I hate losing. It doesn’t matter if it’s at golf or a bet to see who can eat the most pieces of pizza in one sitting. To me, there’s no difference between a bet that involves money or pride. The bottom line is I’m not a gracious loser.
I’m the guy that will toss his golf club after a bad shot or pay off a lost bet with a bag full of change. While I can’t stand when people do that to me, I can at least appreciate their hatred of losing.
As much as I hate losing, I’ve been losing a daily battle for as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact, I lost again today. What am I talking about? Eating out!
As I do practically every day before I get to my office, I stop in the café and pick up a breakfast burrito. Like usual, the burrito tastes phenomenal. But, how much money am I throwing away with this habit?
The sad thing is that it doesn’t stop there. On most days, I’ll find myself walking around the city trying to figure out what I’m going to eat for lunch. There are even some days I’ll get home and decide I’d rather pick something up for dinner than do any other work.
How sad is that? As I sit here and look at yet another $5.81 receipt from the café, I realize I have a problem. Eating out every once in a while isn’t a big deal. But, when it comes to be a major part of your daily routine, it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with.
How often do you eat out? Do you have any idea how much you spend per week, per month or per year? To try and break my habit, I’m going to break down the cost of eating out.
Morning: If you’re anything like me, there’s just not enough time in the morning to sit down for a good breakfast. What do I turn to instead? I either pick up McDonald’s breakfast on the way to work or stop at the café before I get to my office. When I go to McDonald’s, I get a sausage McMuffin, sausage burrito and a hash brown. For years, those three items have been my go-to choices. Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I escape with a bill of $3.18.
On days that I don’t go to McDonalds, I stop at the café for a breakfast burrito and Gatorade in exchange for $5.81. On average, I’d estimate I stop at McDonalds once a week and the café two other days. The other two days, I eat a bowl of cereal or some toast at home. If I eat out for breakfast three times per week, I’m spending close to $15 per week.
Afternoon: A few hours after inhaling my breakfast burrito (which by the way could easily be cut in half and saved for the next day), it’s time to start thinking about what I want for lunch. In a big city like Detroit, options are unlimited. Pizza. Coney dogs. Sandwiches. The list goes on and on. The most popular choice with me is pizza. To be safe, I’ll say I eat out for lunch about three times per week (although it’s much closer to four). If I get pizza, I generally get the meal that includes a personal pizza, breadsticks and a drink for $6.29. If I do this three times per week, that’s another $18.87 out of my pocket.
Night: This one is a little more difficult to estimate because I don’t generally eat out too much for dinner (weekends being the exception). However, when I do eat out, I enjoy a good steak. If I eat out for dinner only once a week, I’d estimate I spend about $20 after tip.
To sum up, I spend about $15 per week on breakfast, $18.87 on lunch and $20 on dinner. Those numbers don’t seem to be all that bad, right?
WRONG! When you do the math for a month, it turns into $60 for breakfast, $75 for lunch, and $80 for dinner for a total of $215 a month just on eating out.
When it comes to the total cost of eating out for a year, you’re looking at $2,580. Those numbers skyrocket when you add another person to your tab or drinks. Luckily for me, I generally stay away from pop, which can kill your wallet.
The consensus? Eating out is good for your taste buds, but not so good for your bank account. It’s also not good for your health, but that’s a whole different story.
What could you do with an extra $215 a month?
Every week I tell myself, “I’m not going to eat out this week,” and before I know it, I’m in line ordering another sandwich from Jimmy Johns.
Alright, I’m fed up with it. I’m done eating out!
On second thought, it’s lunch time. What’s one more tab of $6.29 really going to do?
Hopefully you have more self-control than me.
What’s your take on eating out? Have you cut back on it and suddenly noticed more cash in your pocket? Let us know in the comments section below!