We all know how important it is to have life insurance. And we know its usually better to get that life insurance when youre young and healthy, rather than waiting. However, young and healthy can often translate to short on funds. At SelectQuote, were dedicated to helping you get the best deals on life insurance, but when youre already budgeted to the max, even the best deal can feel like too much money you just dont have.
If youre looking for places to trim your budget so you can invest in life insurance, one of the easiest and most effective places to start is with your eating habits.
Dine In. Save Money.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spent about $3,365 dining out in 2017. As a side note, thats less than $50 fewer than what they spent on health insurance. More importantly, its almost as much as they spent on food to eat at home – an average of $4,363.
Heres the rub: although we spend almost half our food budgets on eating out, we dont eat nearly half our meals at restaurants. The average American eats an average of 4.2 commercially-prepared meals a week. If you assume the average American is eating three meals a day, that leaves almost 70 meals a month theyre eating at home. That means 20 percent of your meals are taking up 50 percent of your budget – and the disparity is only going to get worse.
The USDAs Food Price Outlook 2018-2019 reports that food-at-home and food-away-from-home prices increased at similar rates between the 1970s and early 2000s. Since 2009, however, food-at-home and food-away-from-home price growth has diverged. While grocery prices have deflated in recent years, restaurant prices have been rising consistently month-over-month.
Currently, restaurants charge approximately a 300 percent markup on their prepared foods in order to make the largest possible profit. If you make similar meals at home, you can drastically cut your spending on food.
Small Changes. Big Results.
We also realize there is a heavy social component to eating at restaurants for date nights, attending happy hours with friends, and grabbing lunch with colleagues – so it probably isnt realistic to completely stop eating out. If, however, you could cut your weekly meals out in half – from four to two, you could save more than $1,500 annually. If you concentrate on reducing the number of dinners and alcoholic beverages you buy away from home, using your restaurant allowance for lunches and coffee dates, you could potentially save even more.
Whats even better about the money you could be saving on food? Preparing your own meals at home is often significantly healthier than eating out … meaning that with a few months of home cooking under your (newly smaller) belt, that life insurance quote you have from SelectQuote could be even more affordable than you thought.