So, we all know that going out to eat is fun as well as just plain nice to not have to cook for you and the family once in a while. And while this may be fun and relaxing, eating out too often will cost you in two major areas.
Most of you already know at least one area that eating out costs you, but let’s go over them anyways, shall we?
First, it will cost you the size of your bank account. Sure, there are a ton of places these days where you can find great deals. Almost every restaurant right now is advertising based on the budget conscious people out there. Applebee’s is featuring the “2 for $20”, and so is Chili’s—though we don’t have one in Bend. But these two major chains are among many offering up these ‘great deals’. It still costs you though! If you spend $20.00, and that’s a big IF, then that $20.00 could have bought you a bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ground hamburger meat, and a plethora of side dishes to go along with the meat. Those items would feed your family for at least a couple of days. I said a big IF, because while you get appetizers, dinners and a dessert, it doesn’t cover beverages. And who really goes to the restaurants and orders just water for the family?
Also, even if you go out to the bars for happy hour specials or fast food restaurants, you’re still going to spend. The average couple spends $30.00 per dinner when going out to eat. That’s quite a bit of groceries at the store that you could have bought.
The second area that eating out costs you is your waist line! While you may think you are ordering something healthy, you may find instead that you’re about to consume more calories in one sitting than an entire day of cooking and eating at home. Most restaurants will be happy to let you know what the caloric content of their dishes are, however, some restaurants will flat out refuse to tell you what you’re really putting in your mouth. There’s a website that will actually feature many of the more popular dishes at restaurants, and reveal to you how many calories there are in these dishes. It’s called Hungry-Girl, and while the name may sound odd, it’s a great place to visit if you get curious about what you’re really eating out there. And of course, since the New Year is falling upon us, we all know that one of our New Year’s resolutions will be to work out more, or go on a new diet, or whatever other resolutions you make for yourself this upcoming year for weight loss or weight management.
Just remember, while the economy is slowly getting back on its feet, we still have a little while before it’s all the way there. Again, going out to eat is fun; but do it sparingly. Your banker will thank you for it, and so will that new Personal Trainer that you're about to hire in 2010.
For more information, go to: Bend budget meals
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