How much do you spend on food and drinks per month? Currently spending $2.5k between me and my spouse (we’re in LA, ~$600 groceries, ~2k dining out/take-out). We by no means ball out, and even decline to go out sometimes to stay within budget, but we do eat out pretty often. Trying to figure out if we’re overdoing it.

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You work at McKinsey. If you’re saving enough to meet your financial goals and it brings you joy, what’s the problem? I personally spend about $1500/mo on dining/takeout/drinks in NYC (dates are expensive) but I’m saving plenty and regret none of it.

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$2200/ 30 days is $73/day on food. Omg, that is seriously baller.
One pound of organic chicken at Whole Foods will cost you about $6, which is good for 3-4 meals.

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1# of chicken is like 1 chicken breast. What kind of chicken are y’all finding where 1# = 3-4 meals are you in a caloric deficit?!?

likefunny
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My spouse and I budget $150/month dining out and $600/month groceries (Cbus, OH). $2k/month for takeout is heavy from my perspective…

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I’ve been reading and I’m surprised that many people thinks 600 is a lot for a month of groceries. I have to admit that my wife and I love going to the supermarket. We actually go in every country we visit, it’s great! So maybe we enjoy it too much and buy too much but usually 1,200 is our number for 2 people every month (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Sprouts) we buy all organic always, all grass fed/pasture raised always, all wild caught always. Our ticket is usually 250/300 once a week.
Regarding takeout we usually do it twice a week for $50 each ticket more or less. And we do nice restaurants twice a week too usually $100 each time (no alcohol). That is usually $1,000 (or less) a month. The total expenses for food is around 15% of our combined net income each month. Then 20% or 25% is mortgage and HOA. The rest “entertainment” and we save around 50% of our net income.

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It appears as though you balling out

likefunnysmart

His gut is telling him but he is not listening to it. He came to FB to try to rationalize it. Also asking people in consulting about eating out is not the best idea. These are some of peoole who eat out all the time if not every day.

2k for dining out is a lot. That’s like 20 meals/month @$100 each.

likesmart

You have definitely got to be balling out if you’re spending that much.

LA has a ridiculously large variety of great affordable eats.

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I have a family of 4 + 1 (mother in law) located in Los Angeles and we spend at least $2,500/month in food. My wife insists on all organic and healthy food so eating out at a reasonable price is out of the question and our groceries are $300+/week. Yes yes I know…we spend too much on food but that’s one battle I’ve lost many times. 🤐

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Amex blue cash preferred will get you fat rewards on groceries with that level of spend

smart

Point taken, I’m balling out by most people’s standards.

I meant we don’t consistently go to super expensive restaurants, we don’t ignore menu prices when deciding what to order, we limit the # of drinks, etc.

likesmart

OP, you do you. Yeah $2.5k is a lot spent on food but if it's bringing value to you and your SO and you can afford this, then don't let anyone stop you.. Nothing wrong with enjoying life as long as your eggs are in a row.

This thread is enlightening. Some of you consultants go too hard on food spending. The whole WFH has had to hurt even more when you're used to traveling and eating for free lol.

Spending difference in HCOL and LCOL cities make sense when it comes to housing and transportation. For food though, it's not that hard to eat healthy/affordable food, eat out occasionally, and spend under $400 a person (this will vary - if you're the more intense athletic type who needs to consume more - add $100 dollars).

If your family is pulling over 200K in income and have a reasonable rent/mortgage, obviously none of this is a big concern, but I don't see what that kind of spending adds to your lifestyel. It's just food, lol.

If I had double the income as I have now, I don't think my food spending would increase proportionally...

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Honestly, dining out is an experience for me. I don't even spend money on much else.

I used to avoid spending money on it but I realized how much enjoyment I get from the whole experience 🤷‍♀️ so it's worth it to me. It's something I enjoy myself, on dates, going out with friends.

There are things other people spend on for fun that I personally wouldn't either. Honestly, not sure why OP is getting ragged on for their spending.

Even without dining out, 400$ is tough for me. Food makes me happy.

Bringing travel eating habits to my home life blew up our budget as well...

My spouse and I don’t cook and live in NYC. We probably spend as much on food as we do on rent, so we spend a bit more than you do right now.

At the end of the day, we make enough to afford this and aren’t spendy when it comes to other nyc categories (like luxury goods, cars, nightclubs, spas, etc.)

Like someone else above said - you work hard to earn a living - spend it on what makes you happy, not necessarily on what others spend it on.

