly lower the umber of restaurants that you can choose from.
– Look for restaurants that have a “kids eat free” promotion or where kids eat for half price. With an average kids meal price of close to 10 dollars, this can give you a tidy savings. If you have just one kid, that is over 200 dollars a year if you dine out twice a month.
– Go for lunch instead of dinner if you can afford to do so. Lunch prices can be as much as 30 percent less than dinner prices, plus the crowds are usually much smaller.
– Consider going to a fast casual restaurant. These establishments serve sit down restaurant quality meals without the high prices. Sure, you will not get table service but you will probably get your food faster and will not be obligated to tip.
Alternative To Eating At A Restaurant
An online food delivery service that delivers food from local restaurants to your home is a great alternative to save you money. Yes, you will still have to tip, but the tip will be less and you can save money on drinks since you will be at home. If you like to have a cocktail with dinner, this is a huge money saver because you can serve yourself.
Another option is to cook your own food. The internet is full of resources that will help you accomplish this goal. Simply take what you would have spent on a restaurant and divide it by three. Then take this money and buy some quality ingredients at the grocery store. Quality ingredients are key for a restaurant quality meal, so do not skimp.
One final option to waste less money on food is to simply go the fast food route. Believe it or not, there are some healthily fast food options available to you, and they cost a fraction of what a restaurant would charge. Think about places that serve quality ingredients like Chipotle, Subway or even Chik Fila.