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Feb 3, 2007 09:57 AM

How often do you eat out?

A spin-off of the food budget thread....

Please post

1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?

My own answers....

1) Canada
2) At most, once a week. Usually less.
3) Generally, if we eat out, it's dinner.
4) We budget $150/month for one nice dinner out.
5) This might be a bit below average for eating out, but probably not too far off.
6) We eat in a lot because I love to cook and am good at it. I only like eating out for really nice meals that I couldn't replicate at home, hence we budget for a nice meal every month. That said, I also enjoy going to hole-in-the-wall restaurants of varying ethnicities....and that tends to be less expensive.

Thanks! :)

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  1. 1) Florida
    2) Once a week (occasionally twice)
    3) Usually Friday dinner OR saturday brunch OR lunch on Sunday after church, plus one fast-food lunch/dinner during the week.
    4) Our eating out/fast food budget is $50 a week... on a good week we stick to it, on a bad week we can easily double it.
    5) This is MUCH lower than average for Florida - I'd like to do more but we can't afford it on one income. (My mother thinks even that is extravagance - their eating out/convenience meal budget is once a MONTH if that.)
    6) I like to cook... but I also like to eat out and taste foods that I don't know how to prepare or are too much work... also sometimes sheer laziness, but that only that leads to bad food that makes me think 'why did I waste my money on THAT when I could have made it better myself?!'

    1. 1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
      ..... USA / Midwest

      2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
      ..... 7-15/week, depends on the week, depends on the weather, depends on my mood. I'm counting all meals that I eat from restaurants (sit down or drive-thru) and salad bars/hot entrees/prepared sandwiches from grocery and convenience stores that I eat there, take to the park to eat while I read the newspaper, eat in my vehicle while between here and there, or bring home to eat.

      3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
      ..... Yes

      4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
      ..... I don't keep track but just running it through my mind now, I probably don't spend any more in a week than I'd spend at the grocery store, and I save a lot of time that I'd otherwise have to spend in meal planning, grocery shopping, food prepartion, and that dreaded clean up. About 15-20% of my meals are paid for by others.

      5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
      ..... Well above average.

      6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
      ..... Once upon a time, I prepared probably 18 of the 21 meals a week that a family consumes. I didn't mind it, in fact, other than the clean up detail, I usually enjoyed it. But that was then and now is now. I have a different lifestyle now. I keep different (and very odd) hours. I am allowed to be more spontaneous with no one else depending on me. I like to make decisions about what I want to eat at the time I am ready to eat, not days before when I plan the week's meals or do the grocery shopping. I don't like to feel guilty about unused ingredients going bad in my refrigerator either because they are left over from something I prepared a few days ago or because I wanted something special when I went grocery shopping so I bought the ingredients and then I didn't have any interest in fixing it.

      Besides, several of my meals each week are social events for me. It's fun to go out with friends to eat -- whether it's fine dining, upscale casual, homecooking cafes, or the neighborhood loveable joint for burgers and beer.

      Not all my meals are expensive. The older I get, the more I don't want big meals. A recent $5.99 combo take-out dinner at a neighborhood Chinese restaurant gave me enough food for three meals for myself. Hey, for $2 a meal for that Chinese food, I couldn't have made myself much of a dinner at home.

      I do enjoy cooking at my home or other homes with friends and family. And the clean up isn't tedious at all when everyone pitches in to help. I am sometimes away from home for a few months at a time and there I enjoy cooking several dinners each week plus fun sandwich fillings (egg salad, chicken salad, ham salad, etc.) plus cookies, cakes, puddings, etc. The audience is appreciative and I get my small need for culinary creativity fulfilled that way.

      Hmmmmm....speaking of dinner, I'm already contemplating tomorrow night's dinner. Right now I'm thinking the terrific little buffet at the Mediterranean place down the street (where I can fill a styro container, pay about $9, and end up with three meals for myself). But by tomorrow morning, I may be thinking more about matzo ball soup and a sandwich at the neighborhood deli. Oh, heck, I might start out for the deli and half-way there decide I want VIetnamese or sushi or Italian or maybe a Greek salad at Fric 'n Frac. It's fun to be spontaneous!

      1. 1. Southern New England

        2. 2-4 meals out a week

        3. Maybe one breakfast out a month, on a weekend, 2 lunches out a week, one a working lunch at work where food is provided and one at a restaurant or eatery near the office, maybe one or two dinners out per month, sometimes with a friend from work, and sometimes with my husband. He sometimes goes out for breadkfast or lunch without me during the week.

        4. Maybe $350 per month if I go out to dinner with friends from work once and he goes out a couple of time, otherwise more like $175. This is for both of us and includes the $50 a month I spend at Starbucks for coffee.

        5. It is hard to tell what's average, isn't it? We have the money to eat out at this point in our lives and we do; many similarly situated friends eat out a lot more. Some not at all. I cook a lot at home and carry my lunch most of the time; I can cook better food than any but either very good ethnic or high-end restaurants, so don't go out routinely, and I don't eat most convenience food or takeout; by the time someone went out for takeout I could have a meal on the table. And then, there is the not insignificant matter that my husband and I differ about what restaurants to go to - he's perfectly happy at chains and if I am going to go out I want to go to some of the higher end restaurants around town. So I go to those occasionally with friends, and he goes out with his friends where he likes, and then we compromise when we go out together, sometimes where he likes, sometimes where I like, sometimes at a good ethnic place we both like..

        6. A lot of reasons. I always eat breakfast at home before work, and usually pack my lunch, but sometimes I know I'll be having lunch with someone or don't have anything I feel like taking to work and decide to grab a soup or salad or something from one of the places near my office. Dinner out is either a chance to socialize with friends or my husband and I are out doing something and decide to eat out.

        I'll be interested to see what others answer - I love hearing about other people's lives...

          1. 1. Northern New England
            2. Once a week for lunch (my husband and I go out on the weekend) and once a month for dinner (either a Taco Bell date or a nice restaurant... it depends on how we are feeling!)
            3. We don't budget for eating out, which can be BAD. However, we eat in so often we budget for groceries instead.
            4. We don't eat out that much because I'm a pretty darn good cook. My husband doesn't like ethnic cuisine (he's a meat and potatoes guy) so I can pretty much make everything we'd order at a restaurant. Plus I love to cook... and he loves to eat what I make! :)