I follow Dave Ramsey on Facebook and see his daily tips often. This one really caught my attention though because for me, it seems so completely obvious. It applies to quite a few different facets of life but my big take away of course was with eating. Since our family has made major changes in our eating over the course of several months, eating out is much the treat now rather than they every day that we used to make it.
If your budget is tight, don’t spend money on things you could easily do yourself.
I often see people talk about how false it actually. Their claim is that with so many fast food options offering dollar menus that there’s no way you can eat at home for cheaper so I challenged that. Here’s just one example:
Our actual order from the last time we went to McDonald’s (with an attempt to eat healthish while on the road during a vacation.) We have 5 members in our family: 2 adults and 3 children.
- (2) McDoubles $1 each
- (2) Side Salads $1 each
- (2) Single Cheeseburgers $0.97 each
- (1) Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait [to share] $2.49
- (1) Large Fry [to share] $2.19
TOTAL for one meal: $10.62 plus tax
Now, in comparison:
- Ground beef $2.49/lb [1 lb. needed to directly compare to McDonald’s portions from above]
- (24) American cheese slices $0.99
- (8) hamburger buns $1.49
- (1) bag fresh lettuce $1.99
- (1) bottle of salad dressing $1.29
- (1) 32 oz. container of fruit yogurt $2.99
- (1) 10 lb. bag of russet potatoes $2.99
Yikes, all the naysayers are right. McDonalds was cheaper… WRONG. My shopping trip left us with enough food for at least an entire second meal (not including the ground beef) PLUS leftovers of more potatoes, more cheese, and more salad dressing for a third and even fourth meal.
Now just imagine how expensive that meal would be if you were at say Applebee’s instead paying $6-9 per person.
Food for thought. Do you eat out often? Is it in your budget or do you always go over? Any favorite recipes for things you recreated at home?
P.S. We can have fresh cooked burgers, salads and homemade skillet seared potato cubes (in place of fried French fries) on the table in less than 20 minutes. By the time you pack 3 kids in the car, drive to the nearest restaurant, unpack 3 kids from the car, order and wait on your food you could have been well on your way to devouring the homemade version.
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