Money is on the mind of everyone. And your stomach might have something to say about that, too.
Balancing your budget and keeping spending in check is always prudent and pensive all in the same breathe as most struggle to stay afloat, while others tend to take what extra money they have and use it the wrong way.
Shopping sprees, cars you can't afford and homes you can't afford are key examples of how not to spend your money. Perhaps nothing drains your bank account quicker than taking what extra income you have and spending it in the one place you really don't need to: eating or dining out in restaurants.
Restaurants are to eating what computers or tablets are to shopping. They scream convenience.
Rather than go to the grocery store, buy food, prepare it and start cooking, restaurants allow you to take the would be easy way out and just sit down and have someone else do all the work for you. Much like some consumers shudder at the idea of going to the mall and battling the crowds, the grocery store or whole foods location reeks of annoyance.
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With that, individuals and families decide that frequenting restaurants makes life a little easier when it comes to eating but not so much when it comes to money.
Take the average grilled chicken dinner, roughly a $20 plate, and think about what you're getting for that hefty price, comparing to buying those same ingredients at the store. A three pound bag of grilled chicken in your fridge costs about $8, so one chicken breast might cost around a dollar or two. Add some mashed potatoes, broccoli and a salad and all told the meal probably is going to cost you, at most, $5-7 versus the four times more you're spending at a restaurant.
Is your time really worth overspending that much?
Think of it in broader terms: if you eat dinner at a restaurant four times per week, you're spending $80 per week just one dinner. Compare that to four dinners at $7 per meal, making that less than 30 dollars for that same set of portions. Take that $80 restaurant tab per week, and you'll be shocked to know you're spending almost $4,000 per year on dinner.
That staggering figure often never is realized by the average consumer, who never stops to put down their knife and fork to learn that they're spending a sizable amount on one meal per day. Consider to that figure doesn't include the occasional breakfast or lunch, too.
Simply put, restaurant dining needs to be viewed as a luxury, not a daily routine or regimen. The grocery store and a plan to attack that spot at a time that isn't so busy might be the difference between spending thousands when only a fraction of that is necessary.
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