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What's considered average or regular when in comes to dining out?

A recent friend of mine said I go out to eat TOO often. Sadly, I only noticed that fact when they pointed it out to me. They said it made me look snobby, and it was an attempt to put me in a different social class. To a degree, I do agree, but eating out is just normal for me, I guess.
I have a small kitchen and live alone. - Plus a majority of these dinners and outing turn out to part business related expenditures . Is dining out more than 5 times a week considered normal? How often do you dine out with friends or with business partners?

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  1. what do you care about what others say?

    you're single. go for it. now, if you're trying to save money....eating out so much is just wasteful.

    1. I think you need a new friend. Sounds like they are jealous.

      We dine out 3-4 times a week and often get takeout on other nights and eat lunch out most days. I make no apologies for it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Janet from Richmond

        "jealous" is spot on! >>>made me look snobby, and it was an attempt to put me in a different social class<<<

        yep, its the green eyed monster! http://www.treklens.com/gallery/Ocean...

      2. We dine out perhaps 3 or 4 times a month. FWIW, no other friends or family do it that often.

        I'm never happy describing things as "normal" or "average" - as the first word is subjective and the second mathematical. But, for the fun of it, let me go along with the OP's usage. It is "normal" for me to eat out, say, 4 times a month. In that time, it is "normal" for juanish to eat out 20 times. The average for us would be 12 times.

        1. If you enjoy it and it is not putting a financial strain on you, then however many times you chose to eat dinner out per week is "normal" for you.

          1. funny, i would have thought you ate out that much because it made you happy, not because it elevated your social status

            1. I imagine if you were a gourmet cook with a top-notch kitchen and never went out to eat, that would be snobbish under *those* circumstances ... to this person.

              2 Replies
              1. re: occula

                Whatever suits you. I have a friend,(acquaintance) who NEVER eats at home. Now, that is not my "cup of tea" as food cooked at home is invariably better than the average dinner out. As says Anthony Bourdain, and I agree. Having said that; I do go out quite often, but not always dinner, average is, breakfast 3-4 times a week, lunch 2-3 times, dinner 2 times. By no means are all of our "dining outs" fine dining. Our "'fine dining with friends is probably split half in restaurants and half at home.

                1. re: ospreycove

                  "...food cooked at home is invariably better than the average dinner out. As says Anthony Bourdain, and I agree."

                  If either you or Bourdain had ever sampled MY cooking, you'd rethink that position... :)

              2. Well, I love to cook and am good at it, and given that we live in a rural backwater in a state not known for good food in general, there's little temptation, anyway. That said, there are some really excellent mom-and-pop ethnic restaurants (mostly Vietnamese and Mexican) where you can eat beautiful Pho or fantastic fish tacos, and only spend about $7 bucks a piece. So, on "I don't want to cook" night, that's where we go. About once a week.

                When we're in a city with some decent restaurants, we eat out probably twice--lunch and dinner. That's only once or twice a month, though, so it seems we dine out about, on average, 8-10 times a month.

                I don't like wasting money on food I can make myself. My food is usually healthier ( I buy organic and stay away from nasty chemical ingredients) and, frankly, tastier. We also feel like guilty, capitalist pigs (partly kidding ;-) when we waste money on food we KNOW we can prepare more cheaply ourselves...sometimes we resist the urge to grab something merely adequate, force ourselves to go home and cook, and then send the $$$ we would have spent to a food pantry, or to the little Indian girl we sponsor.

                This is easy for me, though: I'm a full time homemaker and so cooking IS part of my job description. Additionally, we have to cut corners to make up for that lost second income; what I lose in money, I gain in time to garden and cook and so forth....

                On occasion, though, we splurge and do so with great joy and pleasure--spent over $300 for one meal to celebrate our anniversary, last weekend.

                When we're on vacation, we eat every meal out. At first, this is great fun--one of the reasons for the trips, usually--but after a while we all start to feel slightly sick. Too much restaurant food, too often, makes us over-eat, upsets my gall bladder, blah blah blah. The tendency to eat something *rich* because you're PAYING FOR IT--instead of dining at home on a nice, simple pot of beans, or a salad, or a bowl of yogurt and cereal, comes up and bites us in the tummy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Beckyleach

                  Your experience sounds exactly like mine. We pretty much only eat out on vacation, or perhaps for special occasions, because I love to cook and prefer to control what we eat. And it's way cheaper for sure. But I don't mind splurging for a really good meal; I just can't see spending $40-60 on a regular basis for tasty, but not memorable, dinners.

                2. Look, you're single. It's your money, or the company that employs you. It's not your friend's money. When your friend loans you a bunch of money, that's when he/she can make any comments on how you spend yours. Most of my single friends eat out 7 days a week, so your 5 times would seem inadequate to them. It's all a matter of perspective and it sounds like your "friend" needs to get some.

                  1. What a weird thing for your "friend" to say to you! When, where, and how often any individual, couple, or family dines out has too many variables to come up with what's "normal." I've known people who loved to cook and the only time they dined out was at wedding receptions and funerals! I've known both individuals and couples who just plain didn't know how to cook and had no interest in learning, so when they didn't dine out they dined on take-out. I feel for you though. It gets pretty unnerving when "friends" say such things to us. It can fill me with self doubt, The best plan, seems to me, is for you to get comfortable in your own skin, own who you are, then take this "friend" by the arm, lead him to a mirror, then point out who is "you" and who is "me" and explain to him that they are NOT not the same! Good luck and be happy!

                    1. I eat probably 10-12 meals out per week. Neither my husband or I enjoy cooking and we live on the outskirts of a city that offers tons of different ethnic choices, so we don't repeat meals often. Since we're not currently drinking (pregnancy and spousal support), our meals can cost virtually nothing sometimes...and we don't have to clean up.

                      1. I'm not sure why you feel the need to defend your dining habits to your friend.

                        I don't consider people who don't cook (and therefore, eat out) "abnormal" even though it's not the norm for me.

                        1. Even if you enjoy cooking, it's plain difficult to cook for just one person. So pair that with working and coming home tired, why not go out to eat. What would be abnormal is not eating at all.

                          1. Another possible issue: is your friend's concern that you're spending all your time with business partners and acquaintances, at the expense of friends (presumably including him/her)? If so, that might explain the "snobby" comment.

                            If, OTOH, the comment is simply "normal people don't eat out that much", I say ignore it. Do what suits you (assuming you can afford it), and don't let the @!&*#%! get you down. Besides, "normal" is overrated.

                            For the record, I eat out nearly every meal, so I guess I'm abnormal too! And I'm fine with that.

                            1. Your friend sounds unstable.

                              1. Everyone prioritizes different activities. If eating out is part of what you need to do for business, or if you just like to eat out everyday, there's really nothing wrong with it. There's also no guarantee that you're necessarily spending more than you would to eat at home. If you go to inexpensive places sometimes, you might spend just as much to eat a meal at home. Right now I don't really have money to spend on eating out more than 1-2x a week, but there were some times in the past where I would eat lunch out daily in addition to 1-2 dinners out each week. I didn't really enjoy some of the jobs I had, and eating lunch out with friends was the one thing that made it manageable.

                                1. i do both. I can't resist eating at some of my favorite places, but i will cook my other meals with just as much enthusiasm. You can have the best of both worlds!

                                  Until your paycheck shrivels up.