The Cost of Dining Out by Brad Tillery

Everybody loves to dine out. What’s not to love about sitting down and having someone else cook for you, pick up after you, and even serve you food that you normally wouldn’t cook for yourself? I enjoy it, don’t you? However, we all have to balance the enjoyment of dining out with the price (both financially and physically) we pay to do so.

Last week, I put up a chart in the gym that showed a cost analysis of dining out. I assigned a very conservative $7 per meal average and showed what a single person and a family of 4 would spend over the course of one month, one year, and five years if they dined out once, twice, three, four, or five times per week. Here are some of the highlights of our cost analysis…  

Cost of dining out 5 times per week for one month at $7 per meal per person:  

  • Single Person Monthly: $140
  •  Family of 4: $560 
  • Single Person Per Year: $1680 
  • Family of 4 Per Year: $6720
  •  Single Person Per 5 Years: $8400
  •  Family of 4 Per 5 Years: $ 33,600

  Now for homework… sit down and decide how many times you would like to dine out based on both your budget and your fitness goals. Then, try to come up with alternatives to dining out frequently (i.e. bringing tasty left-overs to work with you, having a spouse or family member share in cooking duties, or taking a grocery store tour in order to find a few new and exciting meals that are both heathy as well as easy to prepare at home. Before you know it, you’ll see a difference in both your bottom…and your bottom line.