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D1 - bingo

MK&C4 - word, rice and beans is part of my culture. I can it 3 meals a day.

Family of 4 and we spend about $600 month of groceries and maybe a couple hundred on eating out a month (which we never do). $2k a month of eating out for two people is astronomical IMO.

likesmart

Did I read that right? 2k per month for dining out or take out. That’s not balling? I want to be like you when I grow up

likefunny

Guys I just had Moe's burrito Monday for $6 (chips included)

likeupliftingfunny

Yeah we do 4-5 meals out/week, probably around $100 total on average. Not justifying myself here but say it’s $75 before tax and tip. $20 on a couple drinks, $30 on a couple appetizers, and the remaining $25 on a shared entree. That’s at the lower end of non-fast food restaurants.

Helpful to read different perspectives. Could definitely go out less, or go to cheaper spots

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Cost of dining out has gone up a lot, but we want to keep the restaurants alive so we’ve been willing to pay. We just go less often. Got used to making quick meals at home during Covid. Some strategies: Go to Trader Joe’s and get a combo of prepared food and fresh ingredients with good bottled sauces etc. - you can make a ton of quick meals for a very low cost. Also, many decent Thai / Asian restaurants have lunch specials with appetizer and entree. Either eat a big lunch as main meal and then light dinner, or pick up at the end of lunch special hour and reheat at dinner time (that way you have dinner in house/ available when you are ready to eat). Then, you have saved so much money all week you can splurge on Saturday night dinner out guilt free!

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Balling out is an understatement. I'm a single male living in Chicago who's somewhat frugal and my food budget is like 3,800 annually (groceries and eating out for meals 2 to 4 times a week). I have a separate budget for a entertainment which would be for dinner with friends/dating/buying drinks (non-vacation type expenses). That's like 3,000 a year.

You both spend more than I have budgeted for 3 months... And it's not like I'm an aggressive FIRE type of dude who eats beans and makes sandwiches everyday...

I would try to cut down on the alcohol when dining out to start maybe? Come up with a realistic budget when cutting out a few things, put that monthly saving into a compound interest calculator and see how much that would be worth in 15 years, 20 years, and 30 years. Maybe it's not worth it to you save that if you're already set to have what you need in the future. That's perfectly fine.

For me personally, I can't spend like that even if I was living in LA. My TC is just over 150K for comparisons sake.

likesmart

You should probably rerun some of your numbers here. I live in Chicago and have similar going out habits and there is absolutely no way you’re going out for 2-4 meals a week and getting groceries on a budget of $3,800 annually. Assuming only $100 a month on groceries (nearly impossible to live off comfortably) and 3 meals a week that’s less than $16/meal on average when you go out (nearly impossible in the city unless we’re talking fast food)...

Also $3k seems really low for entertainment but I don’t live your life so hard to compare but not going on many dates or getting much of a buzz at the bar with that! Probably going out maybe 1-3 nights a month max I’d assume to only spend $250/mo. If this sounds like you then maybe you’re telling the truth but if you’re going out at least once a weekend and claiming to only spend $250/mo I don’t believe you, you must be in Naperville, not Chicago, you pull that off.

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I live in ATL and we spend between $1400-1600 on groceries/dining out combined (me + my SO). We’ve tried to lower that but if we work to eat out less we just end up spending more on groceries. Honestly it’s more stress than it’s worth to worry about so it’s one area of the budget I’ve decided not to worry about as long as I’m filling all my other budgeting buckets 🙂

likeuplifting

Don’t worry OP. My wife and I are also in LA and probably spend as much as you do. One - two nice dinners a week out at fancy restaurants and at least one meal out or delivery most days. It’s one of our most enjoyable hobbies and though we could easily spend less, we choose not to.

Totally disagree with EY3 and co about it just being food - it’s not. It’s food, health, entertainment, and a hobby all in one. I ate rice and beans during my PhD on a 40k stipend, so I know what it’s like to penny pinch on food. Without a doubt it’s not worth it (to me). I don’t worry about my food spending at all anymore.

This is the benefit of making all that money - enjoy it!

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2.5k and you’re not balling out!?

likefunny

About 1k groceries/wine and 800 on restaurants/bars per month here. Two people in DC. Food is important, you do you OP.

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You might be balling out, but do it. Your older self who can’t go out because they have kids at home will thank you.

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Yeah OP, if most of your meals are also your weekend plans and social events AND you can afford it, then go live your life.

Then it’s not just food, it’s your entertainment too

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