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How often do you eat out?

mrbunsrocks Feb 3, 2007 09:57 AM

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! :)

  1. l
    Lucia Feb 6, 2007 07:37 AM

    1) U.S.-NYC
    2) 8
    3) 5 cheap lunches during the week, 2 brunches/lunches on weekends, and 1 dinner
    4) $20/week during the week, $20 per person for brunch, $50-$60 per person for dinner. Total: $480/mo
    5) Yes, although it adds up faster than I thought
    6) I eat out because I love food, and I don't have the patience to learn to be a good enough cook myself. I also like going out and not having to worry about the clean-up. I eat at home during the week so I can save money and make sure I'm eating healthy most of the time.

    1. c
      cheryl_h Feb 6, 2007 06:43 AM

      1. Greater Boston
      2. Perhaps 1-2 times a month, varies greatly.
      3. Meals - dinner
      4. How much? Guesstimate about $100 - $200, also varies greatly.
      5. Far below average for this region.
      6. Why? We only eat at upscale places which have something different and special to offer, or ethnic dives which make unusual dishes. I can make everything in between and I love to cook. I have a low tolerance for the boring and mundane which means I find many restaurants unappealing..

      1. SauceSupreme Feb 6, 2007 04:27 AM

        1. Where = Los Angeles (Mid-City)
        2. How often = 4-7 times a week, 2-3 times a day.
        3. Which meals = any meal except breakfast
        4. How much = $400-$500 a month sounds about right
        5. Average = I mix it up; always plenty of fine dining and ethnic hole options.
        6. Why = I'm always on the road here in Southern California, and while we don't have the Michelin superstars of a French Laundry or Le Bernardin, we have a plethora of options in all cuisines, ranging from good to excellent. Eating out all over Southern California helps me to appreciate how vast and varied this plot of land really is.

        1. orangewasabi Feb 6, 2007 04:22 AM

          1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
          Toronto, I think it's relevant because living in the downtown core of a big city enable us to eat out at a variety of cuisines we'd never make ourselves

          2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
          dinner - 4-7 times, lunch-M-F & often on S&Sn. I'm getting into cooking so we're eating dinner at home more often now i.e. 3ish times a week.

          3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
          Lunch and Dinner, breakfast at 1pm on the weekend.

          4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
          our Amex bill says $1200 a month

          5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
          an average amount? no, it's probably a bit high but most people we know do not eat out as much as we do

          6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
          We eat out because we are spoiled -- we're used to coming home and saying "I feel like. . . ethiopian" and having it, rather than planning ahead and eating what is in the fridge. We're used to having a wide range of cuisines in a week and have limited cooking skills. We're starting to eat in more because I am interested in improving my cooking skills so out of frugalness, I make my husband eat my experiments, plus, it's too darn cold to go back outside again.

          1. c
            coriander Feb 5, 2007 06:57 PM

            1. Where?
            SF Bay Area

            2. How often eat out?
            As a couple 2-3 times a week; spouse eats lunch out often during the week.

            3. What meals?
            On average: dinner once a week, brunch once a week and takeout once a week.

            4. How much on eating out?
            $400-500 a month

            5. Is this an average amount?
            In the Bay Area I think this is quite a bit below average; but then so is our income!

            6. Why eat out?
            Most often for the convenience of not having to cook, sometimes for socializing, and only very rarely for the food. I think we make much better meals at home, both healthier and tastier. We would eat out more, or at least at nicer places, if we could afford to spend more.

            1. janethepain Feb 5, 2007 07:35 AM

              Here's a just-out-of-college, born/raised/living in NYC with a not-that-great-paying job girl's answer:

              1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
              New York City

              2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
              usually twice a week - Friday and Saturday for dinner. Sometimes will go out/order brunch on Sundays

              3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
              Obviously dinner, but I loooove going out for breakfast. The trouble is finding people to go with.

              4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
              Sometimes my bf will cover dinner, but we don't eat at expensive places anyway. Assuming $15-$25 for each meal, I gues that equals $120-$200 per month. But it can vary - for Restaurant Week, I had two dinners that were $50 and $70, in addition to another normal dinner out. But drinking is another question -_-

              5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
              Yes. Maybe less than average, as I usually never buy lunch out - I'd rather save my money for dinner with a companion.

              6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
              I'd love to eat out all the time, as I probably live in the best city in the US for eating. There are a zillion places and cuisines I've been dying to try, but the reason I don't is money. I'd go broke. Though yes, sometimes I do crave home cooked food and am lucky enough to go to my parents' house on weekdays. But I suppose even if I COULD eat out every meal, I'd be a bit afraid of what it would do to my waistline - everything I cook at home is ridiculously low on oil.

              1. calla0413 Feb 5, 2007 07:15 AM

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

                Recently, moved to Canada.

                2) How often do you eat out in an average week?

                1-2 times.

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

                Most likely dinner.

                4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?

                I would say probably around $400 or a little less.

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

                In this area, I would say probably below average.

                6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?

                Before moving to Canada, both of us were working full-time and we would eat out A LOT! I would say we would eat in maybe 2-3 times a month, the rest of the time, we were eating out.

