Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Why do we spend so much on going out to eat?
Old 09-11-2012, 08:01 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
HawkeyeNFO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Inside the Beltway
Posts: 573
Why do we spend so much on going out to eat?

for me it is a vice - I love going out to eat! But it does get expensive. I found this post describing some of the pitfalls: Protecting your Money Mustache from Spendy Friends | Mr. Money Mustache.
__________________

__________________
HawkeyeNFO is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 442
One thing I've noticed is that tax, tip, and drink can cost up to $15 out of a $35 meal.
To attack these costs we sometimes eat at the deli inside our local Indian Casino. No tax, No tip, and free drinks.
__________________

__________________
dmpi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 08:40 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Tadpole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,170
The article is correct that people should be given their own bill. I recall once when I was young I was on a business visit with a group of people that made twice (or more) the salary I did. I carefully ordered within my allowance and I don't drink. At the end, my colleague, Mr. Buffoon grabbed the bill and started dividing it equally. He, himself, had ordered numerous drinks precipitating the same from others. I sat there bored for hours as they drank. Even though it was semi-business (really we all knew each other - it was all University type people), I loudly announced that I refused to pay an amount that was several times the cost of my own consumption. Perhaps if this had been the first time he had made sure everyone else paid his way, I wouldn't have been so brass but I was tired of it.

I realize today that, yes, I am cheap. Recently a friend of my husband called to say he was going to be in our neighborhood. My husband and I decided we would take him to an upscale restaurant. We then found out that he would have an uncertain number of relatives with him. We are now planning to take them to breakfast at a nice but inexpensive place.
__________________
Tadpole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
GSMAN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: League City
Posts: 65
Don't really eat in real expensive restaurants but we eat out at least 5 to 7 times a week. At least one of those times is with our grown kids so we easily drop 125 bucks or so on a meal when its the whole family. We always treat. Me and the DW have discussed this and our rational is that we work hard all week and we shouldn't feel guilty about this expenditure. By the time we buy groceries, cook dinner, clean the kitchen, etc... it seems to be worth the extra bucks to eat out. We are very frugal in all other areas of our life except eating out. We don't think twice about it. And yes the prices are getting outrageous. I noticed the other day I was charged 3.50 for a glass of tea at a nicer restaurant. Almost fell out of my chair!!
__________________
GSMAN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
I enjoyed that article about the spendy friends, but I have to say we are pretty lucky in that our friends all drink about what we do, we usually split the bill into who ate what, and DH and I will often pick up the tab for our single friends since our regular restaurant is quite inexpensive.
It is an area we could cut down on more if we wanted, but going out with friends is our primary source of entertainment.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 09:39 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,376
I don't mind going out to eat somewhere nice once a week. In my younger years, I ate then went for entertainment, now eating has become the entertainment in itself for the night. I could afford to go out more, but I am a plate cleaner (nice term for no self control), no matter the serving size. So my wallet could afford to eat out more ,however, my waistline cannot.
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 09:40 AM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
dtbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Madison
Posts: 752
Why not spend it? You can't take it with you and a good meal is a pretty pleasant way to spend a couple of hours. I love to cook myself so we don't eat out that much, but when we do go out, I'll order an appetizer and usually get a desert. Why?? Because I can and I want to.
__________________
Wild Bill shoulda taken more out of his IRA when he could have. . . .
dtbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 09:42 AM   #8
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 944
I also love to eat out and do so about 5 times per week. I am out during the day so my main meal for eating out is lunch - much less expensive than dinner out. We usually will go for Thai, chinese or sushi. This expense adds so much to day, it is well worth the $. Today DW and I are going to a movie ($5 day) and will have a late lunch afterwards at our favorite sushi place. Retirement rules!
__________________
Freed at 49. You only live once - live it
Donzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Chuckanut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 6,328
For me the pleasure of eating out is time with good friends and relatives, eating something I would normally not cook for myself, and not having to clean up afterwards.

I can get all three of the above by going to less expensive ethnic restaurants. There is no need for $20+ plates, $5 cups of coffee, and $8 desserts.

