Money Shopping 7 years ago Share Tweet It seems lately that everyone is complaining about the cost of living in Australia – certainly in Sydney anyway, where everything seems to be super expensive. Newspapers, current affairs TV programmes, websites and blogs, social media etc its not hard to find articles or comments about how expensive groceries and utility bills are in Australia. There are now queues outside our local Aldi store on a Saturday morning, something that would have been unseen a couple of years ago. Everyone is trying to save an extra buck here and there, so when I went over my monthly budget, I found one of my most unnecessary expenses—eating out. I usually get a pinch of anxiety when examining my credit card statement every month. I expect it’s going to be high, especially after a few shopping trips, but one of the biggest surprises I find is how many times I see charges to cafes and restaurants. It really adds up, especially if you are eating out more than three times a week. So as I’m heading into a new month and new billing cycle—I am going to give eating in more effort. A nice dinner out with drinks and a bottle of wine can be well over $50 a person, so eliminating this expense at least once a week can save me some serious cash. I enjoy eating out, not just for the good food, but also for the experience. Not having to lift a finger for the night is always a bonus, so I will need to get creative with how I eat in. I might try to create a dinner party exchange with close friends. Or how about invite a few friends over next time you are cooking a meal, and host a dinner party. Sure this might mean for one night you’re doing all the work, but you will have the favour returned, when a friend hosts the dinner party the next week. This way you are technically “eating out” but only paying for it once. It’s worth a try, and if it turns out that I’m not saving much money, at least I will be spending more time with friends and family. If you just can’t seem to break loose of your eating-out habits try to find the best deals and specials, there are always lots of offers on the daily deals sites as well as buy restaurant gift certificates for less than face value.