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Oct 31, 2008 07:20 AM

The Future of Your Dining Dollars

Given the fact that the economy looks uncertain ( at best ) for the next 6 to 12 months, how will this affect where and when you choose to dine? Will you simply stop going out to restaurants, until the economy improves? Will you continue to go out, but only to "neighborhood" places and forget high end dining for the time being? Cut back a bit across the board, eating out half as often as before? Continue your current pattern, eating out where and when you choose, and adopt the attitude; C'est la vie !

Since the economic downturn, one thing that I have noticed ( in the Boston area), there's been a spate of restaurants offering prixe fix lunch and dinner options. A great way for restaurants to control their costs and pass the saving on to their customers.

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  1. Other than the high gas prices the other economic issues(aka "economic downturn") really have not affected us(we have a locked low interest mortage, we are not selling our house in the near future, and we dont invest heavily in the stockmarket). We also luckily have good jobs in fact where I work we have had our 2 best months since 2006 the last couple of months. Now that gas has gone down to $2.37/gallon, and is still falling we have more money to spend(we fill our sut up 3 times a week for our commute, and those 3, $70 fillups were killing us.

    Since the gas prices are trending down that leave more money to spend on going out, so we will be doing just that, eating out more often.

    1 Reply
    1. re: swsidejim

      My husband and I are actually in a very similar position to yours. Low, fixed-rate mortgage, and not looking to move any time soon. I work for a family owned business that's doing fine and my husband works for a large, stable company. And the reduction in gas prices is definitely helping - my husband has a large truck that was also very expensive to fill. But I have to say that we have definitely reined in the spending (which was already pretty modest.) Mostly because we do have some unsecured debt to pay off and I want to pay it off as fast as possible just in case things get much worse in the economy and our incomes DO become affected. So dining out is something we have mostly relegated to special occasions for the time being.

    2. I live in central Illinois and there is little evidence of an "economic downturn" here. As a matter of fact, two new restaurants opened in our small town (pop. 6,000) within the last month. We're eating out as often as ever, usually to nearby locally-owned places. The prices have increased at some of the places, but we really don't let that bother us. It's important to us to have locally-owned restaurants with great food, so we're willing to support them, knowing that their costs have increased. We would cut back on other expenses if necessary rather than give up eating out at our favorite places.

      1. We have gone from eating out 1x per week to eating out 1x per 2 weeks. Always at neighborhood joints.

        1. I've cut back and am cooking from scratch even more. But I try to budget for some eating out too so I don't burn out on the cooking. Sometimes I just need a brief respite in a nice Thai restaurant, but when life gets really stressful I want alcohol and a trendy decor as well.

          1. We won't be eating out on a whim, as we tended to do before. Instead, we'll plan a visit to a favorite place maybe twice a month. We normally do not eat out in high-end places.

            There may be more take-away roast chickens, which around here are a great value.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Anonimo

              At Wegman's grocery store not too far from us, they sell roast chickens for $4.99. They're delicious and easily feed my family of three. Where they try to get you though, is the sides. I always make them myself. (For example, a small container of mashed potatos can be roughly $5.00.)