What About Eating Out, Junk Food, and Snack Food?

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This is part of the Saving Money on Groceries series.

Personally, I LOOOVVVEE eating out. For most people, eating out is a big expense. So it junk food and snack food. How do we tame that cost without feeling deprived? In our family, we haven’t been doing a great job in that department lately and are ready to shape up. Time for some reminders!

Here are some things that have worked for us in the past:

  • Have a budget set aside for eating out. Track it the same as you do groceries, but separate so it’s more visible. Try setting aside cash once a month only for eating out purposes.
  • Only allow yourself to eat out once a week. Make it a particular day. For us, Sunday or Monday worked well because those are Aaron’s days off. This was actually more effective for us than budgeting for it.
  • When you do eat out, try places that you have coupons for or can find online.
  • Find a place that has decent prices but portions big enough that you can split a meal or each take half home for the next day.
  • Have SOME quick meals on hand that satisfy the “junk” craving. For us (don’t be disgusted) it’s top ramen, mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets.
  • When you get home from the grocery store, spend some time preparing baggies of snacks, like sliced cheese (for crackers), carrots and celery, and even pre-wash some apples for later slicing. It makes a difference.
  • Experiment with making snack foods at home, such as granola or trail mix, granola bars, chips, or convenience foods like toaster pastries, pocket pizzas, etc.

Find more ideas and try them out! Here are some good resources:

Next Post: Buying in Bulk

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About GirlDuck

I am a wife, mother, and homemaker who loves Jesus. I am married to an amazing man, Aaron, and I have three fantastic kids. I write this blog mostly to share information with others, record things for my own future reference, and pour out just a bit of my heart.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Homemaking, Saving Money / Living Frugally. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What About Eating Out, Junk Food, and Snack Food?

  1. Pingback: Frugal Cooking – Simple Recipes From Scratch | Proverbial Girl Duck

  2. Pingback: Saving Money on Groceries | Proverbial Girl Duck

  3. Great tips thanks!

    The unfortunate matter is that junk food is cheaper for you so if you are eating out on a budget, diners tend to choose the cheaper meals that may not be as good for you. The best tip I can give is to search around for vouchers and discounts online, in newpapers or magazines etc.

    Thanks

  4. Lisa says:

    We have had to give up eating out. The price is just too high and the portions are too small! Instead we all help in the kitchen to prepare home made meals! Not only is the time together well worth it but we have another shared experience together that of preparing and cooking an entire meal. Sometimes we eat around the television to a favorite movie! We have eliminated most of our junk food as well. Instead we eat chips with home made salsa, corn bread with milk or tea, pop corn with juice, cheese quasadilla, or pumpkin, apple or banana bread as well as different fruits. We are trying to eat healthier and lose weight so no more junk food or soda for us!

    • GirlDuck says:

      I really really like your snack food ideas. Gonna have to try them in our family! We don’t buy much snack-y foods but the craving hits us occasionally. These ideas would work great, I think. Corn bread with milk/tea = Genius! 🙂

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