Friday, November 2, 2007

Eating my paycheck

At the end of 2005, I was reviewing my expenses for the year and realized that I had spent 118% more eating out than in 2004. Whoa! (I also spent 13% more in groceries in 2005 over 2004. Incidentally, I have food expenses (from grocery stores & restaurants) that I incur while on vacation in a different line item.)

I'm not a very big person, and I'm not someone who gets lots of pleasure out of eating. I eat to live, not live to eat. So, how did this happen?

Michael and I started dating at the very end of 2004, so 2005 was really the beginning of our relationship. While I never kept track, I'm certain he paid more than half of the time when we went out to eat. However, I don't believe in anyone taking the full financial burden of a relationship, so I did pay quite a bit...and it showed at the end of the year!

What was I going to do in 2006 to stop "eating my paycheck?" I didn't want to stop dating Michael. I didn't want to cut out eating at restaurants altogether. Remember that I don't want to feel the pain of saving...I want to have fun! So, this was the year that I really started thinking about saving. Over 2005, I cut dining out expenses by 34% (and groceries by 18%)!

Besides reducing the number of times that I ate out, one big help was the Entertainment Book. After the cost of the book and shipping, in 2006, Michael and I saved $167. The book is loaded with buy-one-entree-get-one-free coupons to restaurants we like and others we wanted to try. We also used coupons from the book to do things we like, such as playing mini golf, bowling, and going to the DC Improv. We really were having the same amount of fun at a fraction of the cost.

If you live in one of the 150+ areas of the US or Canada that has an edition of the Entertainment Book, you should consider getting it. If you aren't buying it from an organization as a fundraiser, I recommend buying it through the link on Upromise's website so that you can earn additional savings. Entertainment Book seems to have different deals each day (i.e., free/reduced shipping, book discounts). Watch their website until you find something good. I just bought mine the other day for the full price of $30, but I got shipping for $1 and they threw in a $25 gift certificate to Restaurant.com. I also got $4.20 in my Upromise account.

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1 comment:

KayTe Hope said...

I want to say that Betsy has inspired me to bring my lunches to work!! and it really helps with saving money AND eating more healthy. However, I do seem to be baking cupcakes more, which isn't helping my health...i'm bringing one to Betsy's desk right now!!

I love your blog, Betsy!!!!

KayTe