budget tuneup questions


Lovin' The Homestead
Aug 23, 2010
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tortoise said:
sleuth said:
For those with young kids, how often do you eat out as a family?
How often do you eat out or get fast food on your own or with just your kids?
How much do you budget for groceries?

Just trying to gage where we might make adjustments. I feel like we eat out too often. Family thinks otherwise.
We have not been particularly careful about eating out. I'd say it's 3 times a month - 1 of those being a local sit-down restuarant when we are too tired to cook and the other 2 are fast food lunches on shopping days that we haven't planned ahead for.

I am guilty of not planning ahead for a snack or lunch at work - that's the only time I eat out without a kid.

We don't budget specifically for groceries right now (something I'd like to change). We have a "household" budget which includes everything from clothing to soap, and groceries too. I think it is about $400/month.

Our budget for eating out is $60/month. We usually go over it. The sit-down meals are the expensive ones! We don't get "kid's meal" for my son who is 5. Sometimes he'll split with me, and sometimes he gets his own. Plus my fiance will usually have a beer with the meal - sometimes too. I would guess we average $75 - 80/month eating out over the whole year. When my health is poor is is more, when my health is good it is a lot less.

I want to reduce our "impulse" eating out - a soda at the register or a fast food meal because we didn't plan ahead. I don't think we'll be frugal to the point of never enjoying eating out, but I think we will use more care in the reasons why we're eating out in order to limit the cost.
I'm really guilty of having too much snack stuff in the car-hubs is type 2 diabetic and we have cheese and peanut butter and crackers and other stuff like peanuts for him and I have little bottles of glucose stuff for me cuz I am one of those folks who have low blood sugar all the time like even after I eat sometimes. I tend to graze.. and while sugar is a no no for me I do tend to feed the sweet tooth..(hubby jokes that we could get trapped in the car and be able to stay alive for a week with what is in the emergency kit haha)
but the last year I have cut way way way back on buying drinks out of the house.. I am a frozy coke addict and I used to get one to three a week! I've got it cut back to one a month.( have to have at least one ;) ) but I bought a soda stream and just love it as I love just sparkling water and our well water is very good(hard as a rock but so clean and tasty) so I switched to one bottle of sparkling water a day and you know what.. the fizz in it really cuts the craving for soda! so I have a couple of bottles and I make it and take it everywhere.. my grand babies are also become addicted to gamma's fizzy water! and if they want it sweet I have juice concentrate that is all juice and found that if you don't dilute it you can pour that concentrate in the fizzy water and have a better "soda pop" for the littles.
I know that we will probably not ever stop going out to eat but we are trying to cut back to going only once a week to a nice place (like the new Chinese/Japanese buffet for lunch ) rather than hitting up cheap fast food a couple times a week.. I've even gotten my mother and son to try the sushi and my son has decided he loves it and my mother has found a couple that she likes too.. I'll win them over! still can't get them to eat the Miso tofu kombu soup but baby steps.. baby steps.. haha.
and I have to say that with the grand babies(one is 4 and one is 1 1/2) I do not really give them their own plates of stuff at the buffet.. they get a small plate and then they pick over my food.. for some reason if you put it on a plate for them they dont always eat it but if it is on gamma's plate of course they have to eat it all.. ;) I hate seeing people at buffets fill a plate heaping for their little ones and most of it goes to waste.. big pet peeve.


Super Self-Sufficient
Jul 21, 2008
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All you can eat seafood BUFFET! I would be there :)

you named another fav of mine, prime rib! I absolutely can not find a place that sells good prime rib around me. I have no idea why. One place does but it is a very high end restaurant. Time to save up a bit to go have a fab meal there. hubby and I talked about that restaurant the other day lol

ah, grandbabies during the week. That must keep you hopping big time!

we have a few great mom and pop diners around here. I like those better than fast food places and I like the feeling of the places better also. they give you that local down home feeling. Our neighbor owns the local place about 2 miles away. great breakfast!!! they load me up on bacon lol very convenient and reasonable cost.

oh edited to say----google 'kids eat free' and put in your state. you will hit sites that come up with all the restuarants listed in your area that give kid meals free. I have 3-4 we hit for free kids. Local pizza buffet is kid eat free on Tuesday. while the food is passable for me and hubby, the kiddo loves it and eats well and for free :)
alot of places are doing free kid meals. just got to find them in your area.

Corn Woman

Almost Self-Reliant
Dec 26, 2010
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We eat out way too much , it's usually lunch and I try to make healthier choices. We are self employed and get stuck at work a lot but if time permits I will go home and make lunch to bring back. DH will go to the drive thru. The money spent eating out 4 times a week for 2 people using coupons on the cheap can still rack up to $2,080.00 per year. This is a habit we will have to change.

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