Author Topic: How often do you dine out?  (Read 26271 times)

Mortgage Free Mike

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How often do you dine out?
« on: March 10, 2014, 12:45:16 PM »
MMM's eating out budget is very low. I enjoy eating out with family and friends, so I've justified doing it once or twice a week. Usually, I use some sort of a deal.
Scoutmob is popular where I live. Are there any other apps you use to save on eating out?

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 12:50:40 PM »
We've gone headlong into "debt-reduction mode," which we anticipate we will be in for the next 4-5 years.  Consequentially, we limit our dinning out to once-per-week.  As someone who was once in the restaurant-supply business I miss eating out, but I can't justify spending $30, $40, $50... a meal for the two of us when we can make something at home for <$10.

In the recent past we've used restaurant.com and groupon to pay <50% on local restaurants. 

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 12:59:22 PM »
Warning: I'm not as badass as most people here.  I'm going to wildly guess I eat out more than most.

We usually eat lunch out once a week.  This is sort of a long standing "wifey date" where we get a chance to actually see each other in daylight during the week. 

As for a "real night out at a real restaurant" -- it varies.  Sometimes we will eat out for a birthday or special occasion.  If we do, we usually try to eat somewhere that isn't something easy to have at home: sushi, something ethnic/complicated, etc.  Occasionally we will have outings with "the extended family".  These are often not where I'd pick to eat and are done more just to be with family than to eat out.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 12:59:42 PM »
Eating out is definitely one of the things we do more often than most MMM followers. I'd say we average twice a week, but it has sometimes gone up depending on schedules.

The husband and I both really enjoy eating out (with each other or friends) so it's one of our hobbies and socialization for us. We're FI, and doesn't effect our savings rate in the least. If we weren't FI, then we'd definitely not be doing it as often (in the early days of accumulation, we averaged maybe once a month).

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 01:03:18 PM »
Before I retired it was once a week at an inexpensive Mexican restaurant plus maybe a lunch date every now and then.

Since I retired and started cooking it is now more like once or twice per month.. My Wife thinks I am being romantic when I cook FOR HER...;)


Frank

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 01:05:28 PM »
Too much!  We go out for a proper dinner probably on average once a week, and then we seem to always do a happy hour or pick up lunch on a weekend to put us at an average of twice a week overall.  Maybe even three times a week if you include buying a drink while out on a weekend! 

I'm trying to work on this but we enjoy the time together, and this is an area where DH balks at too much restricting. 

lackofstache

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 01:08:19 PM »
We typically eat out twice per month. We usually go for tacos or something else cheap.

matchewed

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 01:10:06 PM »
Probably 2-4 times a month. It happens more often when I'm ill prepared (hungry and lazy combined with not having a quick and easy meal to prepare). I don't beat myself up for it. I accept that it's a luxury that I'm willing to occasionally pay for.

GuitarStv

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 01:18:30 PM »
Including take out, restaurants, and delivery?

  . . . once every 2-3 months.




We eat better at home for less money . . . our food is both tastier and better for you.  Eating out always feels like disappointment to me.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2014, 01:19:53 PM »
Since I retired and started cooking it is now more like once or twice per month.. My Wife thinks I am being romantic when I cook FOR HER...;)

Frank

+10 for this Frank.  One of the most romantic things a man can do for his wife is to cook for them.

In response to the OP, we typically go out once every month or two.  More often, we look at each other and say "Do you want to go out?"...."Nah, lets eat in.  The food is better and the atmosphere can't be beat.

MustachianAccountant

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2014, 01:20:38 PM »
On average, once every month or two... but I have 3 kids, so going out to dinner is more expensive than just two people.

Funny, we just went out to dinner last night! It was a grand outing!

MustachianAccountant

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2014, 01:22:23 PM »
Since I retired and started cooking it is now more like once or twice per month.. My Wife thinks I am being romantic when I cook FOR HER...;)

You don't need to be retired! I cook for the family once a week - it gives my wife a night off, and I do it with my sons. I call it "Guys' night to cook!"
Plus, I'm giving my sons cooking skills. A win all the way around.

andreab

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2014, 01:26:40 PM »
Typically, I meet up with friends every Friday after work for dinner out.  Up until I discovered MMM a few months ago, I combined that with lunch out 2 to 3 times a week.  (Generally, I grabbed prepared food from the gourmet grocery store in the plaza where I worked -- about $7-9 per meal.)