                Now, that I'm not working, I cook more at home. A lot of it has to do with budgetary reasons for now. However, since I've gotten into the groove of being a housewife, I don't mind enjoying the traditional role for the short time it's going to last. I get up in the morning and pack my husband a lunch and do the housework, run errands, get dinner ready...etc. It's a regular June Cleaver household here. Once I'm finished with my degree (taking classes online), I'm sure, we'll probably go back to the same routine of eating out more than eating in.

                1. LindaWhit Feb 5, 2007 06:54 AM

                  1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
                  USA - Boston area

                  2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
                  1x for dinner; depends on weekdays for lunch - could be 0, could be 4. Depends on if I brought something in from home.

                  3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
                  Lunch and/or dinner

                  4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
                  $200 - $300?

                  5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
                  Slightly below average to average.

                  6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
                  I enjoy the different tastes I can get. I'm a good cook, and enjoy creating my own meals, but I also enjoy the atmosphere of eating out with friends.

                  1. j
                    Janet from Richmond Feb 5, 2007 06:48 AM

                    1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
                    USA- Richmond, Virginia

                    2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
                    Lunch 2-3 times, dinner 3-4 times

                    3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
                    Mostly dinner and lunch. Breakfast about once every two weeks.

                    4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
                    Between husband and I, about $3000/month

                    5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
                    I think it's above average

                    6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
                    We love it. I really love it. For me it's the whole experience whether it's a noisy diner/ethinic
                    restaurant or a 5-star formal place. I'm an average cook at best and never enjoy
                    the stuff I cook as well as going out.

                    1. d
                      dinwiddie Feb 5, 2007 06:39 AM

                      1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
                      Washington DC area.

                      2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
                      It depends on what you call eating out. My wife and I dine out two, sometimes three times a week. But I buy lunch in the cafeteria where I work every day for the most part. (They have a nice, reasonably priced salad bar and I'm not awake enough in the morning to make a lunch.)

                      3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
                      Dinner, but see #2. However, on weekends I like to get breakfast out on occasion, and once a month or so we have dim sum on Sunday.

                      4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
                      A lot now that I think about it. We usually spend from $40-60 plus corkage for a meal with special meals once a month going into the $200-300 range if we buy wine. However, since I normally take wine with me and pay a corkage fee, that is only once a month or so.

                      5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
                      For where I live, probably average

                      6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
                      Sometimes I just don't feel like cooking, especially if both of us get home a little late from work.

                      1. p
                        pellegrino31 Feb 5, 2007 06:19 AM

                        1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
                        USA - live in NYC

                        2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
                        I buy lunch about 2-3 times per week and go out for dinner maybe 1-2 times per week. And maybe 1-2 times per month going out for brunch.

                        3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)?
                        All of them

                        4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month?
                        My SO and I have $400 set aside for eating out.

                        5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
                        For NYC, I think it's definitely on the lower side. It's just too easy to go out here for any meal. I used to eat out far more frequently than I do now and could easily have spent about $300 a week in those days .

                        6) Why do you eat out/not eat out?
                        We've been eating out less for both budget reasons and also because we're being a bit more careful these days about what we're eating in general. When we go out, we want to indulge. Both my SO and I are great cooks but living where we are, there are so many incredible places to eat so there's always the feeling of wanting to try new places or return to our favorite haunts.

                        1. c
                          ClaireWalter Feb 5, 2007 01:24 AM

                          1) What country you are from (and region, if you feel it is relevant)?
                          Colorado
                          2) How often do you eat out in an average week?
                          My husband and I usually eat out for dinner twice a week, sometimes even three times. He eats lunch out five days a week. I occasionally meet a friend for lunch. I work at home, so I'm the leftover queen.
                          3) What meals would you eat out (b/l/d)? See #2.
                          4) How much are you spending on eating out in an average month? I don't want to think about it.
                          5) Do you feel this is an average amount to eat out?
                          6) Why do you eat out/not eat out? We eat out a fair amoung because, while I enjoy cooking, we are like Jack Sprat and his wife. Our food likes/dislikes are quite opposite, so when we eat out, we can each order what we prefer.

                          1. e
                            emilief Feb 4, 2007 03:30 PM

                            1.New England
                            2.Twice a week- Friday and Saturday nights
                            3. Dinner
                            4.About $200 + per weekend
                            5.Maybe above average
                            6.I love to cook and cook all meals during the week. At weeks end we want to enjoy each other's company and not think about cooking an cleaning. On Sunday we have our son and his wife and two little ones for dinner - I spend most of the day cooking but it is not so bad after having two dinners out.

                            1. katiepie Feb 4, 2007 04:26 AM

                              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! :)

                              1. billjriv Feb 4, 2007 01:05 AM

                                when I feel like it.

                                1. s
                                  sheiladeedee Feb 4, 2007 12:54 AM

                                  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. k
                                    KCJ Feb 4, 2007 12:05 AM

                                    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. Kajikit Feb 3, 2007 07:21 PM

                                      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?!'

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