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Day 1 of America Saves Week - Dine in, Not Out

Day 1 – Dine In, Not Out

Eating out has become routine for many Americans. Reasons to go to restaurants are easy to find; I’m too tired to cook, I don’t want to have to clean, we all want different things for dinner, it’s easier, the list goes on. As of 2012, Restaurant guide Zagat reports the average adult dines out approximately 3.1 times per week, with the average price of a meal being $35.65. This means the average adult in the US is spending $140.78 per week on dining out (2012). A yearly breakdown of dining expenses is below.

  • 3.1 meals x $35.65 per meal = $110.52 per week
  • $110.52 per week x 52 weeks = $5747.04 per year

Most people’s jaws would drop if they knew how much money they were spending on eating out each year. The simple solution to this is to stop eating out. However, people don’t want to do this, it is fun to eat out. Many times the food is very good and possibly worth the money. People love the experience of dining out.

The real solution? Cut back on dining out. Create a set day where you, you and a significant other, or the whole family goes out to eat. This set day may be once every two weeks, or even once a week depending on how often you are currently dining out.

Eating out less frequently has a major benefit; the amount of money being saved can be up to $71.30 dollars a week or $3,707.60 a year! Think about the other financial goals you have and what you could do with that money.

The bottom line is to consider eating at home and making your own meals as much as possible. This is a great money saving technique. The decrease in the amount of restaurant trips will create a better atmosphere when you do go out, and make the experience more of a treat. You don’t have to cut out eating at restaurants all together, but the more you eat at home, the more you save.

Zagat.(2012). Zagat Survey Summary; 2012 America’s Top Restaurants. Retrieved February 11, 2013.

Published Feb 25, 2013.