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View Poll Results: Meals away from home?
Zero to 1 24 21.62%
2 to 5 51 45.95%
5 to 10 23 20.72%
10 to 15 7 6.31%
More than 15 6 5.41%
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Meals away from home - Poll
Old 07-13-2015, 09:23 AM   #1
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Meals away from home - Poll

There have been many posts about eating out. Also many articles and statistics. In many cases, the question gets complicated because statistical polls often speak to eating out as "restaurant meals"... studying Americans' habits of spending money in terms of "extra" expenses, or as "entertainment".

Instead, how about a look at the number of times one eats meals away from home. So for starters, let's assume the normal number of meals is three per day, or a total of 21 meals per week.

For purposes of the poll... How many meals "away from home"... for whatever reason. Meals at w*rk, fast food, sandwiches, restaurant or business meals. And... because so many travel... average in the number of meals that you eat while you are traveling or on vacation.

Zero to 1
2 to 5
5 to 10
10 to 15
More than 15
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:31 AM   #2
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When we're home we eat almost no meals out.......when we're travelling, all of them.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:37 AM   #3
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When i'm on a job I am locked into a building 24 hrs a day for sometimes 2+ weeks straight. I have no choice but to eat 3 meals/day away from home when i'm working. I work about 90-95 days per year. Add in another 12-24 meals away from home per year not work related and I get an average of just over 2 meals per week away from home. If I were retired but with a budget as low as I have now, then i'd be in the <1 time per week category. If I had the money of some people here then i'd eat out no less than 14 times per week.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:38 AM   #4
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We've been retired for 5 years now. We eat out once each week -- that's our "date" meal. Our rule is that it can't cost more than $20 for the two of us (including tax and tip). However, if a meal costs less than $20, we get to "bank" the savings and add them to a future date meal. DH takes care of the accounting, as well as finding coupons; he also checks the notices of traveling food trucks that will be in the area. Yes, we can afford to spend more than $20, but it's become a game to find the best meal deals.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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When I'm at home, I rarely eat out except for social occasions, of which there are several each week. So let's say 2-5 meals out per week.

When I am traveling, of course I eat "out" while on the go. But on some of my trips I stay in suites with full kitchens, and on those trips I make my own meals whenever possible. On my last such vacation, I ate at least 60% of my meals "at home". So say 5-10 for the purposes of your poll.

Since I am at home a lot more than I am away, my guess would be approximately 5 meals per week "out" on average over the course of a year. Unfortunately the number 5 straddles two categories, so I am unable to vote!
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:51 AM   #6
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We eat lunch out together every day, and we also take advantage of the Wednesday night $10 steak dinner special at a local establishment. So anyway, that's 8 meals per week. But this is New Orleans, and I think most people here eat out quite a bit more than elsewhere.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:54 AM   #7
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average?

.... but, but, but.... I'm not average.

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Old 07-13-2015, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
When we're home we eat almost no meals out.......when we're travelling, all of them.
+1

Now that we travel quite a bit by RV, we also eat out less during travel.

As we eat out less than 52 times a year, I answer 0-1 for the weekly average.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:13 AM   #9
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We frequently get take out and eat it at home. When we drive from Chicagoland to Florida we prepare all the food at home and buy none on the road. We frequently have only 2 meals per day. I think our lifestyle doesn't fit this poll so I'll pass.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:35 AM   #10
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+1

Now that we travel quite a bit by RV, we also eat out less during travel.

As we eat out less than 52 times a year, I answer 0-1 for the weekly average.
Having read Meadbh's comment below, which reflects our own travels, (not including the times we're shipboard), we're at around the 0-.125 mark.