Now, I'm happy to say, I've been preparing meals and snacks to take to work.  I definitely see a difference in my food spending!

ruthiegirl

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2014, 01:39:21 PM »
Looking over Mint, we ate out 4 times last year.  We have 4 kids and eating out is a serious treat for us, but super spendy.

I didn't know there were apps for eating out.  What do they do for you? 


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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2014, 01:53:19 PM »
Does a one dollar burrito at taco bell count?   If so maybe twice a month, otherwise we ate out at a take out Mexican place as a family on Saturday, followed by a round at a local brewery.    That was the first time we went out to eat since November.

With two young kids dining out just doesn't seem worth it.   They won't eat anything, they get antsy and we have to work extra hard to keep them entertained and quiet.   Beyond that, I'm one hell of a cook if I do say so myself (perhaps my only talent).  And I can generally make anything on a restaurant menu for a quater of the price, with ingredients you can actually pronounce.    Throw in a $.57 home brew that's as good as any commercial offering that's five bucks at the bar, and there really isn't any point to eating out.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2014, 01:55:42 PM »
i try to budget $50 for a weekend, and we normally spend about $30 for eating at a restaurant for 4 after church, its more like our family bonding, we go to cheap places like chinese, vietnamese, thai, chili's have good happy hour stuff on sundays, i think we spent over $50 last January once when we splurged on some brazilian bbq.  i miss eating sushi though, that's also another $50 lunch.

we also buy food for dinner sometimes to get out of the monotonous food (we always cook the same thing, i ran out of ideas and energy sometimes) but i adjust the grocery budget for the week to make way for buying take out food, which i also budget around $15 per night.




greaper007

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2014, 01:59:55 PM »
Since I retired and started cooking it is now more like once or twice per month.. My Wife thinks I am being romantic when I cook FOR HER...;)

You don't need to be retired! I cook for the family once a week - it gives my wife a night off, and I do it with my sons. I call it "Guys' night to cook!"
Plus, I'm giving my sons cooking skills. A win all the way around.

In my mysogynistic opinion, men are better cooks than most women I know.   The men I know that cook (like me) do it because they're passionate about it, unlike a lot of women I know that see it as a chore.   Plus I've never met a man that substituted something ridiculous like yogurt for sour cream in the mashed potatoes.    Jeez, just eat a single serving and go for a run the next day...food is more than fuel!

kolorado

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2014, 02:10:45 PM »
Dine out at a sit-down? Less than once a year. 0 times each of the last two years. No babysitter out here. :P
Get take-away or a burger at Sonic? Once a month.
Our eat-away-from-home and take-away average is $30 a month, family of five.
Since I only average $325 a month for groceries. One cheap and unbalanced meal out is about 10 yummy and healthy meals and snacks at home.
 I worked in a restaurant for 3 years. I've eaten at hundreds of restaurants(my parents love dining out and took us fairly often). I just don't see the value in it. 90% of the foods you can get out can be replicated very easily and cheaply at home with no special tools. Copycat recipes and instructional videos abound online. Friends can come to your home to visit( *gasp* what a concept!).
 Restaurants are a big rip-off.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2014, 02:22:53 PM »
+10 for cooking at home for the Wife and with kids.  I find it to be a great bonding activity during an otherwise hectic work week.  And it's definitely good life skills for the kids.

Re: the OP, we used to eat out once or twice a week, but more arbitrarily than anything else.  We found that meal planning takes 5 minutes just before going shopping on the weekend, and both helps us stay at home more, as well as focuses/reduces out spending at the store.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2014, 02:25:07 PM »
I feel like a champ.  We spent $8 on restaurant food last month (1 chinese take out plate that we stretched into two meals for a family of 5). 

This month we celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  We went out to eat (at the same Chinese restaurant, dine in this time) and spent $16.  We might go out 1-2 more times in March. 

A typical month we spend an average of $80, but that average is creeping down since I retired.  I cook all the time and we have freshly cooked meals often.  Or awesome leftovers (white chicken chili today for lunch, for example).

Since we have 3 kids (one of whom is one year old), a nice sit down restaurant meal is often punctuated with crying from one or more child and occasionally food throwing.  It's quite a hassle to get 3 kids ready to go out and work around nap times and hunger. 

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2014, 02:27:07 PM »
Once a week Nov-March. picks up during prime outdoor soccer season because we travel so much but still only on the weekends then.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2014, 03:13:06 PM »
We're down to a couple times a month.  It used to be a couple time a week, but it just seemed like such a waste of money.

