Financial Diva: Budgeting For Meals Can Save More Than Money

Wednesday, May 4th 2011, 4:02 pm
By: News 9

Victoria Woods, Financial Diva

We all love going out to the restaurant for a special meal every now and then. But when going out to eat becomes a habit, you might find yourself losing out on more than just your paycheck.

Eating out is nice but it can be very expensive – especially if you favor actual restaurants over fast food.

A typical meal at your favorite restaurant might cost $10 a plate. If you are a family of four, eating out once a week costs you $2,600 a year after you add taxes and a tip! The crazy thing is, a lot of families do this, not once, but two or three times a week.

All consumers have to make decisions because we have limited resources. If you spend a dollar on A, you can't spend it on B. If you spend $2,600 a year on an extra meal out each week, you can't spend it on debt-reduction, savings, or even a vacation.

Saving money isn't the only thing you'll be saving if you choose to plan more meals at home. Creating a budget for home-cooking forces you to think about what you are eating. So why not think about your health in the process?

By planning wisely, in addition to being budget friendly, plan meals that are heart-healthy and good for the whole family. In the long run, you might just save more than a dollar.

Go to the American Heart Association website for a free 12-week nutrition and health program designed to educate you on how to have a healthier heart.