She and I had already eaten before we left home that day. Because we know eating the majority of our meals at home is huge money saver. We do our best to save eating out for special occasions like birthdays, graduations, etc.
My daughter was driving that day in town, so it was easy for me to look around and observe things.
As we drove past multiple restaurants and fast food establishments, I noticed how many cars were parked there and even more so, how many cars were lined up in the drive thru. Many of them had cars backed all the way out around the building and up to the street.
These days it is not uncommon for a drive thru to have two lanes. One local fast food chain is even remaking their drive thru to include two lanes.
Even just buying drinks away from home can get expensive and vending machine drinks also add up. A stop at a fast food establishment for drinks can easily cost $2 a day or more. Add that up and it is $60 a month, which is enough in some cases to pay a bill.
I know of a man who worked with my ex who would not buy drinks out. The EMS crews often stopped at the local convenience stores for drinks and snacks. He did not buy snacks or drinks at these stores. He would always buy snacks or drinks at the store in bulk and then bring those items from home to save money. It's easy enough to do this if you plan ahead.
How many people are buying drinks, lunches, and snacks at convenience stores who really cannot afford that convenience? Eating away from home definitely costs more money than eating at home or bringing your lunch to work. Are they paying cash, which could be earmarked for other essentials like gas or mortgage payments? Or worse, charging these items on a credit card they are unable to pay off in full each month?
Trust me when I tell you that I have no credit card debt. We do our best to live within our means and for us that means keeping eating out to a minimum.
Now, having said that I would also like to say that for some of you eating out does not present any problems. You have an adequate income, no debt, so eating out is not the problem it may be for some other people. I think that's great. We love to eat out! This post is meant to be helpful to those people who are struggling to make ends meet.
Is eating away from home preventing you from realizing some of your dreams of home ownership or a new car? How many Americans file bankruptcy each year due to living beyond their means? And I am not referring to people who file bankruptcy due to medical bills, which can wipe a family out in some cases.
People think they do not have the time to make meals from home, but how much trouble is it to make a sandwich the night before and stick it in the fridge?
Len over at Len Penzo.com states...
The truth is, despite those ever-increasing grocery bills, for most people, brown-bagging a sandwich, piece of fruit, and carrot sticks or a serving of chips is less expensive than buying lunch — regardless if they’re at school or work.
You can check out Len's annual sandwich cost survey, which I always find interesting, here:
Len Penzo 7th Annual Sandwich Cost Survey
Just some food for thought this Saturday evening. :)