It’s easy to pick up the phone to order takeaway food when you don’t feel like cooking, but a full stomach to take away can leave your wallet empty. This is how you can save.

SAN ANTONIO – You may notice it in your own budget: Texans have been spending more money eating out since the pandemic started. Takeaway food is convenient, but it can cleanse your wallet.

“Spending on eating out, such as spending in restaurants or taking out, has increased much faster than spending on groceries,” said Erika Giovanetti, who wrote a take-away report for. wrote Credit tree.

She found that some Texas households are spending nearly $ 440 a month on takeout. It’s a convenience you’ll pay for, but experts say there are ways to keep your stomach and wallet full.

First, try to cut down on your orders.

“If you order takeaway five nights a week, you might cut yourself down to just three nights a week,” said Andrea Woroch, a money-saving expert. “I like to say start small, and when you have adopted and adopted the next habit, you can reduce it further from there.

Groceries for delivery may have higher prices and additional fees. Instead, collect it yourself.

“Just order through your local restaurant and then choose pick-up,” said Woroch. “This is an easy way to avoid these fees. I know there are $ 3 or $ 5 fees here and there, doesn’t sound like a lot and might not break your budget, but if you do this regularly, those little fees add up. Pick up whenever possible and arrange with an errand so it doesn’t feel like you go out of your way just to get the take-away order. “

“Many small restaurants and family-run establishments are having problems right now,” said Giovanetti. “You’d probably really like it if you just called them up and ordered take-away instead of using a third-party service.”

Or save by buying more frozen, prepared foods for quick meals at the grocery store. Woroch always has a frozen pizza close at hand so that a meal can be prepared quickly.

“I also fill my freezer with things that can simply be reheated in the microwave or oven for those nights that I don’t want to order to take away. It still costs a little more than cooking it yourself, but not that much to take away, ”said Woroch. “Have things like frozen vegetables or chicken handy. That way, you have something that is easy to thaw and quick to cook. You don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store. I think that’s usually the main reason people end up ordering takeout. You’re like, ‘Oh, now I have to go to the grocery store and get all these ingredients and then cook.’ When you just have it at home and ready to go in the freezer, it is one less step to take to prepare your own meals and avoid takeout. “

“Everything looks good when you’re hungry,” said Woroch. “If you can make a small appetizer at home, be it humus and carrots or crackers and cheese, it might keep some of that hunger at bay.”

A budget can also help control food spending. Let technology do the hard work for you.

“Budgeting apps for your smartphone can set up automatic notifications when you over-spend in a certain category like restaurants or takeaways,” said Giovanetti.

She recommended using it mint.

Get cash from delivery orders by using coupon codes.

“There are sites like CouponCabin.com that will have offers on these different order sites, ”said Woroch. “Also, if you hit a certain spending limit, like ordering $ 30 worth of food in a restaurant, you might get a 10 percent discount. In that case, you might order lunch for the next day. Then you get this discount and are prepared for a few meals. “

Cashback apps like Get rewards allows you to get more meals for free.

“This gives you points that are good for free gift certificates,” said Woroch.

Also, make larger meals when you’re cooking and freeze leftovers so they can be easily reheated another night.

If you have an eyewitness question, email us at EWTK@KENS5.com or call us at 210-377-8647.

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