The other nice thing about eating out is that it is a pleasure that can be easily turned off when times are tight and back on when things get better. (Unlike a boat, golf club membership, expensive cars, etc.)
__________________
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
Chuckanut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 10:34 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,862
We don't care about food that much. We go out to eat on Saturdays, but it's just to KFC, Arby's, Subway, or Taco Bell for a change of pace. An occasional pizza on Sunday, and something like Outback every few months for special occasions. Any more just isn't worth it to us.
__________________
Animorph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 11:15 AM   #11
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
We eat lunch out every day but we don't eat as though it was a special event every day. We eat at little hole-in-the-wall neighborhood mom-n-pop restaurants, usually Italian/Creole, where we are regulars and feel like family. So far this year, the average daily cost for one has been $9, including everything - - food, drink, tax, and a generous tip which obviously is optional. To me that is not expensive, but I am sure it probably would be to others. (MrMoneyMustache spent over 3x as much at the Italian restaurant he went to, and I would suggest that he might want to shop around, and maybe choose the great suffering of drinking water instead of that $7 beer.)


We are lucky that we can afford to eat out, I know. To me there is considerable value in spending my money that way, as opposed to the ways some others choose to spend their money, and I can afford to do so. Each to his/her own.

Life is about choices. Take a look at the "Let's spend $10,000!" thread. Anybody who wanted to could have said they wanted to spend it on eating lunch out every day for 3 years. But no, nobody really WANTED to do that. That's fine, and it is their choice while eating out is ours.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 11:23 AM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,526
Except for pizza and the variety available at a chinese buffet type place, we have pretty much figured out how to eat awesome food at home that is almost always healthier than restaurants. Luckily I like to cook and like to replicate restaurant recipes.

When we do go out it is usually somewhere very inexpensive and we typically don't buy drinks (sodas or alcohol) so we can get out of the restaurant for $15-30 usually (for a family of 4). We have young kids so eating out at nice places would probably not be an enjoyable experience for at least 2 of us, and maybe all 4 (or 5 if you count the baby).

We partially make up for not eating out a lot by cooking up all kinds of stuff at home. Lots of ethnic stuff (asian and mexican mostly). Not that these are particularly expensive except that most of the asian stuff is imported from Asia.

We used to go out more, but it has lost its luster since the kids came along. Maybe some day when the kids are out of the house we will once again look forward to a quiet evening out with no cooking and no dishes. Right now if the kids are at Grandma's house we kinda just want to stay at home and have pizza and watch a movie or something to relax.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 11:29 AM   #13
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
we can get out of the restaurant for $15-30 usually (for a family of 4).
Exactly... and MrMoneyMustache spent $60 for a family of two. What's wrong with this picture? I think he made some bad decisions that had nothing to do with whether he was eating out or not. That restaurant was expensive! And then, he decided to compound that problem by choosing something expensive that he could not easily share, and ordering beer. Maybe he should re-examine why he ended up at that restaurant and why he decided to spend so much there.

P.S. - - I agree completely about eating out with kids. It wasn't as much fun for me back then either, because the experience is interrupted by having to teach Restaurant Behavior 101. It will be more fun when they are grown and gone.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,376
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R

Exactly... and MrMoneyMustache spent $60 for a family of two. What's wrong with this picture? I think he made some bad decisions that had nothing to do with whether he was eating out or not. That restaurant was expensive! And then, he decided to compound that problem by choosing something expensive that he could not easily share, and ordering beer. Maybe he should re-examine why he ended up at that restaurant and why he decided to spend so much there.

P.S. - - I agree completely about eating out with kids. It wasn't as much fun for me back then either, because the experience is interrupted by having to teach Restaurant Behavior 101. It will be more fun when they are grown and gone.
Or deal with a teenager who orders a $14 grilled chicken caesars salad and then promptly tosses off the meat to be thrown away. If had known that the meat alone would have filled me up. Of course, I was slightly ticked off at the waste so I asked why didn't she got get the caesars salad. Her teenage response was "I dunno".
__________________
Mulligan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #15
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
I'd always vote for the beer with dinner, W2R--to each his (or her) own. Whereas I completely agree about never wanting to eat anywhere with children!
It's okay if some of us make those choices--I have a peculiar aversion to sharing meals, so I'd never order something to share with DH. We get our own meals. Maybe because I'm a youngest child, but I don't share my food.
I once got completely grossed out watching a friend's little boy clawing at her plate while she tried to eat a meal, hoovering up stuff and dragging it over to his plate. AAACCCKKK!!!
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I'd always vote for the beer with dinner, W2R--to each his (or her) own.
Exactly! Although if he so upset about the cost of eating out, he could save some by drinking that beer at home. But as you say, these are individual choices and he made his.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
I have a peculiar aversion to sharing meals, so I'd never order something to share with DH. We get our own meals. Maybe because I'm a youngest child, but I don't share my food.
Since restaurant portions are so HUGE, if I felt that way then I would simply eat half and take the rest home in a "to go" box. The effect would be the same, in that you would get two meals out of it so each meal would cost half as much.

