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Old 11-18-2013, 11:57 AM   #101
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I did not mean to knock restaurant food. We do enjoy eating out more when traveling, either domestically or overseas. It's often for the atmosphere, or to try some new dishes that I have not had.

But in terms of the food itself, a rule-of-thumb in the restaurant business is that only 1/3 of the price of the dish goes for the ingredients, with the rest going for labor and overhead. Restaurateurs and their staff have to make a living just like everybody else.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:03 PM   #102
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I did not mean to knock restaurant food. We do enjoy eating out more when traveling, either domestically or overseas. It's often for the atmosphere, or to try some new dishes that I have not had.

But in terms of the food itself, a rule-of-thumb in the restaurant business is that only 1/3 of the price of the dish goes for the ingredients, with the rest going for labor and overhead. Restaurateurs and their staff have to make a living just like everybody else.
I guess that's why rules-of-thumb are not Laws of Nature. Often they just don't seem to be reliable indications of anything. A good example is the rule-of-thumb that we need 80% of our pre-retirement income in retirement.

I get it that you don't like to eat out a lot, and that you haven't found any restaurants that have good, healthy food for a decent price that you can handle in reasonable portions.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:04 PM   #103
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I have lost 42 pounds since last spring, while eating lunch out every single day.
Wow, congratulations! You must be quite svelte by now!

Ha
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:06 PM   #104
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Wow, congratulations! You must be quite svelte by now!

Ha
Thank you! I have a lot more to go, but I am pleased at my progress.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:08 PM   #105
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I did not mean to knock restaurant food. We do enjoy eating out more when traveling, either domestically or overseas. It's often for the atmosphere, or to try some new dishes that I have not had.

But in terms of the food itself, a rule-of-thumb in the restaurant business is that only 1/3 of the price of the dish goes for the ingredients, with the rest going for labor and overhead. Restaurateurs and their staff have to make a living just like everybody else.
"Shrinkage" (no, not that kind!) is another big expense in restaurants, including spoilage, and employee-related theft...
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:09 PM   #106
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I guess that's why rules-of-thumb are not Laws of Nature. Often they just don't seem to be reliable indications of anything. A good example is the rule-of-thumb that we need 80% of our pre-retirement income in retirement. I get it that you don't like to eat out a lot, and that you haven't found any restaurants that have good, healthy food for a decent price that you can handle in reasonable portions.
Very true W2R, but I have accepted the fact that I have no self control both in what I order and how much I eat of it. I can't keep the word "French fries please" from coming out of my mouth out a restaurant, but I haven't ate them in years at home. Congratulations on the weight loss!
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:11 PM   #107
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I guess that's why rules-of-thumb are not Laws of Nature. Often they just don't seem to be reliable indications of anything. A good example is the rule-of-thumb that we need 80% of our pre-retirement income in retirement.

I get it that you don't like to eat out a lot, and that you haven't found any restaurants that have good, healthy food for a decent price that you can handle in reasonable portions.
It looks like it is getting to be a debate on eating out or not. This is not what I intended.

Cannot talk about restaurants elsewhere, but locally I have been to small ethnic family-owned restaurants whose price is sufficiently low that the ratio of 1/3 cannot apply. It's probably more like 1/2 or lower. So, yes, one can get better values in small neighborhood places.

That's said, both my wife and I do not eat out that often because we would have to go out, while we often can make what we want right at home in the way we want it. And we both enjoy cooking.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #108
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Very true W2R, but I have accepted the fact that I have no self control both in what I order and how much I eat of it. I can't keep the word "French fries please" from coming out of my mouth out a restaurant, but I haven't ate them in years at home. Congratulations on the weight loss!
Thank you! Usually my lunch comes with unsolicited French fries, chips, or biscuit, on the plate, even when we have split the meal between the two of us. I immediately move all of this sort of stuff to Frank's plate. He is such a sweetie and doesn't protest. He doesn't always eat all that I give him, but at least that gets the carb-y stuff off my plate!
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:13 PM   #109
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I did not mean to knock restaurant food. We do enjoy eating out more when traveling, either domestically or overseas. It's often for the atmosphere, or to try some new dishes that I have not had.

But in terms of the food itself, a rule-of-thumb in the restaurant business is that only 1/3 of the price of the dish goes for the ingredients, with the rest going for labor and overhead. Restaurateurs and their staff have to make a living just like everybody else.
It is also often quite unhealthy. I look at restaurant food as occasional reward to have something tasty but unhealthy. Like nice fat burger
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:16 PM   #110
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Eh, I just recently had a nice big burger with grass-fed beef. Grilled at home of course.

