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Yep, we spend way too much on food and eating out.  I mean way too much.  This is the biggest and easiest way for us to save money.  The harsh truth is we used to eat out once a week as a family night, now we do it because we just don’t feel like cooking.  And it’s costing us.  As in about $600 per month which is ridiculous.  And a good chunk of that isn’t even on good food.  So… July we revert on the eating out, August we tackle the grocery store spending.  Beginning with this upcoming week – 1 (good) family meal out per week, no fast food, 1 lunch out at work.  Monthly dining out budget we’re starting at a 50% cut to $300 (yes, it should probably be less, but let’s see how it goes).  That should save $3600/year which puts us on the road to that $12000 per year goal.

In June we saved $180/year with the cellular provider change.  This should move us to $3780/year.  We might see some increase in the grocery bill as an offset, but I expect that would do nothing but improve the quality of what we are eating, so it’s a fair tradeoff.  Then again, eating at home may well make us more efficient at the grocery store as well – but that’s for another month.  My bank provides Quicken FinanceWorks as an online service, so I’m setting the “Dining” category limit to $300 and will be checking our progress every week.  This afternoon we’ll have a family discussion on which night we want to reserve for eating out and how food that comes through a window isn’t really food. 😉