We do fast food/convenience food only on road trips.  We eat very healthy foods at home, so the junk food we get on these kinds of trips is a rare treat.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2014, 03:31:15 PM »
we've cut back A LOT over the last couple months, just by trying to be more conscious about it (we always liked cooking at home too... the problem is we just really like eating in general :)) probably at this point we go out to dinner and/or brunch 3-4x a month. in addition to this my boyfriend probably ends up with ~3x a month where we don't have leftovers and he buys lunch at Sonic or QT (this doesn't happen to me that often because I work a mile from home so I can usually come home and make some pasta or snack on some random stuff from the fridge... maybe once every 2 months I get something from the cafeteria at work).

We eat better at home for less money . . . our food is both tastier and better for you.  Eating out always feels like disappointment to me.

yeah, over the last few years we've gotten better and better at cooking, and more and more often we find ourselves saying this when we do go out to eat ("hmm, we could have made this better at home!"). we've started having steak date night at home once a month, which is soooo good! (and totally a splurge, but waaaaay cheaper than a steakhouse... not that we ever went to steakhouses anyway)

In my mysogynistic opinion, men are better cooks than most women I know.   The men I know that cook (like me) do it because they're passionate about it, unlike a lot of women I know that see it as a chore.   Plus I've never met a man that substituted something ridiculous like yogurt for sour cream in the mashed potatoes.    Jeez, just eat a single serving and go for a run the next day...food is more than fuel!

I assume what you mean here is that although it is likely that ~30% of women are good cooks and ~30% of men are good cooks (I made up that number, just saying it's equal between genders), in many relationships women are forced into doing most of the cooking due to the expectations of their mate, who has been conditioned by society to believe their female partner should cook for them. the result is that the only men who are cooking are the ~30% who are good at it and enjoy it, while ~70% of women are doing the cooking but less than half of these are naturally inclined to cook. (obviously these numbers don't totally work because some people are single, but you get it.) if this is what you mean, I totally agree!

I HOPE that's what you mean... if you just mean a larger percentage of men than women are good cooks, I've never heard of any data to argue for or against that claim, but anecdotally I will say that I am female and a darn good cook... my boyfriend is a pretty good cook but I would definitely say he is generally less enthusiastic/creative/etc. (way better than me at grilling though :))

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2014, 03:31:23 PM »
Too much, but normally it's $7-$10 while I am out with the boys and it's getting to the point where if I don't feed them it will get ugly.

My DH an dI try to go out to eat on a date once a month, but it ends up being more like 4-7 times a year. That is entertainment and socializing and food is just a part of it.

I hate going to expensive places, we were given money and told to go to Ruth's Chris steak house, we went and only spent half of what they gave us without even trying, not sure how they thought it would have to cost $300, but I think we spent $100 including the tip and we ordered the most expensive steak on the menu, go big or go home right? They did have a delicious Sweet potato casserole that I enjoyed. That is the most we have ever spent on a dinner though, by far.

All this talk of eating at home has me hungry, I'm so glad I can already smell the Rodeo chicken and rice I have going, yum.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2014, 03:33:16 PM »
Practically never, except when we're on vacation with my in-laws. (They insist on taking us out for almost every meal.)

A few times a year, tops, otherwise.

greenmimama

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2014, 03:33:56 PM »
Along the lines of men and women cooking, My DH is a better cook than I am, but he can't bake to save his life, unfortunately for our waistlines, I am a good baker if I do say so myself :)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2014, 04:15:12 PM »
Along the lines of men and women cooking, My DH is a better cook than I am, but he can't bake to save his life, unfortunately for our waistlines, I am a good baker if I do say so myself :)

I am a solid cook (can outcook sub-$50 entree restaurants), decent griller (outclassed mainly by my bro-in-law) and baker. My DW can boil ramen.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2014, 04:26:28 PM »
easily a few times per week

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2014, 04:44:24 PM »
I feel silly when I sometimes buy sandwiches for 0.99 because I overslept and didn't have time to bring some from home. (I have more recently taken to preparing sandwiches a loaf at a time, rather than doing them every morning.)