Quote:
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I stay in suites with full kitchens, and on those trips I make my own meals whenever possible. On my last such vacation, I ate at least 60% of my meals "at home".
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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We may do 2 away from home a week in Il, 5 a week in Az, and all while traveling.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:38 AM   #12
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curious question, for us it isn't even about eating out or in any longer but how much per day are we spending since even eating at home every day our food bill last month was $1723 for 2 people. I hope as my honey ages his appetite at sometime will reduce or organic becomes cheaper or we locate to a place where farmers markets are actually cheaper than whole foods as its the one thing keeping us from both retiring as I figure at least another $.5M is needed to cover his food bill.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:46 AM   #13
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curious question, for us it isn't even about eating out or in any longer but how much per day are we spending since even eating at home every day our food bill last month was $1723 for 2 people. I hope as my honey ages his appetite at sometime will reduce or organic becomes cheaper or we locate to a place where farmers markets are actually cheaper than whole foods as its the one thing keeping us from both retiring as I figure at least another $.5M is needed to cover his food bill.
Karen, you and DH must be eating truffles and gold plated desserts and entertaining a lot at home. I can't imagine having that food bill. Mine is $250-$300 (Canadian) per month, for one person.
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Old 07-13-2015, 10:56 AM   #14
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$1723/month = $57/day. I cannot see ourselves eating that much even if we shopped at Whole Foods, which we don't.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
curious question, for us it isn't even about eating out or in any longer but how much per day are we spending since even eating at home every day our food bill last month was $1723 for 2 people. I hope as my honey ages his appetite at sometime will reduce or organic becomes cheaper or we locate to a place where farmers markets are actually cheaper than whole foods as its the one thing keeping us from both retiring as I figure at least another $.5M is needed to cover his food bill.
Wow! I guess it depends on what you eat. We spend about $800 a month for food at home and about $250 for dining out. There are 3 of us at home. DH and our 18 year old daughter.

I do buy organic produce when I can and even processed foods I prefer organic when I can get them. I don't buy fresh beef since I don't eat beef. DH and daughter do sometimes buy some frozen meals with beef and sometimes order beef when eating outside the home. We buy organic chickens at Trader Joe's or Rotisserie Chickens at Whole Foods. I don't like all the additives in grocery store breads so we buy bread at Great Harvest ($5.50 a loaf for whole wheat) or sometimes buy the frozen Ezekial bread.

We buy certain things from Whole Foods, buy most organic produce at HEB (less expensive there) and do general shopping for everything else either at HEB or Kroger (if HEB doesn't have it).
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen1972 View Post
curious question, for us it isn't even about eating out or in any longer but how much per day are we spending since even eating at home every day our food bill last month was $1723 for 2 people. I hope as my honey ages his appetite at sometime will reduce or organic becomes cheaper or we locate to a place where farmers markets are actually cheaper than whole foods as its the one thing keeping us from both retiring as I figure at least another $.5M is needed to cover his food bill.
I can see this food bill, even without WFM, although there might be a few non-grocer items. It's very difficult to be thrifty with the food bill when people are working.

Our food bill fell after I retired and the kids moved out, then stabilized and rose some as DW began preparing meals she she had excluded when the kids were at home. Now it's trending ever upwards even as we consume a bit less volume, as DW is increasing more specific in the things she wants for us. She's the cook, I support that and won't complain, our meals are excellent, I just make sure the budget has room.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:08 AM   #17
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We used to eat out 2-4 times a week. Usually for lunch, and we usually did it when running errands.

I'm on a restricted diet now and I don't expect to eat out for 6 months.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:15 AM   #18
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We eat out pretty much only when we are travelling or having dinner with other people. It isn't the $, because sometimes it is cheaper to eat at a restaurant I've found, it's more the calories (carbs, whatever) and portion sizes that are hard to control at a restaurant--if we ate out all the time I would be more diligent and annoying to the wait staff about it, of course. I'd like to think.

I love what W2R and her honey do for lunch every day--a great idea on many levels!
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo2 View Post
When we're home we eat almost no meals out.......when we're travelling, all of them.
That's the way we are.

I consider meals consumed while traveling and an occasional meal out when we're home a treat. Therefore, I do not eat weeds and sticks.

On our recent trip, I gained two pounds. It will probably take a month to get that added weight off.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:37 AM   #20
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Thanks, you made me look dining $140 per month YTD. Groceries $819 per month YTD. We usually spend $30 on each meal out, so 5 times a month= once a week.
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