This new job has been great in terms of increasing our monthly income, but I’ve been eating more lunches out. I do a lot of driving around town for the job and I haven’t packed my lunches as often as I should. I find myself trying to find something convenient which usually means spending some cash for not so healthy food.

I must resist the lure of fast food to improve my waist and wallet.

I must resist the lure of fast food to improve my waist and wallet.

Realizing How Work Affects Me Eating Out

Grabbing whatever is quick and easy has been a weakness of mine. I’m going to cut down on my take out lunches to 3x week for the next 2 weeks and then drop down to eating out once or twice a week for the rest of the year. It helps if I remember that the money I’m saving is going towards a goal, so the money saved will go towards the joint savings account.

I do enjoy eating lunch with a friend, but these take out lunches have just been me and they haven’t really offered good food. I’d better better off making something at home a few times a week. I’ve written about some quick and easy recipes that can be used as brown bag lunches the next day like pizzanachos, chili, and stew. Today’s lunch will be a tasty honey ham and cheddar cheese sandwich and a fruit cup on the side.

I grabbed the lunch food last week and that has made it much easier to make a sandwich in the morning. I’m also considering grabbing lunch at cheaper places, like Costco and saving some money. If you are going to eat out, be reasonable and go over your monthly budget.

Eating Out Tips:

  • Dig to find local spots. Asking your co-workers, neighbors, and friends can pay off if you find a great place with wonderful food.
  • Make a second meal on leftovers. I fill up on my bread or chips (depending on the place). I’m not acting greedy, but I do enjoy what they offer. If salad is included with a dinner, then eat the entire salad. It fills you up and it’s generally good or you. Two meals for the price of one!
  • Get a discount. See if they have lunch/dinner specials or use a site like to get a deal on gift certificates. Sometimes you can get a $25 gift certificate for $10 or less!
  • Mix Appetizers. Sometimes you can get a good deal by having two appetizers.
  • Don’t be frugal with your tip. That should go without saying, but if you got good service, please tip accordingly.

Your Thoughts

How have you kept on your eating out budget? Any advice?