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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fun with Numbers- Restaurants & saving money

People love going out to eat, whether it be on a date, with family or with friends.   Its a very pleasant social experience though for many, it can end up being a costly experience, especially when going out on a consistent basis.  Here are some basic and perhaps obvious (perhaps not) ways a person can still enjoy dining out and still save some $$, which over the course of a full year really does add up.

1)  The average price of soda at a sit-down restaurant is $2.59 which tends to include refills but nonetheless, is still a lot of $ for a 16oz glass of cola.    If one person chose to drink water with their meal instead of soda, and put that amount in a glass jar instead, there would be $134.68 in the jar after 52 weeks. If both decided to drink water with their meals, that's a savings of $269.36... the price of an iPod.

2)  Let's say two people dine out once a week, pretty much order food in the same price range and the total of the bill comes to $40 before tax.  If the dining experience was enjoyed in the evening, a 20% tip would be expected- $8, which over the course of a 52week year means $416 would be spent on tipping one's server.  If the same dining experience was enjoyed in the afternoon where a 15% tip is acceptable, based on $40 check, comes to $6, which over 52 weeks comes to $312, which is a difference of $104 compared to evening dining.

~ In summary, a couple dines out once a week for a full year, orders what they wish but the only alterations are substituting water for cola and eating out at 3:30p instead of 6p and the yearly total savings on two insignificant actions is $373.36.  Think about what $373 buys- a car payment?  6 months payment of cellphone bills?  The means for a 3day weekender trip?  A 22" HDTV?  A Blu-Ray player & 10 movies?

How would you spend $373?

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