Author Topic: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores  (Read 42984 times)

Sid Hoffman

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This is actually a really disturbing trend, as it seems to be part of a long-term culture shift.  The writer says this is GOOD news because it means the economy must be strong, but of course we all know this is false economy.  It would be like if Americans were spending $300/month for cable TV.  Sure, that's neat if everyone could afford that, but it is still wasteful compared to cheaper alternatives.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/january-spending-bars-restaurants-topped-234607886.html

Quote
In January, Americans spent more at bars and restaurants than at grocery stores.

This chart, which we first saw from economist Mark Perry, shows that in January, spending at bars at restaurants totaled $50,475,000,000 against $50,466,000,000 spent at grocery stores.

Earlier in February, we highlighted this chart, which showed that spending at restaurants and bars rose 11.3% over the prior year, boosted by an increase in consumer confidence as gas prices crashed in the second half of 2014.

A serious sign of strength in discretionary spending from American consumers.

dragoncar

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2015, 01:00:19 PM »
That's so easy though.  My groceries for the month are like $5 of lentils.  That's one lunch out in SF.

MgoSam

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2015, 01:26:09 PM »
That's so easy though.  My groceries for the month are like $5 of lentils.  That's one lunch out in SF.

$5 for a lunch in SF? That might be on the lighter side from what I have read about prices in SF. How do you cook the lentils, and please let me know if you have any recommendations. I am not a huge fan of daal, so looking for easy things to do with it.

skunkfunk

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2015, 01:41:48 PM »
My lentil farm, a few guys came by and cleaned it up today. Most unfortunate, I'll have to start over.

 

dragoncar

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 02:05:13 PM »
That's so easy though.  My groceries for the month are like $5 of lentils.  That's one lunch out in SF.

$5 for a lunch in SF? That might be on the lighter side from what I have read about prices in SF. How do you cook the lentils, and please let me know if you have any recommendations. I am not a huge fan of daal, so looking for easy things to do with it.

Depends where you go, of course.

I like basic lentils cooked in a pressure cooker with onions, carrots, celery, and stock.  Add some seasonings and hot sauce.  Simple but nice.

MoneyRx

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2015, 02:14:47 PM »
Going to rant a bit: Saw this today and wasn't too surprised. I am starting to get to the point where I am a little bit disgusted with myself when I go out to eat, both for financial and health reasons. An easy way to sum it up is I feel stupid for being there. There is often a line of people waiting to be seated, and for everyone there its just the norm. There are tons of restaurants around here and most seem to be making a killing. There seems to be a high portion of lazy, self-entitled, and generally overweight and unhealthy people eating in restaurants when I go. I get that it feels easy and convenient, but the time it often takes is longer than preparing and eating at home, and at a much higher cost. Even if it is just my wife and I going, it seems the bill is always $30+ and usually ~$50 after tip for a meal that is generally unhealthy and some times could have been made at home.
It can be fun to eat out with friends/family, but in my opinion it is one of the most un-mustachian things out there.
Sorry, rant over.

mm1970

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 02:35:34 PM »
Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

MoneyRx

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2015, 03:54:20 PM »
Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

Baby steps. It is difficult to do, especially when getting together with friends often involves going out to eat. I have not found a way around this, although some have suggested hosting pot lucks. I have gone to friends houses where they are grilling and its just bring whatever you want to grill and this works really well. My feelings stated above still stand, but for the most part right now, we generally just go out to eat and have a good time while still trying to stay conscious of spending and health...there are other ways to save money.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 03:56:03 PM by MoneyRx »

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2015, 03:54:35 PM »
I was initially surprised that bar/restaurant spending could have only just surpassed grocery store spending -- surely people have been spending more going out to eat than they have on groceries for years!

Then I realized I was thinking in terms of my $300/month grocery spend, not the $500-1000/month that most people spend.

