Eating Out: Where and How Much We Spent in August

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 2.24.37 PM We ate out 24 times in August 2013. Because we group our Restaurant and Grocery money into one Food category, we thought it would be a good idea to see how much we're spending at restaurants each month and if we think it's worth it once we see it all laid out. (This doesn't include our trip to TxSC '13, meals out when someone else paid or the Iowa State Fair. Other than that, it includes all food and treats we didn't buy at the grocery store or directly from our favorite farmers.)

Aug. 1: Chipotle - $18.07 Aug. 5: Panda Express - $8.67 Aug. 6: Panera - $2.59 (also had a gift card) Aug. 7: Godfather's Pizza - $20.12 Aug. 8: Los Tres Amigos - $17.05 Aug. 9: Panera - $22.54 Aug. 10: Chick-fil-A - $19.44 Aug. 11: Chipotle - $22.05 Aug. 11: Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - $8.72 Aug. 16: Pizza Ranch - $16.67 (had $5 on our rewards card) Aug. 17: Panera - $28.35 Aug. 17: Dairy Queen - $7.40 (ice cream after Roo went to bed) Aug. 18: Noodles & Company - $17.25 Aug. 18: Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - $8.67 Aug. 18: Casey's Pizza - $12.96 Aug. 19: On the Border - $34.00 Aug. 20: Subway - $7.21 (Eric lunch with friend) Aug. 22: Granite City - $12.00 (Kelsey lunch with friends) Aug. 24: Smashburger - $13.54 (Eric & Rooney) Aug. 25: Dairy Queen - $7.40 (ice cream after Roo went to bed) Aug. 27: Dairy Queen - $7.40 (we clearly have a problem) Aug. 28: Incredible Pizza - $10.72 (Eric's team lunch at work) Aug. 28: The Other Place - $28.00 (had a coupon and lots of leftover) Aug. 29: Hy-Vee Market Grill - $13.00 (celebrating Eric's book - had a coupon and lots of leftovers!)

TOTAL: $363.82


  • The least expensive meal for all three of us was $8.67 at Panda Express, and the most expensive meal was $34 at On the Border. The average price was $15.16.
  • We ate out a lot less when we were in debt. In the past few months we've noticed ourselves creeping back into old habits and wanted to evaluate. Even though we spent $363.82 eating out, we did NOT go over our food budget.
  • To be honest, it is a little crazy to see it written out. Does it shock you that we eat out this much? We were kind of shocked. We know eating out has been our trouble area since we created our first budget. Since seeing this, we've decided we want to cut back a little. So, I'll post an update in September. We eat out more in the summer than other months for sure. And, I've joked before that eating out is my love language. I just love the experience and the time we spend focused on our family instead of cooking.
  • This post was Eric's idea and I'm honestly afraid to hear what you think. But, as I recently read from Mama Natural, eating natural 80% of the time (which we do for breakfasts and lunches, and occasionally for dinner) and cutting ourselves some slack the other 20% can actually help us on our journey to better health. Amen. I'm operating more at 75%/25%, but it's the same concept. After eating vegetables for breakfast and lunch, I'm usually craving a greasy pizza when I get home from work. (Baby steps.)
  • We've noticed that Rooney usually adds about $5 to our bill when we eat out. So, we try to eat at restaurants that we call "quick service." We don't necessarily want fast food, but we know the places that are cheaper are those where you order at the counter instead of relying on wait staff. A lot of restaurants also offer Kids Eat Free nights that we should take note of.

How often do you eat out?

*This post was inspired by this post on You Need a Budget. I thought it was hilarious that he spent $579 last year on 45 meals that were "Gross."