Dining out a few times per week might not seem like a big deal … until you do the math. On average, Americans spend about $20 per week getting lunch in restaurants, or $1,043 a year, according to a survey out last week of 2,033 people by Visa taken in July and August. What’s more, when you add in the costs of takeout and brown-bag meals, respondents spent $53 a week, for a grand total of $2,746 a year… Packing your lunch, like sandwiches, is an easy way to cut your spending, said Barbara O’Neill, a professor at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. She said you can also stock up on convenience foods, such as Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen meals when they are on sale… However, even the budget experts agree that sometimes a nuked frozen meatloaf just won’t do. When you reach a milestone in your life, meeting your financial goals or other achievements, O’Neill said by all means, go out and treat yourself.
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