Let me start this post by saying...I love to go out to eat. I like to go to a restaurant, be seated, have someone wait on me, serve me dinner and then clean up. I just get to sit there and eat and enjoy the company (preferrably my dear hubbie).
But I overheard something the other night that amazed me...I was sitting outside the youth room at the church waiting on the kids. A man and a lady were talking about dinner at home and eating out. In the conversation the guy said, that at his house they went out to eat 3-4 times a week, every week. It was cheaper to go out to eat than to buy everything and cook and eat at home...WHAT? And the lady agreed with him and said thats what they did at her house too. It is so much cheaper to eat at home than out. His wife and her husband have been deceived about the price of groceries, if they are buying those fabrications of the truth. When I was telling Greg about the conversation his comments were...if they have to go buy the stove and pots and pans and every spice before they can even begin, then yeah, its cheaper to go out to eat.
He has decided to keep up with how many folks we feed at each meal for the next month. Whether at home or out to eat and compare. Now, since we have a grocery budget and a going out to eat budget, this should be relatively simple.
Last night, I fixed spaghetti and garlic bread and iced tea. It cost about $7 for this dinner, this includes the cost of my organic tomato sauce and organic Trader Joes spaghetti noodles. We fed the 5 of us plus Allen and a friend of his. So, about $1 a person. I also had 4 lunch size containers of leftovers to freeze and Greg took spaghetti and garlic bread for lunch today. Compare that to a spaghetti dinner out...at least $8 per person and add the cost of the tea. Which is cheaper?
I was just amazed at the justification of going out to eat. I don't need an excuse to go and I don't need to make excuses about why we go out to eat. Everyone is different and every household operates differently. Reading some blogs, I know some people never go out to eat. That is not for me. And many people go out many times a week, haven't figured out how they can afford that every month. Especially for a family.
To me, eating out frequently makes a whole lot more sense for a single person or a single-again person (I really hate that W---w word). Making an entire balanced meal everynight for just one person would make me want to eat out more often. Yes, it would be cheaper to eat at home, but if you are in that situation, you just may need to be around people. It can be lonely to sit at home by yourself, night after night.
I love to cook and feed my family. I am one of those weird folks, who likes to grocery shop. I love finding bargains and stretching the food budget. I like knowing that the food my family eats is nutritious and yummy. I like teaching my children how to cook. I love to try new recipes (especially if they turn out really good). I love to open my cabinets, freezer and refrigerator and seeing them full of great ingredients for our meals.
On the other hand, I love to go out. My favorite meal to eat out is breakfast. Super yummy! IHOP & Cracker Barrel are my breakfast restaurants of choice (as long as the eggs aren't runny). Unfortunately (or fortunately), neither are close to our house. So, going there is a real treat!
OK, enough rambling about food...I am getting hungry!
I saw Greg has been playing with the blog...did you notice the Countdown to Retirement box. Do ya think he is getting excited?