We usually just have the waitress split the meal and each get our own (half sized) plate. Half a sandwich or wrap is just enough. But we don't usually split salads either unless they are especially large, because they aren't so high in calories or fillilng, and can be messy to split. We used to split a gigantic chicken Caesar salad at a more expensive restaurant (now out of business) that we went to down on St. Charles Ave, though.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 12:20 PM   #17
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,456
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Since restaurant portions are so HUGE, if I felt that way then I would simply eat half and take the rest home in a "to go" box. The effect would be the same, in that you would get two meals out of it so each meal would cost half as much.

We usually just have the waitress split the meal and each get our own (half sized) plate. Half a sandwich or wrap is just enough. But we don't split salads either because they aren't so high in calories or fillilng, and can be messy to split.
Ah, that might work. I just imagine DH taking all the "good" stuff and leaving me the stuff he doesn't like, while I'm distracted. Trust issues.
But I might do more "to-go" boxing, now that you mention it.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 12:23 PM   #18
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Ah, that might work. I just imagine DH taking all the "good" stuff and leaving me the stuff he doesn't like, while I'm distracted. Trust issues.
But I might do more "to-go" boxing, now that you mention it.
Maybe one of you could split, and the other choose. Or just have the waitress do it before it is brought to you. Yes, to-go boxing is a lifesaver with portion sizes being so big these days. It's ridiculous that we can split our lunches and even so, they are still so large that they are the main meal of the day for both of us.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 12:27 PM   #19
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Austin
Posts: 245
We eat out less and less each year. It's hard for me to enjoy when I'm so aware of the costs, and spend the time calculating what I would have saved had I cooked the same meal at home.

Like another poster pointed out, it's getting ridiculous when a glass of iced tea is $3.50. I've also noticed that service has declined over the years, and what was normal service years ago is now rare and considered great.

Where I've really noticed how expensive it is getting is fast food. Last night, I grilled cheeseburgers and made french fries at home. Myself, I had two double cheeseburgers - probably close to a pound of meat. We used $6 worth of ground beef, $1 worth of buns, and $2 worth of french fries. The burgers were as good as what we normally get at Whataburger, for which we would normally pay close to $20 for.

We've pretty much resigned ourselves to buffets, where we can experience a wide choice of various items. Not the same quality as a fancy sit-down, I'm sure, but I've always been a quantity-not-quality kinda guy.
__________________
LakeTravis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2012, 12:32 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,384
A lot depends on what kind of diet you like. Cheap restaurant meals must start with cheap food, and this usually means starch-pizza, pasta, beans, tortillas, etc. It also depends a lot on where you are. Some cities just are not cheap.

I don't eat any of these things, so an inexpensive restaurant meal for me either does not exist, or is a happy hour with very small portions. If I eat out alone (eating out because I am too hungry to wait until I get home) I can eat lunch for 12-$15 (clams, small sashimi portions,) but I need to eat again when I do get home.

With my friend we have two tiers- an enjoyable hamburger place with an outdoor garden for ~$35 for 2, incl meal, one glass wine, and tip. These prices include tax, but not dessert as neither of us eat it. In a French place, maybe a cheese plate. But with th eadditional tax and tip. this likely adds $16-$17 to the total. Much less frequently a medium tier restaurant for $115-135 for two. I have to avoid gluten, so I can't use low end ethnic places much, I need informed English speaking cooks and management. I eat occasionally at a U. District Arab place and usually get chicken shawarma. I can get this for one with coffee for around $10-!2. It is good and filling. Before the gluten problem I might have had a couple pizza slices and a beer or iced tea at Pagliacci for $6-$7.

Ha
__________________

__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:28 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.