How to Budget Your Restaurant Food Dollars

Budgeting for restaurant meals helps you keep track of your finances
i Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Date nights are important bonding experiences. They give the two of you time to decompress from the week and catch up with each other. However, eating out regularly can get really pricey. Making a concerted effort to budget your restaurant dollars as part of your weekly household expenses and limiting your restaurant meals to twice a week means that you still get to go out and have fun without sending your financial plan to hell in a handcart.

Step 1

Collect your most recent credit card bills and debit card statements and look at the number of charges that occur in restaurants.

Step 2

Write down how much each one cost and then verify the charges against any restaurant receipts you may have saved over the past three months.

Step 3

Use this data to determine if the two of you have consistently eaten out more than twice a week over the past three months.

Step 4

Take note of the payment method you used for each meal over the three month period -- credit card, cash or debit card.

Step 5

Choose a container such as a Mason jar, envelope, or box that you can use to hold cash.

Step 6

Calculate the amount required to cover the cost of your favorite meals at your favorite restaurant, twice a week, with the tax, tip and drinks included. Place this exact amount, in cash, in the Mason jar.

Step 7

Use this cash amount to pay for your restaurant meals twice a week.

the nest

×