Thursday, July 07, 2005

The best laid plans...

I intended to go home and cook dinner last night but at the last minute, a friend called and we ended up eating out. $42. (It was just a noodle place but I picked up the check for both of us.)
Today I spent $3.10 on breakfast, but I was good and brought my lunch from home again.

Food is a big budget item for me. Year to date I've spent the following:
Groceries: $1,071 (the usual items for meals at home)
Dinner out: $1,375 (including liquor consumed with meal)
Lunch: $944 (usually a sandwich, sushi, soup or a burger)
Breakfast: $423 (coffee, bagel, fruit, yogurt, etc)
Liquor: $288 (drinks with friends and wine for home)

Unfortunately, when I'm feeling outgoing and social, I really see a hit on my finances! I go out to dinner or order takeout maybe 1-2 times a week, at varying levels of restaurants, rarely extremely expensive but we're not talking Burger King either. And lunch is the worst-- I almost always buy lunch and it can easily be $7-8 or more. I'm working on that. I feel like a lot of people my age and younger go out a lot more than I do, drink more, eat lunch out everyday, and I just don't know how they manage it.

And even with groceries, though I try to clip coupons here and there, I'm not good about looking for foods that are on sale, and I like good steaks and lambchops, which can be $12 a pound or more. Sometimes I'll also buy prepared foods at places like Garden of Eden or Whole Foods. Salmon, for example, is about twice as expensive pre-made vs. just buying raw to cook myself. I rationalize this by telling myself it's still so much cheaper than eating out!

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