Americans Spend an Average of $2,375 per Year on Dining and Takeout. 6 Tips to Spend Less

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KEY POINTS

  • The average U.S. household spends $2,375 annually on dining and takeout purchases.
  • Ordering lunch instead of dinner and using a rewards card are just some tips that may help you spend less.


These tips may help you spend less on dining and takeout.

For most Americans, dining out and ordering takeout is a regular part of their routine. With busy work schedules and other responsibilities, many people struggle to cook every meal at home. As a result, the average U.S. household spends $2,375 per year on dining and takeout purchases. How does your spending compare? If it's higher than you'd like, we have some tips to help you spend less.

While exact spending can vary, it's safe to assume most households spend at least some money every month dining out and ordering takeout meals. Even if you don't have the time to sit down at a restaurant, delivery apps have made it easier to get a prepared meal quickly.

If you're trying to reduce your spending so you can keep more money in your bank account, you may need to make some changes to your daily food purchase habits.

Americans spend $600+ monthly on food

The Bureau of Labor Statistics polled Americans on how they spend their money in its most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey.

The average household spends $198 monthly or $2,375 annually on food prepared away from home. This total includes restaurant dining and takeout expenses.

As for other food-related average monthly expenses, Americans spend $412 per month on groceries. That adds up to an average spend of $4,942 annually.

When considering all food costs, including groceries, dining out, and takeout, Americans spend an average of $610 per month -- or $7,317 yearly. If that sounds like a lot, it is. Food spending makes up 12% of the average household monthly budget.

With food costs on the rise, it'll be interesting to see how much this spending increases. Consumers have seen significant price changes when shopping at the grocery store. This has also resulted in higher menu pricing at restaurants.

6 tips to spend less on dining and takeout costs

If dining out or ordering takeout is part of your weekly routine, you may be looking for ways to spend less money. Here are six tips that could help you reduce your spending.

1. Order from local restaurants that offer free delivery

If you like the convenience of delivery, you may be able to save some money by ordering food directly from local restaurants that offer free delivery. If you rely on delivery apps, you'll pay additional fees for this inconvenience. This method eliminates those fees.

2. Compare delivery app fees

If you want to continue using delivery apps, take a few moments to compare the delivery and service fees they're charging. Switching to a different delivery app could save you a few bucks.

3. Use cash back credit cards to earn rewards

There are many cash back credit cards that reward you for making dining and takeout purchases. If you spend a lot of money in this area, using a dining and restaurant rewards card is your best bet. Some of these cards also offer delivery app credits as a perk, which could reduce the cost of your next takeout order.

4. Pay attention to local food deals

Some restaurants offer food deals on specific nights of the week. You may be able to trim your dining or takeout bill by taking advantage of these discounts. If your local pizzeria has a pizza deal on Wednesdays, plan to get pizza on Wednesdays rather than Fridays.

5. Get lunch instead of dinner

Many eateries offer lunch specials. These meals might be a slightly smaller portion size when compared to a dinner-size portion, but the savings can be considerable. If you can dine out or get takeout during lunch hours, this change could save you quite a bit of money.

6. Dine out or get takeout less often

Changing how often you dine out or get takeout could result in significant savings. Instead of spending money on restaurant purchases two or three times a week, try limiting it to only once a week. When you make this change, you will have something to look forward to each week, and over time, you may find you spend a lot less money.

Dining out and getting takeout is convenient, and for many households, it's a part of their weekly routine. If you're rethinking your budget, you don't have to stop ordering food from restaurants. But you can make small changes that help you reduce your overall spending.

For additional ways to save money, check out our personal finance resources.

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