Monthly Challenge: Let’s (Not) Dine Out

Let’s Dine Out on KVCR

Let’s Dine Out is not only one of our favorite local tv shows but also an unofficial family motto, I think. We don’t eat out every day but we definitely eat out more than once a week (especially if you count trips to Yogurtland or Menchie’s as dining out, which I do since they fall in the YNAB “Restaurant” budget category.)

It’s not that I want to never eat out- but I do want to be more mindful about where our restaurant money is going. I had started bribing James with a Starbucks cake pop far too often, for instance. The boys had been doing brunch out with Jeff on Saturdays *and* family brunch on Sundays. The bottom line is that we regularly overspend in our restaurant budget category despite the best of intentions. I’d rather have one quality/adventure family meal and one date night dinner each month, and while that *should* fit into the budget, the Yogurtland/Starbucks/etc. really eats into our restaurant budget. (“Eats into” it, ha ha ha.)

So this month my goal is simple: to stay under our restaurant budget for the month. I have a few strategies in place:

  • pack Jeff’s work lunch once a week
  • no yogurt/cake pop/other food treats during the week (I am leaving room in the budget for Jeff to take the boys out on Saturday mornings but am going to encourage them to do the park plus donuts vs. a full meal out.)
  • family swim on the weekends instead of family brunch out.

At the end of the month *if* we’re under budget we’ll plan a fun restaurant outing.

The main thing working in my favor is that we’re spending almost a whole week this month in Texas with my family. The main thing working against me is Jeff- it is hard to get him on board with these little projects of mine. I probably should have started with the grocery category (our other chronically overspent category and the one I have pretty much sole control over), but we’ll see.

How often do you eat out? Do you pay attention to where your restaurant money goes?



One response to this post.

  1. […] because I had factored in one weekend boys’ meal out when doing the budget (it was a planned out in the original […]


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