At the beginning of the month I spent a weekend in the idyllic seaside paradise of Bognor Regis (for a Go tournament) and managed not to buy any food while I was there; I took sandwiches and veggie noodles which were fine to eat cold. I used to be a lot worse about planning that sort of thing.

lexie2000

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2014, 04:46:26 PM »
MMM's eating out budget is very low. I enjoy eating out with family and friends, so I've justified doing it once or twice a week. Usually, I use some sort of a deal.
Scoutmob is popular where I live. Are there any other apps you use to save on eating out?

No, cuz I don't have a phone that does apps. 

Eric

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2014, 04:47:44 PM »
Less than once a month.  I think it's usually 9-10 times a year.  I'm a damn good cook and so is my wife, so cooking at home almost always wins.  I could easily do zero, but she likes the occasional splurge.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #31 on: March 10, 2014, 06:13:57 PM »
When we had debt we did not eat out or rarely. Now we go about 1x per week but try to use coupons, go at happy hour, etc. So probably average  about $25/30/week. I am the only one that cooks so it's a treat for me.

eman resu

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #32 on: March 10, 2014, 06:44:30 PM »
We go out two times per week like clockwork: Wed. and Fri. dinner.  $70-$80/wk for two. This is probably our worst financial habit... and the one I know we will struggle the most to improve. Our go-to places are relatively inexpensive, but our meals have a high alcohol content.

I gave up drinking for lent.  I hope we see enough savings in this little window to motivate us to get this item under control.

No app's to recommend, sorry. Just needed to say "out loud" that I have a dining out problem. 
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 06:51:15 PM by eman resu »

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2014, 06:52:51 PM »
We eat out at least 1 time a week; sometime twice (lunch with colleagues for one of us); trying to get it down to once in 2 weeks this year. Mostly around $100/month till 2013.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #34 on: March 10, 2014, 07:07:26 PM »
Since I retired and started cooking it is now more like once or twice per month.. My Wife thinks I am being romantic when I cook FOR HER...;)

You don't need to be retired! I cook for the family once a week - it gives my wife a night off, and I do it with my sons. I call it "Guys' night to cook!"
Plus, I'm giving my sons cooking skills. A win all the way around.

In my mysogynistic opinion, men are better cooks than most women I know.   The men I know that cook (like me) do it because they're passionate about it, unlike a lot of women I know that see it as a chore.   Plus I've never met a man that substituted something ridiculous like yogurt for sour cream in the mashed potatoes.    Jeez, just eat a single serving and go for a run the next day...food is more than fuel!

Oh dear... So much misogyny, so little time.


G-dog

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #35 on: March 10, 2014, 07:13:26 PM »
It varies oat base on how crazy our work schedules are, how organized we are (supplies), etc.  it ranges from 1/ week to 1/ 2 months.
When organized, I do more cooking on the weekend to help us easily get through the week with quick easily available meals.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #36 on: March 10, 2014, 07:18:15 PM »
I couldn't tell you an exact number of times or how often we eat out, because I don't track visits to places, but money spent.

With that in mind: we averaged $74/mo. for two people eating out in 2013 ($33/mo Fast Food, $41/mo Restaurants).

Might be easier to compare hard numbers than rough guesses like "about every week or two."
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Emilyngh

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2014, 07:27:20 PM »
Including takeout, about once a month on average.   This eating out consists of doing each of the below about 2-3 times per year

-I meet a friend for lunch (around $12 or so),
-we get takeout pizza as a family ($25 ish),
-get takeout sushi for an at-home couple date(30% off if picked up before 5pm, so about $30)
-we go to a sit down restaurant as a family or couple for dinner ( $40-$50)
-lunch out as a family while traveling or seeing some sight ($20-$30)

Time seems to fly for me, so doing one of the above about once a month on average feels like we go out to eat often.   However, it's not so often that we stop enjoying/appreciating it.

Edited to add: I don't have much harder numbers than this, but DH and I cover all eating out from our personal allowances of $75 ea per month.   However, these personal allowances not only cover this eating out, but all clothing for the two of us (other than gifts), any haircuts or makeup we buy, electronics, movies, and pretty much everything else that could be categorized as personal or entertainment spending, and often build up in our checking accounts because we don't completely spend them.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 07:37:19 PM by Emilyngh »

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2014, 07:34:31 PM »
My husband and i go out for dinner on Fridays- but inexpensively $25.00 for both is about right.  And I meet up with a good friend about twice a month for lunch.  So I go out for meals six times a month.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #39 on: March 10, 2014, 10:32:05 PM »
I would say 3 times a week.  One of those is usually <$30 for the two of us.  The other two tends to be $15-20 for good pizza and drinks.  We're definitely gonna have to cut this down soon to keep out food budget under $400/month for the two of us.