WildJager

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2015, 10:36:13 AM »
Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

Baby steps. It is difficult to do, especially when getting together with friends often involves going out to eat. I have not found a way around this, although some have suggested hosting pot lucks. I have gone to friends houses where they are grilling and its just bring whatever you want to grill and this works really well. My feelings stated above still stand, but for the most part right now, we generally just go out to eat and have a good time while still trying to stay conscious of spending and health...there are other ways to save money.

My wife and I invite our friends over all the time for nice home cooked meals on the weekends.  A lot of people elect not to come and eat out instead.  A lot of that is simply so they can go hit up the night life afterwords (clubs and what not), but it blows my mind that they'd rather pay to sit at a restaurant than eat a real meal for free.  Their loss I guess.

Recently I was out of town for a work function.  There was a grill outside of where we lived, and I offered to grill up some steaks for everyone.  The group decided to go downtown to a steak house instead.  All I could do was laugh it off... and decline the invitation to go.  It saddens me that we as a society would rather go out to eat and be served on than gather around a fire and enjoy a nice night together.

Otsog

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2015, 12:14:46 PM »
I love that you can see a grocery spike for Y2K

Cassie

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2015, 12:25:34 PM »
WE go out to eat about 1x per week. We sometimes go with friends & sometimes cook for friends instead. It is a social event either way. The restaurant portions are so big that I cut my meal in half & have enough for another meal. We did not do this when young but now at 60 we intend to enjoy ourselves.  It brings us great value but for others that may not be the case. If we get invited to someone's house for dinner we always go. I can't imagine turning down an invite just to eat out. 

MoneyCat

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2015, 12:40:15 PM »
I hope other people continue to waste their money on bars and restaurants, because it will increase the value of my stocks.  Throw your money away, sheep.  I will take your money.

Cassie

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2015, 12:52:55 PM »
Spending your $ in line with your values does not make people sheep-mindless spending & keeping up with the Jones's does. YOu will find that as you age your priorities will change & you will value experiences much more then things.

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2015, 01:43:51 PM »
Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

Baby steps. It is difficult to do, especially when getting together with friends often involves going out to eat. I have not found a way around this, although some have suggested hosting pot lucks. I have gone to friends houses where they are grilling and its just bring whatever you want to grill and this works really well. My feelings stated above still stand, but for the most part right now, we generally just go out to eat and have a good time while still trying to stay conscious of spending and health...there are other ways to save money.

My wife and I invite our friends over all the time for nice home cooked meals on the weekends.  A lot of people elect not to come and eat out instead.  A lot of that is simply so they can go hit up the night life afterwords (clubs and what not), but it blows my mind that they'd rather pay to sit at a restaurant than eat a real meal for free.  Their loss I guess.

Recently I was out of town for a work function.  There was a grill outside of where we lived, and I offered to grill up some steaks for everyone.  The group decided to go downtown to a steak house instead.  All I could do was laugh it off... and decline the invitation to go.  It saddens me that we as a society would rather go out to eat and be served on than gather around a fire and enjoy a nice night together.
To be fair on your last paragraph, you were out of town for a work function so the the group going downtown to a steakhouse for dinner was most likely doing it on the company dime anyways.

aschmidt2930

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2015, 02:37:24 PM »
I see nothing surprising about this.  I also think it depends on the person to whether this is unreasonable or not.  For a young, single, person whose grocery bill is about $35/wk at Aldi, I don't see it as a problem.  If we're talking about a family of five who shops at Whole Foods, then yeah, this is likely a huge problem. 

WildJager

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2015, 03:18:29 PM »
Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

Baby steps. It is difficult to do, especially when getting together with friends often involves going out to eat. I have not found a way around this, although some have suggested hosting pot lucks. I have gone to friends houses where they are grilling and its just bring whatever you want to grill and this works really well. My feelings stated above still stand, but for the most part right now, we generally just go out to eat and have a good time while still trying to stay conscious of spending and health...there are other ways to save money.

My wife and I invite our friends over all the time for nice home cooked meals on the weekends.  A lot of people elect not to come and eat out instead.  A lot of that is simply so they can go hit up the night life afterwords (clubs and what not), but it blows my mind that they'd rather pay to sit at a restaurant than eat a real meal for free.  Their loss I guess.