No, I and my son had 2 each. My BMI was getting too low (22) after surgeries.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:20 PM   #111
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I need to log off now to go out looking for that Bomba rice to make my paella more authentic than the last time I made it. I also need real Spanish chorizo.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:22 PM   #112
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It is also often quite unhealthy. I look at restaurant food as occasional reward to have something tasty but unhealthy. Like nice fat burger
Ewww!!! If you are going to eat a burger, why not just cook up a couple at home like NW-Bound? I can't eat that type of food.

BTW, NW-Bound, good idea to increase your BMI after those surgeries. I think you said it is at 22 and those burgers you cooked at home ought to help.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #113
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Whole Foods gets some bad press on this site, but they have excellent grass fed beef, including hamburger that up here is $8/#. I like it better than 95% of beefsteaks.

Trader Joe is selling some frozen grass fed beef patties @$5.99/# in our market. For something easy to get out of the freezer that can even be fried frozen, it is quite good.

I get tired of cooking so frequently, but the break between home cooking costs and quality food in a restaurant is huge here. I have a nice French café a couple blocks away, and the food is very good. But to get full at lunch will cost me over $20 -$30, without any wine. Maybe an espresso, which is good there. Too much money for regular day to day eating, but lots of guys in my building eat just this way. Of course they work too.

Ha
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:35 PM   #114
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Hmmm. In thinking about this, the only way I get good, healthy food for our diet is by driving quite a ways. We live in a sort of suburban food desert, with the nearest grocery several miles away. I really hate to think of what I would have to try and subsist on if I had to limit my access to what I could walk to.

How many folks here rely on access to a vehicle (with all of it's additional costs) to get decent food at a reasonable cost? Should that be figured into the expense?
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:48 PM   #115
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My local Tom Thumb grocery has grass-fed ground beef for $5.99/lb., but no other offerings. Whole Paycheck is too far to drive, and too expensive for normal use.

But here's a place that does mailorder: Slanker's Grass-Fed Meats -- Meats you must eat for optimal health

It's not cheap either...
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:53 PM   #116
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My local Tom Thumb grocery has grass-fed ground beef for $5.99/lb., but no other offerings. Whole Paycheck is too far to drive, and too expensive for normal use.

But here's a place that does mailorder: Slanker's Grass-Fed Meats -- Meats you must eat for optimal health

It's not cheap either...
I tried that Tom Thumb grass fed beef when I was visiting my brother. Pretty good. A lot depends on how much fat is included- I like at least 20%. Some grass fed meat can be pretty lean. Trader Joe sells branded, grass fed new Zealand lamb. My store usually had excellent chops, also arm steaks and those really fancy Frenched presentation chops. A local IGA that I haven't been going to much lately because it is a pretty tough walk for me has goat, and lots of organ meats at decent prices, mostly for their Hispanic clientele. The goat is very likely straight off browse at some small farms

Ha
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #117
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I tried that Tom Thumb grass fed beef when I was visiting my brother. Pretty good. A lot depends on how much fat is included- I like at least 20%. Some grass fed meat can be pretty lean.

Ha
Yeah, it doesn't grill very well, because it's so lean. Very easy to overcook...
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:03 PM   #118
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I get tired of cooking so frequently, but the break between home cooking costs and quality food in a restaurant is huge here. .
We have the same problem here in the Chicago suburbs. We have dozens of nearby restaurants, franchise and independent, large and small, ethnic and domestic. But it's very difficult to go someplace for an enjoyable meal, especially if there is any alcohol involved, for less than $30/couple. Obviously, we can cook at home for much less than this and usually do.
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:08 PM   #119
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We have the same problem here in the Chicago suburbs. We have dozens of nearby restaurants, franchise and independent, large and small, ethnic and domestic. But it's very difficult to go someplace for an enjoyable meal, especially if there is any alcohol involved, for less than $30/couple. Obviously, we can cook at home for much less than this and usually do.
The food can be reasonably priced, but the alcohol bill is what gets me...
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #120
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We generally split a meal between the two of us, as our main meal of the day, and even then we often get to-go boxes. The waiters are very nice about it and admit that nobody in his right mind would eat an entire serving. We also don't order just *anything* we want on the menu; that would be a fast way to extra pounds too. I have lost 42 pounds since last spring, while eating lunch out every single day. For me, wise choices and portion control are more important for weight loss than whether I eat at a restaurant or at home. Eating sensibly at restaurants also keeps the cost down.
Congratulation on the weight loss W2R. What do you order when you eat out?
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