How much do you spend eating out???

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If you can afford to spend what you're spending, go ahead. Don't beat yourself either, there's plenty of busybodies who will do it for you!
 
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Originally Posted By: 79sunrunner
I looked at mine and luckily I only spent $10 last month eating out. Usually if i want something, I'll get the cheapest thing off the list at McDs. Fast food to me is just to keep the hunger down, and not as a "real" meal. I love eating out, but since I am a single guy with no kids or close relatives, it's kind of awkward going into a restaurant by yourself. I am also a very bad cook, so I bet the eating out would be healthier in the long run until I figure out how to not burn water.
Cooking classes are a good way to meet women. grin
 
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In my high school days DParm, there were quite a few nice girls that would cook lunch for me for extra credit points in their cooking classes. It was win win both ways smile
 
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We tend to order pizza on Friday nights but outside of that, we don't really eat out much. If we're really strapped for time, my big vice is picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Not sure if it really makes any difference but we also pull money from our entertainment budget for eating out/ordering in and not our food budget.
 
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I spend way too much money eating out for lunch pretty much everyday. I need to start actually cooking food or at least getting smartones or something I can stick in microwave at work. We also go out as a family for dinner usually once a week, on friday.
 
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We eat out perhaps 3 or 4 times a year. Even when we were in Italy last summer we usually ate with family and friends. I suppose we spent $200 this year eating food other than home cooked. Our grocery bill averages about $125/week. Doing meal planning and cooking at home means we can plan for leftovers for lunches as well. There's a seafood restaurant that when we do eat out we patronize. I know the owner personally and his standards are second to none. Unlike many other restaurants, they understand that seasoning food doesn't mean slathering on salt-there are better and healthier seasoning options. Not many people read the nutritional information at most restaurants-the portion sized and calories are often huge. I also attribute our healthy diets to our overall good health. And, after seeing what some of you spend on eating out, I attribute some of our financial good health to not eating out.
 
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We eat out, or order in, probably once a week. It'll get up to once/week and then we cut back, managing perhaps every other. Family of four, around $35-40 with tip (less if eating in). Only time I'll get a drink is when the inlaws are paying; usually we will go if either planning at home went awry (didn't make it to the grocery store, too tired, too much going on) or we got a coupon to wherever for a free entree or 10% off. Last I knew our blood work is all good, and we're both losing weight (well, she is, and I need to focus on losing--but I'm not gaining, and I shed quite a bit already). Not a lot of prepared food we eat at home either. That said, it was like $190/wk we were spending on groceries&eating out, going into this past summer; we're working on cutting that down. Somewhat. In the end, eating is enjoyable, and if it's good food and the junk food is cut out... Not sure I'm willing to spend a lot less if it means enjoying what I eat less.
 
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Just realized why I don't eat out often--as I'm entering in calories from a free lunch--lots of calories, and I'm still hungry afterwards!
 
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Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
We eat out perhaps 3 or 4 times a year. Even when we were in Italy last summer we usually ate with family and friends. I suppose we spent $200 this year eating food other than home cooked. Our grocery bill averages about $125/week. Doing meal planning and cooking at home means we can plan for leftovers for lunches as well. There's a seafood restaurant that when we do eat out we patronize. I know the owner personally and his standards are second to none. Unlike many other restaurants, they understand that seasoning food doesn't mean slathering on salt-there are better and healthier seasoning options. Not many people read the nutritional information at most restaurants-the portion sized and calories are often huge. I also attribute our healthy diets to our overall good health. And, after seeing what some of you spend on eating out, I attribute some of our financial good health to not eating out.
I read the nutrition information for PF Changs. The food there has so much sodium it could, quite literally, kill me. Some of their meals are pushing 8000+ mg of sodium!!!!
 
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Originally Posted By: Schmoe
I'm curious. Moreso for those that have at least one child. I was going through the credit card statement and was totally surprised how much my family spends eating out, close to around 400. Yeah....OUCH. But I think about the reason's why we eat out....time constraints....wife is an RN so really weird schedule...daughter is a busy body with dance, after school stuff, piano lessons, etc. etc. Wife and I both have a 45 minute one way commute so there are times we just don't feel like cooking or we get home and turn around and hit the road again for the daughter. I'd be willing to bet that some of ya'll would be shocked if you set down with your card statement or receipts and started adding them up. And please, don't horse for this. Life happens and sometimes, you just got to hold on.
That's pretty normal. Lots of do gooders online but real life is different. Long commutes and kids wear you out. Its worth it though... For dinner we usually make something easy and try to stay healthy. Maybe once during the week I will pick up some food. If you're going to spend the money on eating out, better make it something good and not fast food joint stuff. Local mom & pop BBQ or pizza place or something like that. Maybe some take-out Hibachi. Worth it! And then we have date night maybe once a month with friends at a nice place. It adds up fast. But so does gas and groceries and everything else. Don't worry about it too much, just track it and keep it under control. Be glad you have good jobs and kids to enjoy.
 

