4 Benefits of Dining In
By Daniel Rodriguez | Dr. Budgets
Dining in has become a huge part of my life since I met my wife seven years ago. And now that I have a daughter, dining in has become that much more important to us. Here are 4 benefits of dining in that I have discovered that may benefit you and your family as well:
Save Money. First, the average American spends $232/month eating out, so dining in can save a family of four a lot of money! And this is only an average… I have seen spending in this category 2-4x higher in my work with clients. I have also seen this firsthand where savings from this category alone can quickly eliminate credit card debt or build up savings. But the real benefit I have seen in my life from eating at home goes beyond saving money.
Health Benefits. Possibly one of the more important benefits of dining in is improved health. Restaurant meals can be loaded with trans fats, sodium, and sugar. Also, restaurant portions are generally much larger than necessary, often 1,000 calories or more, and those extra calories can lead to weight gain, which can have health repercussions down the road.
Family Time. According to a Washington Post article, dinner is the most reliable way for families to connect and find out what’s going on with each other. Our family eats breakfast and dinner together almost every single day, and I feel that it brings us closer together.
Time Savings. This might seem counterintuitive, but dining in can save you time! Getting everyone ready, loading into the car, driving to the restaurant, ordering, then finally eating, then driving back can take a significant chuck out of your evening. We have found that it often takes less time to dine in. Also, each parent gets one-on-one time with our daughter each evening because I’ll spend time with her while my wife cooks and then my wife will spend time with her while I do dishes. Of course, it depends on the time it takes to prepare the meal and then clean up after the meal, but we have found that overall it takes us less time to eat in.
In my opinion, the benefits of dining in far outweigh the advantages of dining out. However, if I were the one responsible for preparing meals at home, then my family would be eating quesadillas, frozen pizza or scrambled eggs every night (my specialties!). So, for practical tips on actually dining in, I asked my wife to share her experience. Here is her post on how she makes it work for our family.
What are your thoughts on dining in compared to dining out? Do you have any other tips? If so, please share in the comments section below! Also, if you know someone who wants to shift some of their spending from dining out to achieving their goals, have them contact us today so we can help them make that happen!