Ways to Beat Wednesday: Going out to Eat

March 27, 2019


Going out to eat has become more of a social event rather than a means to feed yourself. Being able to go out with your friends and share good food and good memories is definitely something fun to do. However, it can get really expensive especially when you're on a college budget. If you're like me,  cutting eating out all together isn't realistic. However, eating out just a little bit less can save you so much money in the long run.
  1. Identify your habits. If purchasing food is an everyday thing, what days can you cut out? Instead of a morning coffee from Dunkin or Starbucks, could you make your own? If you dread certain work or school days (do Mondays ring a bell?), then buy your favorite drinks on those days to give yourself an extra pep.
  2. Make a food budget. Okay, I'm not going to lie. I almost always spend way too much money when I go out to eat. What I have started doing it telling myself I can spend no more than $45 a week on going out to eat. If I have left over money from that budget, I put it in my savings. From this, I have loved seeing my savings grow and have set a number goal. Once I reach that goal, I am going to use that extra money for a little trip. If that does not sound like it would motivate you, a coworker of mine has takes cash out of her account and goes into an envelope. The money inside that envelope is all she can spend on eating out (this can be applied to really anything). No matter what your motivating factors are, simply being cognoscente of how your money is spent can start helping the change to spending less.
  3. Cook at home. For me, I'll eat out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday sometimes twice a day. While trying to save money, I recognized that this just wasn't practical for me to continue. To combat this, I decided my groceries would include food I look forward to cooking on Thursday's. Recently, this has been new Pinterest recipes to try. I know that if I have those things waiting for me at home, I'll be more likely to eat there. This past Thursday, I tried making an Asian inspired meal with broccoli and salmon and it actually turned out pretty good! I'll link the Pinterest recipes below if you want to check them out (just to warn you there are some uncommon ingredients to people who don't cook often- like sesame oil- in there).
  4. Plan Ahead. This is something I know everyone struggles with. What works for me is I made a little google doc of seven tables labeled for every day of the week and three meals a day (pictured below). If I know my social life ahead of time, I plan my meals around that. When I know exactly what my options are for cooking, it takes away the stress of trying to figure out what to eat. This also helps with grocery shopping. If you know that on Wednesday you want a salad, you can plan what veggies or protein you need for that salad. There are so many grocery apps that make planning simple and easy. I use Sprouts and Kroger as my grocery list to make sure it coincides with my meal plan list. By doing so, I have stopped purchasing too many groceries and have started eating out less!

Plain English muffin, peanut butter, banana
Asian salad with salmon and carrot ginger dressing
Taqueria Tsunami with Mom

Easy Asian Inspired Meal (that can make multiple meals):
Sweet Soy Salmon
  • I didn't do any lemon powder, and I added ginger powder.
  • https://www.thisgrandmaisfun.com/soy-sauce-brown-sugar-salmon-marinade/
Crispy Broccoli
  • Instead of the Asian chile-garlic sauce, I added Wildbrine kimchi sirracha (found at Sprouts) and some garlic (garlic powder works fine). With the leftover sauce, I added some sauteed red cabbage and carrots for more veggies!
  • https://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/charred-orange-chile-broccoli

Ways to Beat Wednesday's are going to be posted every last Wednesday of the month. If you have any suggestions on how to cut back on going out to eat, comment below!

Check back tomorrow to see how to find good deals on Free People Clothing.

Thanks for reading!

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