JHZR2

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I travel a good deal so sometimes eating out is a way of life. I try to go for quality over quantity, and watch what I eat. We do enjoy a lot of ethnic foods, and I do try to get pho when I can. Its my splurge, but rare eye round, sprouts and onions arent that bad, plus I usually have them go very light on the noodles. I enjoy indian food, and really like cooking it myself, but Ill enjoy that sometimes. There is a lifestyle reqirement that drives eating out sometimes. Laziness isnt a good excuse, IMO, but it does happen. Generally Ive found though that food worth eating is only found at good sit down restaurants, and the time required to eat there is about the same as if we cooked at home. So for us its a craving issue or a necessity issue.
 
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I think the word brown bagging it went out in the 60s or before ,,but I could be incorrect,,,well it happens...........
 
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My wife seems to have a more delicate palate than I do. I might get tired of pasta but I can eat it easily a few nights of the week. Pasta is pretty cheap, as is rice. Both can be cooked up ahead of time and put into the fridge. Keeping pasta, rice, shredded cheese and perhaps a few other ingrediants on hand is pretty cheap for making fast meals on the go. Raisens, craisens, and some other dried fruits do have long shelf lives, and can be quickly added to a lunchpail. Me, I like pasta or rice with some frozen mixed veggies. I used to add butter but these days I just sprinkle some shredded cheapo mozzerella onto it. Or pasta with sauce. I don't always need meat, but a bag of chicken strips that you can microwave, while being somewhat expensive, can last a long time--if you are only using a few strips at a time. We have a small stash of tupperware that works well for meals. Quesadilla's are good, and fast to make. A bit of salsa can wake 'em up. But those don't do well for taking in the lunch bag to work. My wife found these flaxseed wraps which are both low in calories and really yummy--I look forward to spinach wraps with a bit of ceaser dressing on the weekends for lunch. I find it hard to get veggies. I like my frozen mixed veggies though, and those are cheap. We do try to keep celery and carrots and cucumbers on hand; but my kids tend to snatch them up before I even remember they are there. The celery and cucumbers don't seem to last long once you peel/cut up either. I can't eat peppers so those are out. My wife is stay at home. Sorta. She's probably more busy than I, but at least she's home some of the time. During the winter months she will roast a chicken one night, then boil and make stock the following day, and then I have like a month's worth of soups from that. She's nice and will divy it out single portions into the tupperware for me. She likes the Progresso canned soups but I'm coming to dislike those--but her homemade soups are simply not outdone by anything I've ever bought. My kids like the cheapo chicken nuggets that can be microwaved, or hot dogs. They're growing and so they can eat that stuff. There are these Thomas multi-grain muffins that are high in fiber and low in calories; I've found I like eating the "light" version straight up, no toasting, nothing on them (or dunking into my soup). Personally, I like PB&J sandwiches. Kinda caloric, but yummy. Smuckers makes this "low sugar" jelly that, if you read the ingrediants, uses only sugar, not HFCS. I've been on a kick tho lately to cut sugar from my diet, and haven't had PB&J in a while. Found out that I can indeed stomach oatmeal with no sweetner in it; that makes for a decent breakfast, although TBH I prefer a nice toasted bagel. I'm almost to the point where I'd rather not buy sandwich meat for home, and instead buy "real" sanadwiches when I go out. I mean, I would never pile my sandwich up with meat at home like they do in a real shop.
 

Schmoe

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What gets me is that we'll pre-think things out too much....like buy salad making stuff...lettuce, bell peppers, onion..etc. etc. and then "life" happens and produce spoils and straight into the trash. Where I live, a few "better" take out choices, but not a lot. Then there is my 10 year old Mrs. Picky Butt....chicken nuggets at McD's, or chicken strips at Arby's or chicken tenders at Chicken Express...but she's recently tried and liked a plain jane 6 inch subway sammich.....seriously...white bread/ham/cheese....that's it. Funny, when we were younger...hardly ate out at all...now we're older....we eat out more....thought it was the other way around???!!!!
 
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Went to the salad bar for lunch. $2.76 or something like that. Noticed some dirt on the sliced mushrooms though. Oatmeal for breakfast. Kind of hungry now. Maybe have 3-4 bottles of Miller Light for dinner. If I want to have a few beers I will skip dinner to keep calories and carbs under budget. Not everyday but maybe once per week. Then the weight keeps dropping. Oh and pound the water to get 8-10 cups per day. Keeps the skin hydrated and stomach feeling full kind of. Dollar bottles here tonight: http://www.barlouieamerica.com/
 
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My wife/I got out about 10 times/year and eat typically a $100-$120 meal. The food in my area is great in my area. I eat out lunch maybe every week(~$10) as working from home is not very social and a chance to network out. I live 10 minutes from a town (portsmouth, nh) which touts the highest per capita restaurants and cafes in the USA. There are some really good choices. I rarely take my family out to eat as a whole. I definitely think eating out is not worth it in the majority of the USA. Food is not that great. The things I eat out I would have not have the time at home to replicate or knowledge. I don't eat something out that I can cook myself.
 
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A lot, especially over the summer, but I do try to eat well. I'm not a breakfast person but I do eat lunch at a small organic deli most days. During the summer Thursday night is sailing/yachtclub night so that goes to midnight and costs $100 easy. Friday-Sunday is boat stuff, and heck I don't even want to know what that adds up to. In April we go to the car show in NYC and sometimes rack up a $1k+ tab after it. My annual New Years trip is coming up, and we will eat out at some very nice places. I enjoy dinning out, and finding and eating good food while I'm doing it.
 
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