Recently I was out of town for a work function.  There was a grill outside of where we lived, and I offered to grill up some steaks for everyone.  The group decided to go downtown to a steak house instead.  All I could do was laugh it off... and decline the invitation to go.  It saddens me that we as a society would rather go out to eat and be served on than gather around a fire and enjoy a nice night together.
To be fair on your last paragraph, you were out of town for a work function so the the group going downtown to a steakhouse for dinner was most likely doing it on the company dime anyways.

Nah, military.  We get some per diem, so I guess you could call that "on the company dime," but it really just supplements your paycheck.

I just save the extra.  Most people do consider it "free money" and blow it, however.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2015, 03:42:54 PM »
Nah, military.  We get some per diem, so I guess you could call that "on the company dime," but it really just supplements your paycheck.

I just save the extra.  Most people do consider it "free money" and blow it, however.

I was going to ask about it too, since I've seen companies that do it each way.  Like my current company issues a corporate Visa and you just save the receipts so you can match up your receipt with whatever charges are on the corporate Visa card.  However for ones where they just tell you it's $10-$15+25 (breakfast, lunch, dinner) then I would basically bring food, mooch off others, or even stop by a grocery store rather than go out to restaurants.  Like you said, it's effectively just part of your paycheck if they're doing it per diem.  Very different mindset than when they give you a company card and you can spend all the way up to the meal limit.

MoneyCat

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2015, 03:45:13 PM »
I've never really understood the appeal of drinking at a bar.  You generally get one beer for the retail cost of a six-pack and everything is really loud and you don't get to control the music.  Meanwhile, drunk people rub up against you and proposition you and there may be a fight or two and you can't even hear the commentators on the game on the TV screens that are smaller than the one you have at home.  Why not just buy a case of beer and invite some friends over?  Seems like a better and much cheaper way to have some suds and socializing.

caliq

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2015, 03:53:51 PM »
I've never really understood the appeal of drinking at a bar.  You generally get one beer for the retail cost of a six-pack and everything is really loud and you don't get to control the music.  Meanwhile, drunk people rub up against you and proposition you and there may be a fight or two and you can't even hear the commentators on the game on the TV screens that are smaller than the one you have at home.  Why not just buy a case of beer and invite some friends over?  Seems like a better and much cheaper way to have some suds and socializing.

+1

Plus you have to worry about driving home...

dragoncar

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2015, 09:18:34 PM »
I've never really understood the appeal of drinking at a bar.  You generally get one beer for the retail cost of a six-pack and everything is really loud and you don't get to control the music.  Meanwhile, drunk people rub up against you and proposition you and there may be a fight or two and you can't even hear the commentators on the game on the TV screens that are smaller than the one you have at home.  Why not just buy a case of beer and invite some friends over?  Seems like a better and much cheaper way to have some suds and socializing.

You answered your own question, I think.

Bob W

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2015, 09:42:03 PM »
Nothing better than drinking at a bar with friends.

MoneyCat

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2015, 09:32:47 AM »
I've never really understood the appeal of drinking at a bar.  You generally get one beer for the retail cost of a six-pack and everything is really loud and you don't get to control the music.  Meanwhile, drunk people rub up against you and proposition you and there may be a fight or two and you can't even hear the commentators on the game on the TV screens that are smaller than the one you have at home.  Why not just buy a case of beer and invite some friends over?  Seems like a better and much cheaper way to have some suds and socializing.

You answered your own question, I think.

I guess some people have a fetish for alcoholism?  Still don't get it.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2015, 01:08:10 PM »
Some of my inner city friends claim that it's cheaper to eat out than go to the grocery store. Could this be possible in an urban setting? I don't see this as realistic in the suburbs.

Ftao93

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2015, 02:23:24 PM »
Some of my inner city friends claim that it's cheaper to eat out than go to the grocery store. Could this be possible in an urban setting? I don't see this as realistic in the suburbs.

Not terribly realistic in the urban sense! 

$150 is a big, maybe 3 week grocery bill.   Eating out is $20 easy, more if I have drinks (and I WILL!).

