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How often do you dine out, how often do you cook etc ?

I think most people on this board know the different preferences of most people regarding different types of restaurants. But I would interested to know all these people a little bit more ;)
Since we all write a lot about dining in different restaurants and cooking at home I was always wondering how an average week looks like for most CH in SD (and beyond).
How often do you cook at home or have dinner in a restaurant ? How often do you eat fastfood for dinner ? Do you cook from scratch or heat up microwave food ? What do you eat for lunch - leftovers from your cooking, fastfood or restaurants ?

To get everything started here are some answers from me:

In an average week I cook four days a week and eat out at a restaurants three days a week. Beside 2,3 times a year an In-Out Burger we completely avoid fast food. We also try to avoid processed food and cook all meals from scratch. Lunch is mostly salads from the Wholefoods salad bar or leftovers from cooking and about once a week a visit to a restaurant.

I hope others are willing to share their eating habits.

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  1. I generally eat out 3-4 times a week, I try to avoid chains, I really look for family owned ethnic places that offer some great home style recipes, I like to eat out for breakfast, my fav meal of the day, on the week-ends. When I cook it's from scratch, especially pizza using my own dough as well and I try to avoid processed foods. Nice topic honkman.

    1. We eat out 3 or 4 times a week or more. We like to go out to breakfast on the weekends and lunches, too. We dine out for dinner on Friday or during the week, when I want a good meal, but am too tired to cook after work. My work schedule went from M-F to just Thurs., so now I cook more dinners at home. I have more time to shop and cook, now, and I really love it. We are not take-out folks- I won't order out what I can make, better myself.

      I do like to go out to restaurants and try new foods or ethnic or regional foods, or something different than I usually prepare at home. I also enjoy people watching and the convivial spirit in many local restaurants. About 4X's/month, we travel out of town to a "destination" restaurant for something special- a particular chef, cuisine or specific dish.

      We hit some chain restaurants on the way to/from soccer games (which are all over our state). It's been a fun challenge to find alternatives to McDonalds. The New England CH boards have been a source of many excellent suggestions for our family when we're on the road.

      Finally, we dine out more frequently when we are on vacation. Some of our favorite (and least favorite) meals have been during vacation times-even when we have a kitchen available! I like to hit the CH boards for suggestions, too.

      1. I usually cook five days a week and eat out at restaurants 2 days, although sometimes we eat at a friends house instead. I am with you on avoiding fast food except if I am on a road trip or an occasional trip to In-n-out. I also try to avoid too much processed food but I certainly don't make all of my meals from scratch. Sometimes I will get something from Trader Joes that is either premade or requires minimal effort. I avoid anything that has to go in the microwave. I do like going out for lunch some because you can get good deals but a lot of places aren't open for lunch or offer limited choices.

        1. I cook once a week but cook 5-6 days' worth of lunches and dinners. The plus to this is that neither of us come home, exhausted and too hungry to cook. The downside is that we're usually sick of what we've been eating all week. I cook from scratch, using recipes.

          We eat out once a week, on the weekends, after we've either ran out of food or gotten tired of eating the same food all week. We usually gravitate towards cheap Asian b/c both of us like it and I don't cook Asian b/c we don't have a Chinese kitchen to do stir-fry properly.

          About once a month, we may go out for a business dinner at a high end place. In-n-Out is "maybe" once a year. Costco pizza and hot dogs are "maybe" 2-3 xs/yr. Souplantation is about once every 6 months. I have an El Cuervo burrito once a week b/c of my commute/schedule on that particular day. On the weeks we are back from traveling, we will stock up on Costco prepared foods and/or get a week's worth of take out from Saffron, Sab E Lee or Punjabi Tandoor.

          Lately, I've been trying to plan more meatless meals, both for cost and environmental issues. I grew up in a large vegetarian community and know it's not impossible to eat well and be satisfied with less meat.

          1. Typically, we'll eat out two dinners a week and maybe a breakfast. The exception would be extremely busy weeks where we eat out more, but those weeks are rare. When we cook, it's almost always a hot meal from scratch. Most of our processed and prepared foods are from Trader Joe's (their frozen orange chicken, frozen pizzas, and frozen gnocchi are the usual suspects) and we eat them rarely.

            We do tend to be a little carb-heavy in our meals, but we're increasing our veggie intake with a CSA box from Be Wise Ranch every other week. Our at-home meals are largely vegetarian, but we cook meat about once a week.

            Eating out, we stick to cheaper ethnic meals and the occasional run to In-N-Out. Breakfasts are probably our most processed meal, as we favor places like Perry's that cook Sysco foods so well. Our more upscale dining restaurant of the moment is Wine Vault and Bistro. Lunches are sandwiches or salads (I make them... Mr. Geeky is more likely to buy them from a sandwich shop downtown). Leftovers for lunch are typical for me... money-wise, it's good I work in Torrey Pines. It keeps me from going out to lunch often because it's not close to many good food sources, but my lunches tend to be kind of boring.

            To throw another aspect of our "food lives", we do our shopping primarily at Trader Joe's, Henry's, and ethnic markets (99 Ranch for Chinese and Minh Hoa in City Heights for Vietnamese items). Costco for anything that we would use a lot of and would last a while (canned goods, usually) and the local Vons for the occasional item (i.e. when we were going through our Cocoa Crispies phase). Specialty items usually come from Whole Foods or Specialty Produce. Produce, as mentioned above, is from the CSA.