Nope, we aren’t going to quit eating out entirely,  but we are going to manage it.  Months and months ago we decided to go out one Thursday as a family activity before the heir went to the starter husband’s house for the weekend.  It was a great idea and has turned into a weekly habit.  No, it didn’t increase our eating out budget, it actually reduced it because no one was asking about eating out the rest of the week and we dropped all fast food about the same time.   On average, this activity costs us about $50 per week, $200 per month.  We had several options here – to cut out eating out partially or entirely, change restaurants, turn it into a family cooking night, or trying a different activity. 
 
By consolidating all our eating out into one regular weekly “fixed” amount, we already reduced our dining budget substantially, so we decided we could keep this in a modified state for the moment, knowing that we could quickly save more money down the road.  We didn’t want to change restaurants either as we really like and appreciate the staff.  As an aside, they collect the marginally used crayons that kids leave behind and we take and donate them to schools, teachers, day cares, churches, etc.  We decided to cut one Thursday a month out for the moment on the week that the heir was not going to visit his dad and to make that Thursday a family cook and board game night.
 
February Savings Total – $600/year
Cumulative Savings Total – $870/year
Remaing Savings Towards Goal – $5130
 
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