We still spend way too much out, but we've cut down.  I figure I don't mind eating a meal out now and again, so long as it's not 4x week+ 2 more drinks or something.

randymarsh

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2015, 03:11:58 PM »
Some of my inner city friends claim that it's cheaper to eat out than go to the grocery store. Could this be possible in an urban setting? I don't see this as realistic in the suburbs.

Really depends on what they're buying at the grocery store. There's a lot of pricey convenience items at the grocery that I'm sure many city dwellers, especially young ones, buy: precut fruits/vegetables, food in single serving containers, etc.

There's also the growing trend of spending tons of money at places like Whole Foods. I've been to a few in my city and they're typically packed and the shoppers tend to be younger.

I will say that some eating out isn't as expensive as it initially looks. You get a huge amount of calories from a $7 Chipotle burrito. If I eat it all at lunch, I'm probably going to have a very light dinner. Or I can split it and get two meals.

I'm single, live in a urban area, and my average 6 month food spend is $470. This includes groceries (lots of home/toiletry stuff in here), restaurants, and alcohol. My average 3 month is $330 as I've cut back on alcohol and made smarter grocery decisions. There's no way eating out is cheaper unless you're buying the expensive version of everything at the grocery.

Indexer

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2015, 06:32:02 PM »
This is probably true for me.  Its not because I spend outrageous amounts eating out.  Its because I'm single and when I buy food at the grocery store its for 1 person who isn't picky at all.  I buy lots of stuff for sandwiches, rice, and such.  My dinner tonight will cost me $1.20, and my lunch cost me $0.74.  I did however also snack on some trail mix earlier.  I can easily buy enough food for two weeks on $60.  Now if I go out to eat with friends, or if we all pitch in and make a meal I could end up spending $20-30.  So just eating out once a week and my eating out budget equals my grocery bill.  I am guilty of eating out more than once a week.

My eating out budget is the one area where I'm not very mustachian, but spending time with friends(who aren't all mustachian) is something I enjoy.  For me the difference between being frugal and enjoying it vs being miserable is being able to eat out occasionally with friends.  I was averaging around $350/month total food budget(grocery+eating out), but that has been a little higher lately because I did some traveling to see family.  This month will probably end up around $360. 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 06:33:55 PM by Indexer »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2015, 06:52:57 PM »
With a $150 a month grocery budget, which I stay well under most months, I definitely fit into this category as well. =D

capital

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2015, 11:10:38 PM »
My eating out budget is the one area where I'm not very mustachian, but spending time with friends(who aren't all mustachian) is something I enjoy.  For me the difference between being frugal and enjoying it vs being miserable is being able to eat out occasionally with friends.
Samesies.

Also I live in New York, where eating out means sampling ethnic food from just about anywhere on Earth, as opposed to the same ol' chain restaurants. There's no way I could get anywhere near as good at cooking more than, say, 2 of those cuisines.

GuitarStv

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2015, 06:51:01 AM »
I've never really understood the appeal of drinking at a bar.  You generally get one beer for the retail cost of a six-pack and everything is really loud and you don't get to control the music.  Meanwhile, drunk people rub up against you and proposition you and there may be a fight or two and you can't even hear the commentators on the game on the TV screens that are smaller than the one you have at home.  Why not just buy a case of beer and invite some friends over?  Seems like a better and much cheaper way to have some suds and socializing.

You answered your own question, I think.

I guess some people have a fetish for alcoholism?  Still don't get it.

Live music.  Drinking at a small hole in the wall bar with a few friends and listening to a decent blues band is pretty awesome.

There are other types of bars . . . some that require you sweatily gyrate at other people while screaming "HELLO?  HELLO?" over loud music, and some where there's a blaring TV in the corner.  Those ones I don't really get either.

Zikoris

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2015, 09:19:54 AM »
Interesting. Last year we spent $257 on restaurants and $2426 on groceries. So far in 2015 we're at $74 for restaurants and $470 for groceries. Somehow I don't think we'll be part of this statistic.

