Cutting back on spending is hard. If you are like me and love eating out and being social with friends then it can be even harder. It is too easy to go out to dinner and end up spending anywhere from $25 to $50, or go have a few drinks with your friends and spend $20 or more that way.
If you are the type of person who spends a lot of money going out to eat or drink then here comes some controversial advice.
*Disclaimer: If you’re already good at saving money by not eating or drinking out then this tip probably won’t save you money.
Lure Yourself In With Luxury
Eating PB&Js to save money isn’t for everyone. I buy luxury goods for myself because they actually make it easy to stay in and save money, all while enjoying some of the finer things in life at the same time.
If all I have at home for myself are ramen noodles then you can bet I will go out to eat a lot more often than if I have steak, french fries, and a bottle of red wine.
Not only is it rewarding and delicious to cook myself a steak dinner, but it is also less expensive than going out to eat most places. Believe it or not I can make that meal for myself on a budget of $10. $15 if I spring for decent wine. The same quality meal out at a restaurant could easily run me $50 or more. The more realistic comparison, however, is that even an average meal out would cost me more, and I wouldn’t have eaten steak.
Do The Same With Drinks
Okay, so maybe some of my readers still drink Natty Light or PBR and enjoy it, but that just doesn’t cut it for me.
If I go out to a bar and they are selling drinks that are much nicer than what I have at home I may be tempted to buy them. Luckily that will hardly ever happen to me.
Lets say you overpaid for a 750 ml bottle of Grey Goose and got it for $34 flat. A 750 ml bottle contains roughly 17 standard drinks worth of liquor. At $2 a drink I have absolutely no problem stocking up on nicer drinks at home. Now when I read a menu and see that the Grey Goose martini is $18 I am not tempted in the least.
This way of doing things makes it easy to convince myself to buy fewer drinks at bars as well. If I am planning to have 3 drinks on a night I would much rather have the first two made with top notch materials at home, while hanging out with a close group of friends and jamming to music. I can save the last one for what most likely will be whichever light beer the bar has on special.
Use This Tactic On Whatever Fits You Best
There are tons of ways that you can use this saving strategy aside from the two examples above. If you find yourself dropping $5 a day at Starbucks you could buy yourself a nice coffee machine and make your own fancy espresso beverages at home. Not only would the machine pay for itself in under half a year just by you using it instead of going to Starbucks, but you’d also be able to impress all of your friends with your barista skills.
Treating yourself like royalty at home is usually cheaper than even the thriftiest options out at a restaurant or bar. It is completely possible to have steak and Grey Goose, all while saving responsibly.
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Comment with how you treat yourself.