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How Often to You Go Out To Dinner....and Why?

When I lived in the city and everything was within walking distance, I was eating out almost every night. Most of the places that I frequented were ethnic or comforting neighborhood places.

Now that I'm married and live in the burbs and we have to drive everywhere, I really only want to go out if it is going to be a "great" meal. (I can do "good" at home.)

I'd say we now only go out to dinner 2 times a month. But when we do, we eat and spend with abandon. When we go on vacation, there is a huge focus on dining. And we even do vacations that are based on dining at a specific restaurant (Inn at Little Washington next month).

Just wondering what everyone else is doing and if your dining out habits have change significantly because of the stage of your life or the economy.

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  1. My life is pretty evenly split between big city & sub-urban '-)

    We do go out to eat a lot more when we're in the city, simply b/c there are so many more choices. In the boondocks, selection is not so great (save for a fab Sichuan hole in the wall that has saved my culinary sanity), mostly chains with a few local places thrown in that aren't "all that", either.

    I love to cook, so we tend to eat at home more when in boondocks. Also, what I make at home is better than the majority of food available at the restos here. It's a good way to save money for city life.

    1. we're similar to DaisyM in our current food outings. if anything, we've cut back on our convenience driven, eating out 4-5x's per week, to maybe 1-2x's per week. I'm just totally tired of paying eating out prices for the mediocre food served in most local places. Instead we'd rather go out less frequently and to places we know provide an exceptional experience.

      1. We go out once a week, usually on Sunday after church, or Saturday evening once in a while. I like the idea of limiting eating out to once a week because it makes it something to look forward to. Also, eating out after church is sort of a comfort thing with me; a holdover from my childhood. We also try to limit decadent dessert eating to once a week, so our weekly meal really is a treat.

        Of course there are times when we will grab something quick after work if I don't feel like cooking, but for the most part, we have one big meal out at a nice restaurant once a week.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          When I was growing up, going out to dinner was pretty much for special occasions only. Come to think of it, even getting take out pizza was something special!

          1. re: DaisyM

            Me too -- I think that's why I love going out to dinner now.

            We typically do takeout about once a week (sometimes prepared stuff from the local ethnic grocery) and go out to dinner about twice a month too, taking our toddler with us. This is often at the neighborhood diner or some other local place. Once every couple of months, we get to have an actual date night and eat someplace special.

            1. re: DaisyM

              Even though we go out once a week, I still feel like it is special. I actually get excited when we are going to either a new place or someplace I particularly like!

          2. We usually go out only 1 or 2 x a month. However, if I really don't feel like cooking, DH may stop on his way home from work and pick up a rotisserie chicken. Now that I'm unfortunately not working, we just don't go out as much. And I have more time to cook.

            1. I live in a city of ca. 225,000 people that has practically no suburbs. The resto scene here is actually quite good, and we go out to dinner every Friday night. Occasionally, we'll go out for lunch on a Saturday afternoon, or get something to go. If we had more disposable income I imagine we'd eat out twice a week, insofar as we enjoy dining out just as much as eating at home.