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2015, 10:15:59 AM »

My wife and I invite our friends over all the time for nice home cooked meals on the weekends.  A lot of people elect not to come and eat out instead.  A lot of that is simply so they can go hit up the night life afterwords (clubs and what not), but it blows my mind that they'd rather pay to sit at a restaurant than eat a real meal for free.  Their loss I guess.


I have friends over most Saturday nights for D&D. They typically bring fast food rather than eat whatever I'm cooking. "Nah, I don't want chicken tonight, sorry." Impossible to satisfy everybody. Made yellow curry last Saturday and only 4 of us ate it.

Pooperman

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2015, 11:48:00 AM »
Showed this to fiance. Reply: "Everyone is too lazy to cook."

hernandz

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2015, 04:01:05 PM »
While catching up on laundry, there was a marathon of "Bar Rescue" and I thought it very interesting that the host considered each bar stool as generating $10K/year.  In some of the episodes, they spoke about a patron stays almost an hour longer if the bar offers food, and will therefore purchase more drinks while eating. Wish I remember the average upsell, but I'm not a drinker so it didn't stick in my head.

Of course, much of the show is about the thrill of the trainwreck -- the more temper tantrums and food safety violations they can pack in, the more profitable the show apparently. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2015, 07:03:34 AM »
Interesting. Last year we spent $257 on restaurants and $2426 on groceries. So far in 2015 we're at $74 for restaurants and $470 for groceries. Somehow I don't think we'll be part of this statistic.

Last year we were 20$ spend on restaurants and about 2600$ on groceries.  We're aiming for 0$ this year.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2015, 08:09:55 AM »
Going to rant a bit: Saw this today and wasn't too surprised. I am starting to get to the point where I am a little bit disgusted with myself when I go out to eat, both for financial and health reasons. An easy way to sum it up is I feel stupid for being there. There is often a line of people waiting to be seated, and for everyone there its just the norm. There are tons of restaurants around here and most seem to be making a killing. There seems to be a high portion of lazy, self-entitled, and generally overweight and unhealthy people eating in restaurants when I go. I get that it feels easy and convenient, but the time it often takes is longer than preparing and eating at home, and at a much higher cost. Even if it is just my wife and I going, it seems the bill is always $30+ and usually ~$50 after tip for a meal that is generally unhealthy and some times could have been made at home.
It can be fun to eat out with friends/family, but in my opinion it is one of the most un-mustachian things out there.
Sorry, rant over.

yeah this (bolded part) is what I always point out to my boyfriend. honestly unless I am SUPER exhausted and our kitchen is a mess and/or we're low on groceries (the latter basically never happens), going out to eat is usually more of a hassle than cooking something basic yet delicious at home.

Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

Baby steps. It is difficult to do, especially when getting together with friends often involves going out to eat. I have not found a way around this, although some have suggested hosting pot lucks. I have gone to friends houses where they are grilling and its just bring whatever you want to grill and this works really well. My feelings stated above still stand, but for the most part right now, we generally just go out to eat and have a good time while still trying to stay conscious of spending and health...there are other ways to save money.

I'm really excited now that it's getting warm out again, our group of friends will start getting together to eat at each other's houses more often instead of going out. I mean people have potlucks and stuff in the winter too, but most of us have pretty small houses but nice outdoor spaces, plus grilling is just so easy in a big group.

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2015, 10:30:46 AM »
A co-worker confessed to me that his family spends $1600 at Tim Horton's in a month.  Breakfast sandwiches and coffee for a family of 4 on the way to school/work and sometimes supper on the way home.  Even if we assume this happens 20 days a month, that's $80/day!!!  I just don't see how that's possible.

Zikoris

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2015, 10:53:34 AM »
We wouldn't eat in restaurants at all, except:

1. The local artisan donuterie rocks. They come up with all kinds of crazy flavors. We stop in once a month and spend $6 for one donut each.

2. Sometimes we run out of food the evening before traveling internationally, since we try to eat everything perishable prior to leaving rather than throwing anything out. Not every trip, but it happens sometimes.

