One of the best things about living in the city are all the different cuisines available at our fingertips. I heard somewhere, if you ate at a different restaurant for every meal you’d still never be able try all the food in the 5 boroughs. I mean, I’ll definitely take up the Tri-State on that challenge if no one else is willing. However, today’s issue is how do we STOP ourselves from spending all our coins on food alone?
Step 1 Assess your eating habits.
Do you eat out for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner? Or do you just eat out for lunch everyday? Maybe you’re a little excessive on the dinners with friends. Either way, there’s an opportunity to save. See where you’re spending all your money and find ways to cut down. If you’re eating out for every meal, start by making your own breakfast. It can be something easy like a Greek yogurt, fruit, boiled eggs, or cereal. If you eat out for lunch everyday, choose 2 days you pack lunch. If you eat out a lot with friends to catch up and hang out, see if you can combine dinners, spark new friendships between your friends that don’t know each other. You can even invite your friends over for dinner, instead of going out. Start small when cutting back on eating out. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed and you can slowly work towards your goal. Another great thing to do in order to see exactly where you’re spending your money is to save your receipts when eating out. By saving your receipts you’ll be able to document exactly how much you are spending.
Step 2 Make a grocery list.
Yea, so you had to know this was coming. If you want to save you’re going to have to start preparing your own meals at least some of the time. This is a sure way to save. Choose a day to brainstorm on ideas of what you want to cook for the week and make a list. Find some recipes and be sure to add some variety so you don’t get bored and end up not eating what you’ve cooked. Set a day(s) for cooking and add it on your phone calendar (with reminders). If you make a schedule, you’re more likely to follow it.
Step 3 Create a goal.
Set a goal as to why you would like to cut down on eating out. Of course, the reason is to save money but choose something you would like to save for. Maybe it’s that trip to Greece with your friends you’ve been dreaming about for the past 5 years. Or maybe it’s just that you want a shopping fund. Only you know, but whatever it is, write it down on a piece of paper, set a date you would like to achieve your goal by, and put it on your wall. Keep track weekly of how much you were able to put towards your goal in result of saving as an inspiration to continue working towards your goal.