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Last evening, on ABC News, it was reported that Americans now budget more money for eating meals out of the house than they spend for food to prepare at home.

For 20-50 years old, after housing, eating-out was the next largest item in the yearly budget.

For, 50+ year olds, eating out was the 3rd. largest item after housing and medical care.

While people like Bill Clinton might consider this good for the economy (service jobs and lower unemployment, employment in cases of the illegal immigrants), I think it is a tragedy in terms of personal finance (don't forget the billions of unnecassary miles driven weekly in this country just to reach the restaurants and fast-food places) and health issues.

I bet many who post here eat few meals out of the house.
 

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My DH gets paid twice a month, so we usually save eating out for those two days. For us, 'eating out' can be as simple as fast food or Friendly's or pizza. Anything else is a special occasion. We eat out maybe 3X per month on average?

Never understood why people eat out more than that, but I enjoy trying to stretch a dollar and make something out of nothing - it's in my blood, I guess. "let's see what I can make with this leftover pork bone" and "OH BOY! I have a chicken carcass in there!!"
 

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bunny slave
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I don't think it's cheaper at all to eat out, and if you're talking about fast food, that's no bargain. You can eat quite healthy on the cheap if you're smart about it.

We pretty much only eat out when we're traveling, or if friends/family want to get together. That's plenty. I would rather stay home any time - I honestly think I'm better than most restaurant chefs. :cool:
 

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Vickiesmom, I dunno about that... I suppose if people were doing the dollar foods from some burger joint, perhaps. I much prefer to take a few dollars and make a huge pot of soup or beans than eat greasy death in a paper sack, though.

We used to be friends with a couple with four children (increased to five while they were here, now up to six) and she preferred to eat out almost every meal. I was often out with her and the children, and it was not at all uncommon for her to spend fifty dollars A DAY feeding them, and that was of course fast food. Do you know what i could do with fifty dollars a day? lol
 

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I dont like going out to eat but my hubby does and every time we do I feel guilty
knowing how much more I could get in grocerys..Ive tryed explaining it to him ...
but it doesnt help much. He was raised on that junk.
 

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We have been eating out a bit more this summer. I guess it's because the kido is going his own way. Usually once a week together, H and I. It's nothing big. Sometimes we just buy a ring of heartattack sausage, cheese, and french bread to eat as we take the long way home from town.

I don't know where these people eat to think that they would save more money eatting out than shopping and cooking. Maybe that's it. People just don't know how to cook anymore. Or rather cooking for them is a frozen slab of lasagna and a dump bag of salad.

It's always been cheaper for us to fix/make it from scratch. Just made 4 loaves of bread, Giant banana-apple muffins, and HB rolls for the next few days. Stopped at a few of the family homes and dropped off some bread and will bake again in a few days. Took all of ten min. to whip up the bread dough with the food processor. Yes, I'm getting lazy. Always did it the hand way before. lol
 

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being a Mrs. is an honor
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we 'plan' on a meal out once a month. BUT, next week will be kinda crazy because we are out of town to watch DD at DCI finals in pasadena. We'll take sammie's for lunch, but dinner will be out ThFS...home on Sunday (can't wait, she's been gone since may!!!) That will kinda tweak the food budget for August, but def. a special week so well worth the budgeting before hand for it...

How do people eat out all the time??? We see it a lot w/ younger guys at DH work. Then they complain about not having any $$$ as they jump in their big trucks (that have never hauled a thing but their behinds...) run off to a local taco place, go to happy hour after work and 'clubbing' on the weekends. their wives wonder how I've been able to stay at home all this time and I really don't have an answer for them...or at least one they want to hear, that is!

=)Bonnie
 

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We try not to eat out much because we like home cooking. Sometimes it just works out time wise for us to go out to eat. We also will eat out with friends on occasion. I don't like to eat out on Friday nights so we cook that night and go out on a different night. Plus we do eat out on Sunday afternoons after church. It is expensive at times but then we will have weeks where we might eat breakfast out on Saturday morning and that's it. I prefer my cooking, but there are just 2 of us and we will split a meal when we dine out.

I just don't get where they think it's cheaper to eat out though.
 

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We eat out once a week. We live 65 miles from Walmart and the bigger grocery stores. We do all of our errands in one day and then usually eat out for fun. Most of the time it's lunch specials at the mexican restaurant (before the grocery store...lol) but sometimes it's the dollar menu from a fast food place. If we're really feeling rich we go to the chinese buffet. Once school starts and I'm doing my shopping alone my lunch will probably consist of a Butterfinger and a coke. lol It's a treat to go out because there are no quick meals out here. Even to go to the nearest restaurant it's a 20 minute drive. I might as well cook! and I agree, I'm a better cook than many of the restaurant chefs.

Have a blessed day!

Suzi
 

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I think a lot of these families are two income. After a hard day's work, nobody has the energy to fix a good dinner and clean up afterwards. Pennywise and pound foolish.
 

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I too prefer knowing what is in my food and how it is prepared so am not much on eating out at restaurants. Once a month I will get my grease fix from the dollar menu at MickyD’s. Back to my point. There are times when the special offered are cheaper then you could make it at home. Locally on Thursdays the have a 16 oz new york strip, baked potato and a salad for $7.99 – can you even buy a pound of steak for that much less cook it too?
 
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