AlexK

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2014, 10:45:37 PM »
My 2 year average is $38/month on restaurants. Today I went out for lunch... $1.07 for burger, fries, and drink. Date night is at a local Mexican restaurant, $13 for two people with margaritas. It's nice to live in a casino town.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2014, 10:58:22 PM »
Only when I'm obligated to go for a birthday dinner or some such. Maybe once or twice a year.
I don't really enjoy it, especially since they never choose vegan-friendly places, and I'm stuck with the 2 or 3 side dishes that don't have animal ingredients in them.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2014, 11:06:33 PM »
According to Mint, in 2013 we ate actual meals from restaurants 9 times. Three of those were when I was in the hospital and my boyfriend was picking up food for himself or me. There were 12 other transactions that we classify as "restaurants" which other people might not - we got donuts/pastries 4 times, movie popcorn 4 times, and fries a few times when we were out with friends. The total spent was $220.19.

So I guess we average a little under two transactions a month, with an actual restaurant meal being pretty rare.

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2014, 12:35:37 AM »
I feel like a champ.  We spent $8 on restaurant food last month (1 chinese take out plate that we stretched into two meals for a family of 5). 

Must have been a hella big plate.

We eat out once every two weeks. I work an odd schedule and have every other weekend off, that's usually when we go out. It used to be a lot more until I found this place back in October.

Mlkmn

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #44 on: March 11, 2014, 12:40:02 AM »
We only eat out when someone else invites us as their treat or we have a gift card that we received from work or as a gift... so not very often. Last time we paid to eat out was $12 at Steak & Shake in December because of poor meal planning that day. So one time where we paid in the last 5-6 months.

We are in debt reduction mode and fundraising for an adoption, so we don't think it is right for us to go out to eat when other people are giving us money.

We haven't had entertainment, personal, or "fun" money budgeted since October. It gets easier with time.

kaetana

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #45 on: March 11, 2014, 03:15:42 AM »
This is something I've been really trying to curb, and while there's been an improvement, we're still not where I'd like to be. We used to eat out maybe five times a week. Now we're down to once a month just the two of us. Where I fail, though, is at turning other people down. When it's my husband, I know we're on the same page. Explaining to my non-Mustachian friends that I suddenly don't want to go out with them and that it doesn't say anything about our friendship is much more difficult. I also find it difficult to say no to people I work with - somehow I feel like going out with work friends could be detrimental to my career.

Nudelkopf

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2014, 04:35:58 AM »
I have a pub-style dinner or lunch maybe once a week. My housemates & I, and/or some people from church, have gotten into the habit of having Sunday lunch together. It's $10-$20 for a meal.

kt

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2014, 04:45:51 AM »
around 5 times a year (excluding eating out on holiday) which is usually one birthday meal, one or two meals when visiting friends and one or two with family.

Gray Matter

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2014, 04:57:58 AM »
We eat out a fair amount--probably once a week as a family.  We rarely eat out unless with other people, but we like to socialize, so we may take the kids bowling with friends and get pizza or something along those lines.  Also, if a colleague asks me to go out to lunch or coffee, the answer will generally be yes, and then I'll try to steer them towards something inexpensive.  It's an important part of the networking and culture where I work (I don't think that's just excusitis talking, but it could be).

What I have cut out completely is the, "I'm too tired/lazy to cook" eating out and grabbing of to-go lunches at work.  Now I pack my lunch and always have quick-to-make meals at home.  So if we eat out, it's intentional and for the experience, not habit or laziness.  I don't like to cook, so this is major progress for me.

Rural

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Re: How often do you dine out?
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2014, 06:27:58 AM »
We seem to average about once a week, but it's irregular. Nothing for two or three weeks, and then two or  three times in one week, usually associated with visitors coming to see us.

Restaurants around here run under $20 for dinner for two including tip, so our cost averages out around $80 or just under per month. I fought to get this down for years, but I think I've finally given up. It's not hurting us, it seems to take enough pressure off to make life a little better, and I think the little better is better enough to be worth the cost and the extra time at work.  It's not really extra time at work, anyway, because I'm determined to stay at least long enough to vest in the state pension fund, another six years. So, I've made my peace with this. We make it up in other ways, and both of us are happier.