There was a time when my family would eat out every weekend, usually after hearing mass. This was when we had no house help and cooking just wasnâ€™t one of my strong points. Since I hold the budget, I would always justify eating out once a week, reasoning out the kids need to go out, I need to go out, after being cooped up at home all week (Yes, we really do not go out). We donâ€™t eat at fancy restaurants, we eat at the usual places kids love to eat â€“ Jollibee, KFC, Pizza Hut â€“ but since my family eats a lot, our bill always remains high. When my son discovered Japanese food, he would request we go to Teriyaki Boy, Tokyo Tokyo or Pepper Steak. Of course, after eating, if Starbucks is near the area (which it almost always is thanks to my great planning and foresight!), I would squeeze in my favorite caramel macchiato (iced if itâ€™s hot, like these days).
As you can see, eating out can put a strain to oneâ€™s budget most especially if you do not have a big budget to begin with. Imagine spending 500-800 bucks on one meal every week, multiply that by four and you spend 2000-3200 bucks a month. For us, that would be enough to pay a monthly electric bill!
So when the new year rolled in, we decided to limit eating out to once a month. We also avoided any instances wherein we would be taking out food. For example, if we are going out for errands in the afternoon, we make sure there will be dinner once we arrive at night, so we donâ€™t need to order food on the way home. It also helped a lot that we had house help so cooking became a regular thing for us. We do our best to entertain ourselves at home, that is why we had cable installed, bought a media player to store movies and TV series in and bought an XBOX Kinect 360. There is of course online games for the husband. He loves a good round of poker and it’s too bad I don’t even know how to play so he usually plays online and sometimes even plays in slot tournaments. I don’t really regulate him since he knows how to control himself.