Why is eating out so expensive?

The eating out journey

We've all been there. You get in from a long day at the office and you really can't be bothered to cook. It's late and you're tired and it's so much easier to pop out to your local pub or restaurant than to start to make food yourself. You try to urge yourself that it's more cost effective to make your own food and that eating out can be expensive. Tired, you go over to your food cupboard - bare, then you look in your fridge - empty! You give up. Let's just eat out.

Does this sound familiar?

Why eating out soon racks up so expensive

When you get to the restaurant you're encouraged to order starters and mains, maybe buy a glass or two of wine or even a bottle! You add soft drinks as well and maybe even a small dessert to share. Once you get your bill you calculate that you're spending nearly £50 per head once you add tip. You had a great time and saved yourself the hassle of having to make dinner however you've just dropped £50 in an hour or two!

I know of friends and work colleagues who eat out multiple times per week. They're spending a fortune!

Strategies for minimising your spending on eating out

Firstly, the obvious solution is to eat at home. The trick is to bulk make food. Every time you cook make sure you're cooking for several meals at once. You could freeze some of these meals in tuppaware. Cooking en masse, potentially at weekends if it's easier will save you bags of time.

I always make sure that I have various canned goods in the cupboards and do a big vegetables shop each week to ensure that there's enough food to have options. I freeze individual portion sizes of meat and fish in the freezer and defrost the number of pieces that I need the night before. This takes a bit of planning but definitely takes the stress and hassle out of preparing food.

As you're cooking in bulk an idea might be to invite guests over instead of meeting out of dinner. Not only will you save money by not having gone out to a restaurant for food but you may be invited back to theirs on another occasion.

Then finally there are loads of subscription discount cards for eating out. You pay an annual subscription between £35-£50 but it means that you will get half price (among other deals) meals for the year. You will quickly recoup your money within a couple of visits to a restaurant. As a top tip make sure that you find a discount code online to get your discount card discounted!

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