3. We have a standing agreement that I don't have to cook on my birthday. Since I wouldn't want to eat anything my boyfriend could cook, he takes me out for lunch instead (and we have leftovers for dinner).

4. He takes me out for dinner somewhere nice once a year on either Valentine's day or our anniversary.

5. A few times a year we grab fries or get appies at a bar with friends.

All of that together totals between $200 and $275 per year, which we're cool with.

mm1970

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2015, 12:08:03 PM »
Eating out can be a hard habit to break.  At the beginning of the year, I made a commitment to cut our grocery bill, but then our eating out bill went through the roof.  And much of it was laziness.  Hey, we just finished swim lessons, let's stop.  Oh, let's go get ice cream.  Hey, there's a fundraiser for the school. Let's meet at the burger place for fun!

So I made a commitment about 3 weeks ago that we wouldn't eat out until our vacation in late March.  (With a few exceptions: if someone else is paying-work lunch, if we already paid for it-gift card or once a week school lunch, and for my son's birthday party.)

It has been incredibly hard.  Invited out for several things - girl's night, toddler group at the burger place.  Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

My husband was traveling this week and obviously ate out a lot.  I pieced together a random selection of food for lunch today.  But he decided to go out because there really wasn't anything for him to take that didn't require a lot of prep.

Three weeks down and three more to go.

Baby steps. It is difficult to do, especially when getting together with friends often involves going out to eat. I have not found a way around this, although some have suggested hosting pot lucks. I have gone to friends houses where they are grilling and its just bring whatever you want to grill and this works really well. My feelings stated above still stand, but for the most part right now, we generally just go out to eat and have a good time while still trying to stay conscious of spending and health...there are other ways to save money.
I think the hardest thing is that it's SUCH a habit for the people that I know.

We have plenty of social interaction without eating out, though.  Our neighborhood families meet for brunch on Sunday for a potluck in the park (So Cal, great weather!)  In the summer it's in the evening.  So I still get to be social with my friends, just not all of my friends.

But seriously, in one month alone it would amount to 10-15 invites "out". 

Quark

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2015, 12:33:47 PM »
I had to look up false economy but I'm not sure how it pertains to what you were talking about?

From Wiki: "A false economy is an action that saves money at the beginning but which, over a longer period of time, results in more money being spent or wasted than being saved. For example, if a city government decided to purchase the least expensive automobiles for use by city workers, it might be termed a false economy, as cheap automobiles have a record of needing more frequent repairs in the long term and the additional repair costs would eradicate any initial savings"

Bob W

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2015, 12:51:10 PM »
OK,  I'm convinced.   I generally don't eat much at restaurants but will make it my personal goal to see just how long I can go without actually eating at a restaurant,  take out or whatever.   I'm fat,  so even if I ate nothing for an entire month I would still be overweight. 

That and I'm adding -- only eat healthy food at home

I've pretty much cut out the beer --- so it is also -- no bars for me as well.   I am marking my calendar today.   

zoltani

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2015, 01:11:34 PM »
I really fail to see what is so disturbing about this. Who cares?

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2015, 02:30:36 PM »
I love restaurants.  TBH if money were no object (ha, ha right?) I'd eat out most of the time.  As it is, we keep a $40/mo eating out budget.  That might be one sit-down meal at a casual place, or save up for 2 months for a nice restaurant, or a few fast food/take & bake pizza stops.

That's about 23% of our entire food budget.

MoneyRx

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2015, 02:52:46 PM »
I really fail to see what is so disturbing about this. Who cares?
Its showing the progression of the "I'll just pay someone else to do it" mindset, further showing that no one wants to do anything for themselves any more. Also, if you think of it in terms of health, this is leading to a sicker population due to unhealthy eating habits (not that you can't eat a healthy meal at a restaurant, but on average it would be much healthier to buy groceries).

MoneyRx

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2015, 03:08:15 PM »
I love restaurants.  TBH if money were no object (ha, ha right?) I'd eat out most of the time.  As it is, we keep a $40/mo eating out budget.  That might be one sit-down meal at a casual place, or save up for 2 months for a nice restaurant, or a few fast food/take & bake pizza stops.

