Lose This Expense: Eating Out 4 Times a Week

10.11.06 | Money | 2 Comments | by junger

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If you're in the market to save some money, whether it's to achieve a financial goal or to fill your online savings account, there's one expense you can easily control and will greatly benefit from: eating out fewer times per week.

According to a new report (I heard this on the Today Show and can't find a link online), Americans dine out an average of 4 times per week.

Four times a week!

I'm not going to tell you how and when you should eat out, but the amount of money you could be saving eating at home at least two of those four times is huge.

Any dollar figure I use would just be pulled out of thin air, but try this: you know that all-you-can-eat pasta at the Olive Garden? For $8 a plate — let's say $11 total for food, drink, tax and tip — you're getting the equivalent of a $1.50 (at most) box of pasta and $2 sauce.

So instead of paying $3.50 and boiling that pasta yourself, you're spending at least $11 — and that doesn't include hidden costs, like the gas you pay to get to the restaurant. That's almost $8 more per meal

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