OPINION: How eating out can cost you

Fast food doesn’t always mean cheap. Image courtesy of Pexels.

Skylar Vance

One skill that I always wish my mom had instilled in me as a child was the ability to cook. She was always in the kitchen, making us endless meals with incredible desserts. Once I came to college, I realized just how much I had taken home-cooked meals for granted while living with my parents. 

After moving out of the house, I felt like I was in a whole new world when I would come home after class and food wasn’t ready for me to eat. The idea had never dawned on me that I would be in charge of my own cooking when the time had come, and that time was now. 

For my first year in college, I relied on easy meals. Pre-cooked entrees and ramen were my go-to. Eventually, I could handle chicken and rice, too. Mostly, though, the year one was consumed by a variety of fast-food options. Not only was my weight compromised of this, but my bank account as well. 

It seems silly, but those recurring $7 charges seem to add up just as quickly as the $20 charges. I was spending way too much money on eating out. Think about this: if you eat out once a day costing an average of $10, this would be roughly $300 a month, and $3,600 a year. Think about what you could buy with nearly $4,000. I bet your first thought was not food. 

Keep these numbers in mind when thinking about your next eating out expenditure. Are you going for the experience or are you just hungry? Could you make something at home and save a couple dollars? In order to combat fast food cravings, stay consistent with your eating schedule. Create a menu for eating at home and stick to it. Reward yourself with eating out once a week. Moderation is key. 

Eating out is fine every now and then, but it’s important to at least keep a mental note of your spendings in the process. Your bank account will thank you later!