Recent studies have shown that the average American couple spends approximately two hundred and fifty dollars eating out every month. That is a very conservative number considering many studies had people spending that same amount in just a week of eating out. This year was the first time that people spent more money eating out than they did buying groceries. The world got itself in a big old rush to get things done so quickly that we are now forgetting about the importance of eating at home.
Dozens of studies show the direct correlation between people who eat home cooked meals more often are much more likely to have better grades in school, a smaller waist line, and have a better bond with their family members. Not to mention, the amount of money you save cooking and eating at home. The study above doesn't take into consideration alcoholic beverages when eating out, and the tips we leave to our servers. Now don't get me wrong, I like eating dinner out as much as the next person, but doing it too often is a great way to get fat and sacrifice the ability to save your money.
For some inexplicable reason, people think "eating healthy" is expensive, and that it's much cheaper to go to McDonalds for a Happy Meal. This simply isn't true! The "cost" of eating that way packs on the pounds, and in turn, increases your risk for things like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Health insurance is expensive for all of us, but it's really expensive if you're unhealthy! That money you're "saving" eating out is actually costing you a much greater price.
Pictured above is a weekly trip I make to the supermarket (give or take a few things); my family and I eat everything! Yes, we eat bread, pasta and rice too! I live with a Brazilian woman who's staple food is rice and beans...but the key is moderation. If you ask Andrea what an Ideal healthy meal is, she would tell you something like: A cup of rice, steamed broccoli and baked chicken (just an example). If you ask one of my training partners what an ideal meal is, they would tell you to avoid any processed dough at all. Both of these people are very lean and very healthy; so who's correct? They both are! Eating good quality foods is always the goal, but your portion sizes are what's vital. Americans simply eat TOO MUCH! Mix in deep fried foods, foot long sandwiches and baked goods without moderation, and you have yourself a recipe for major fat gain.
If you do your own weekly food shopping, not only will you save yourself a crap ton of money, but you will be able have direct control of exactly what you eat and how much you eat. When we eat out, we have much less self-control with how much we eat (and drink), we are much more likely to over eat when those oversized plates come out with far too much food on them. My weekly food shopping usually consists of two separate trips, and we spend on average $150 a week; and that's for a family of five (and I count as two people because I eat like a Lion). When we all go out to eat, I can't get out of there spending less than eighty dollars; and that's for only one single meal!
Lets take a look at how much it costs to eat out for a year for a family of four:
Family of four
Eats out two times a week (just an average)
Spends approximately $80 per meal
x 2 ($160 a week)
That's $640 a Month
That's $7,680 a Year
And that's being very conservative (Double that # for most families)
I think you guys get the point, eating out once in a while isn't going to kill you, but it's the habit of doing it often that will slowly pick your health apart and drain your wallet.
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables two times a week
Buy different types of meats each week to keep it interesting (pork, chicken, fish, meat)
Limit your eating out to a couple of times a month
Save you Money
Control your health