Do you like to eat? I do; I don’t miss many meals – which is why I gained 14 pounds over this past year and why my doctor gave me a hard time during a recent check-up; I confess this is an area of weakness – especially going out to eat – breakfast, lunch, weekends, sometimes even late (run for the border anyone?). I found this list (see below) of top budget busters this past week (probably yahoo finance) and thought I would pass along. I confess the top 2 are definitely categories I should work on; shoulda, coulda, woulda. . .
I spend about $12 per person, per day (3 of us), definitely room for improvement. We spend about $1,100 per month on food/groceries/eating out. Per the USDA (see link below), we should be able to eat (healthy) for less than $1,010; really?
Another rule of thumb is to limit food expenses to no more than 10% of your total expenses. For example, if your take home pay is $5,000 per month then limit your food/groceries expense to $500 per month (including alcohol). Couple more stats I found online (BLS national average); 60% of food expense is spent on food prepared at home vs. 40% spent at restaurants (we are close to 50/50). An estimate of eating out cost per person per meal is $12.75 vs. eating at home at $2 per person per meal (value penguin inc.). Some of these stats are a little dated but regardless; I believe its safe to say its cheaper to eat at home vs. a restaurant.
Top Budget Busters (per the Principal Group Annual Financial Well Being Index 2016)
1) dining out
4) other consumer goods
6) housing/home improvements