After having tried to cut a bunch of dining and grocery expenses, we have crunched our May numbers to see what our actual savings were. Before we decided to cut our expenses, we were spending about $390-$400 for groceries per month, and about $500 on dining. This included social dining once or twice a week, plus two to three times a week of just the two of us going out to eat.
$126.38 on dining
– 4 times social dining (2 times to pub trivia night, 2 times post-hiking meals)
– 2 times just the two of us
$284.49 for groceries
– We ended up saving more money by 1) making staples like bread, croutons, salad dressing, yogurt, 2) buying cheaper versions of staples (whole instead of pre-shredded carrots), 3) having cheap default meals (baked potatoes and scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast), 4) eating less meat, and 5) buying items on sale and using coupons (Safeway and Fred Meyer both have digital coupons you can download to your store member card).
Total savings: between $479.13 and $489.13.
I think that we can cut down dining to purely social outings and save another $35/month, so that we are at $100 or less per month for dining expenses.
We can continue to search for deals on staples and make cheaper meals to get our grocery bill even lower.