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Only Eat Out When You Can't Make It Yourself

Money Tip: Only Eat Out When You Can't Make It Yourself

Total deprivation of the things you enjoy in life is no way to live, and eating out is one of my favorite luxuries that I've learned to adjust as the recession has made things a bit tighter. Saying no to yourself isn't an easy thing to do, but creating little rules can help you save more money while going out for a fun meal on occasion.

My fiance lost his job when his company downsized by 25 percent, and one of the first discretionary expenses we cut was eating out. That doesn't mean we never enjoy a meal away from our apartment, it just means we're more thoughtful about the places we go, and we go out much less frequently. Our recession rule: we don't eat out unless it's something we couldn't make ourselves. It works out that we're pretty good cooks who love a challenge in the kitchen, but I encourage you to test this tip as you're figuring out money-saving methods that work for you.


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care0531 care0531 8 years
We rarely eat out but we do take a lot about once a week because after working so many hours and then having to take care of a dog and kid when you get home it is often so late and I don't feel like cooking.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
This is why I don't understand the popularity of Italian restaurants. Nothing could be simpler/cheaper to make at home!
emalove emalove 8 years
We only eat out on the weekend, and it's something I look forward to all week. It's so fun having a nice, relaxing meal with my husband and our friends. I'm not about to give it up anytime soon!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
this is a really good suggestion. my fiance and i used to eat out a lot more, or eat larger things when we went out and now we're really being careful. instead of getting a slice or 2 of pizza somewhere, we go to costco and store up and then make a slice which is cheaper.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
this only works if you're a decent cook. I am not.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
See, I don't agree with this. My husband and I have also cut back on our eating out, so when we do eat out now, we plan for our dinners out to mark certain occasions like my upcoming birthday. When we're out, my husband often gives me a hard time about ordering something at the restaurant that he could make at home, like pasta. But as I always point out to him, which would he rather: that I order something that I don't really want and therefore, won't eat all of it or order something that I am truly craving and really want, which I will enjoy fully and therefore not waste?
tlight tlight 8 years
My new man and I are trying to do the same thing! So much fun in the kitchen, and a lot of money saved.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I have learned to make so many of our favorite restaurant meals at home, mostly proud of my sushi skills (i have all the sauces down pat!)
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
@bellasugar lol!
Angelica Angelica 8 years
This is a great strategy! Surprisingly, I think I follow this without even trying. That being said, I am not much of a cook so most nights it's soup or sandwiches.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
A couple more reasons to go out - if buying all the ingredients is very expensive or if you've tried to make it at home it just never seems to come out right. :)
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I would always rather make it myself!
nancita nancita 8 years
I think this is a great strategy. I use the same rule when ordering food: I only order stuff I wouldn't make at home. So, sushi and fish, which I don't make much, over veggie burgers and pasta or something else easy.
Beauty Beauty 8 years
I think you overestimate my cooking skills, Tidalwave. ;)
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Great idea!!! This is why I rarely eat out, I have plenty of food and the skills at home to make things why pay someone else?!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I never ever order anything in a restaurant that I can make at home. Why the heck would you? Anything you make at home is going to be cheaper and taste a whole lot better!
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
My husband and I are trying to stick to eating out once a week, so to make it easier we always order something that we'd never make at home.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Ha, this reminds me of the time that my husband suggested that I make General Tso's chicken from scratch when he was craving Chinese food. The chicken turned out OK, but the sauce just wasn't the same as the sauce from our favorite Chinese restaurant. So now we just order out when we want Chinese; otherwise, I try to make a lot of our restaurant favorites at home. I KNOW I make a killer Porterhouse steak with bleu cheese's way cheaper than what you pay at the restaurant too!
stephley stephley 8 years
We've had that rule at our house for a long time - I like it, my kid doesn't.
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