That's about 23% of our entire food budget.

You say you love restaurants, but according to this study, there are a lot more people who love them more than you! One meal out a month is a very low number comparatively, and a $130/month grocery bill is very low.

Cookie78

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2015, 03:20:44 PM »
Going to rant a bit: Saw this today and wasn't too surprised. I am starting to get to the point where I am a little bit disgusted with myself when I go out to eat, both for financial and health reasons. An easy way to sum it up is I feel stupid for being there. There is often a line of people waiting to be seated, and for everyone there its just the norm. There are tons of restaurants around here and most seem to be making a killing. There seems to be a high portion of lazy, self-entitled, and generally overweight and unhealthy people eating in restaurants when I go. I get that it feels easy and convenient, but the time it often takes is longer than preparing and eating at home, and at a much higher cost. Even if it is just my wife and I going, it seems the bill is always $30+ and usually ~$50 after tip for a meal that is generally unhealthy and some times could have been made at home.
It can be fun to eat out with friends/family, but in my opinion it is one of the most un-mustachian things out there.
Sorry, rant over.

yeah this (bolded part) is what I always point out to my boyfriend. honestly unless I am SUPER exhausted and our kitchen is a mess and/or we're low on groceries (the latter basically never happens), going out to eat is usually more of a hassle than cooking something basic yet delicious at home.

Agreed! I have some exceptions for my go to places, like my super fast cheap delicious Vietnamese restaurant down the street, but for the most part eating at restaurants is more of a hassle than it's worth to me.

zoltani

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2015, 03:24:50 PM »
I really fail to see what is so disturbing about this. Who cares?
Its showing the progression of the "I'll just pay someone else to do it" mindset, further showing that no one wants to do anything for themselves any more. Also, if you think of it in terms of health, this is leading to a sicker population due to unhealthy eating habits (not that you can't eat a healthy meal at a restaurant, but on average it would be much healthier to buy groceries).

I'm still not disturbed.

Wouldn't those same people pay for convenience at the grocery store as well, largely choosing processed ready made meals? Which is more/less healthy?

   

Zamboni

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #47 on: March 10, 2015, 03:28:12 PM »
Today we are having layoffs at work and people went out for tacos.  I've been out a couple of times for pre-paid events, and we went out for beer last night because of the looming layoffs (someone else paid though).  Depending on your group of friends, avoiding meals out is a challenge.

This just boggles my mind.  It's like we might all lose of jobs, so let's go spend some money!

We had a snow storm here a couple of weeks ago that made driving very treacherous for a few days.  By the end of the second day, people had stayed home all day but I could see a bunch of people digging out their cars to go out to dinner.  I get cabin fever, but the roads are bad, people, that's why you had the day off from work today!  Do you have nothing in your house your could eat?  Seriously, though, I'm sure McDonald's and Chili's had decent receipts on those days.

MoneyRx

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2015, 09:43:45 AM »
I really fail to see what is so disturbing about this. Who cares?
Its showing the progression of the "I'll just pay someone else to do it" mindset, further showing that no one wants to do anything for themselves any more. Also, if you think of it in terms of health, this is leading to a sicker population due to unhealthy eating habits (not that you can't eat a healthy meal at a restaurant, but on average it would be much healthier to buy groceries).

I'm still not disturbed.

Wouldn't those same people pay for convenience at the grocery store as well, largely choosing processed ready made meals? Which is more/less healthy?

 

Good point, money spent at grocery stores doesn't automatically mean healthy, although I would argue it definitely does mean less expensive and on average would mean more healthy when compared to restaurants.

Kaspian

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Re: Americans now spend more in bars & restaurants than grocery stores
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2015, 11:22:39 AM »
"Americans are spending more at bars and restaurants than grocery stores for the first time in history"

...And queue the next tear-jerking article which will read:  "Middle class Americans feeling the financial squeeze like never before--impossible to save in these tough economic times."