Jul 2, 2009

How I Trimmed My Dining Bills by 59% - "No Eat-Out Experiment" Result

With the inception of June '09 I halted my eat-out habits for a month. Today that 1 month period is over and I would like to share with you the savings I witnessed over the past one month.
  • What was the experiment
I coined it a "No Eat-Out Month" Experiment when I pledged to not spend at all eating out. Food is my weakness and so I couldn't stop myself from wandering away from the seemingly pledge but I did try my best and here is the result. It reminds me of setting the bar higher, in this case I lowered the bar a little, though, but still it looks like a success :)
  • Result
I saved 59.6% in my dining bills last month. Below is a snapshot from my Quicken Online account with dining trends for June '09:

As seen above I spent $50 on dining bills. Below is the snapshot for my eat-out spending for May '09 when I spent $124 on dining:

That's a $74 savings straight-away! While many people consider 74 bucks as just a mere amount, I see it as my 8-months Netflix bill :)
  • How I did it

I cook (almost) every night and take lunch box to work, this habit saves me enough already. In May '09 I joined several friends to get on to roads for some beautiful and eventful trips, and my wallet was slain there. In June '09 I went on 3 road trips but still the results are in my favor.

Here are few things I made sure to put to action:

  1. cook at home regularly

  2. eat properly before leaving home (for work, shopping, etc.)

  3. while on a road trip, prefer coffee with sugar at a service station. Sugar energizes (and satiates) you while coffee lets you keep going

  4. meet with friends at home and plan to cook and eat together inside, it's pure frugal fun
  5. (@trenttsd suggests) stop at a grocery shop while on a trip than at a diner

  6. next time you shop groceries buy something that you really savor when you crave. Use it to control your eat-out yearnings

  7. if you should go out, then order something you were longing to eat. Satisfaction is a m ust when it comes to taste fellas ;)
  • So where did I spend

So where did I spend those $50 and when did I spend them. I am not sure how clear will the following image be once it's published:

This is the list of my dining bills for June '09. As you can see I mostly had coffee and that was when I was driving ;) Secondly Cold Stone which I miss these days was another venue. Panera Bread and Formosa Chinese were where I went to had some real meal with friends.

Julia @BargainBabe.com, with her numerous readers, is observing a spending moratorium month in July '09 that started yesterday. If you feel motivated enough, give it a try and join BargainBabe this month.

Have you ever considered such experiment? How did it go? What do you think of such activities? Please leave a comment.

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