When you are away from home, whether it be at work, school, or on a trip, spending money can quickly get out of hand. You may think you are doing alright on spending, but when you add up all the little things you have spent on, you might find yourself spending a lot more every month then you would like.

Food is one of the main things you will spend money on when you are away from home. Going out to eat is a very social thing in our society and many times you will want to go out for the company of friends and family. And sometimes you just can’t get away with not going out to eat (especially when you are on a trip).

But if you are tight on money and have a strict budget, you probably don’t have a ton of money to spend on going out to eat. Or you might just be trying to save money and are trying to skimp on a few things.  Here are a few ways to keep from spending so much on the small and unimportant things so you can save money for the big important things.

  • Pack a lunch. I know this sounds lame and it might make you feel like you are in elementary school again, but you can save a ton of money by not eating out for lunch everyday. Even if you are only spending $5 a day on lunch (although it is probably more than that), that is still around $100 a month spent just on lunch. Find some things you will enjoy eating for lunch and make sure you switch it up so you don’t end up eating the same thing every day.
  • Eat before going out. I know this seems like it defeats the purpose of going out, but sometimes you just want to go out to eat to spend time with you friends or family. If you eat before you go out, you will be less hungry. You can still order something, but just get something smaller that isn’t as expensive. You could just order an appetizer or dessert instead of a meal, which will bring down the price considerably.
  • Plan ahead of time. Especially when you are a busy person, packing a lunch or eating before you go out is probably the last thing on your mind. I don’t know how many times i have been busy and forgotten to pack a lunch and then had to spend money on buying something because i was starving. So make sure to plan ahead of time so you don’t have to fork out the dough.
  • Bring snacks on trips. If you bring some granola bars, crackers, or any other snacks you like on a trip, you will most likely spend less on eating out. It will also help you to not be so hungry when you go out so you don’t have to get the biggest meal.
  • When possible, go to the grocery store and plan meals for your trip or vacation. Buying food from a grocery store is a lot cheaper than going out, especially when you are going to be there for more than a couple days. If you are close to a grocery store and have access to a kitchen, plan out meals to eat while you are on your trip. This will save you a lot of money on going out, and will probably be a lot healthier than what you would have gotten at a restaurant.
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