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View Poll Results: For retirees, on average how many nights/week do you eat dinner out?
0 46 41.82%
1 31 28.18%
2 17 15.45%
3 8 7.27%
4 5 4.55%
5 0 0%
6 1 0.91%
7 2 1.82%
Voters: 110. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:33 PM   #21
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Midpack, now that you're retired why not go out during the week instead of weekends? Midweek restaurant service is usually better, and because there are fewer diners, some restaurants might even add some incentives.
Cause DW still works full time, but I am sure we'll take your suggestion eventually. We also have lunch out instead of dinner sometimes as others have suggested, and I am sure we'll do more of that when DW retires in 2014 (her estimate)...though then we may have to compete with diners on expense accounts in a big hurry Mon thru Fri!
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:36 PM   #22
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This is funny. We don't go out to eat at night. We go out for lunch, breakfast, brunch, even a late lunch at times. But we like to be home by early evening, so we never go out for dinner.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:53 PM   #23
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Occasionally we eat out, but that's usually at noon.

DW is a great cook and loves to prepare meals. What luck; I love to eat exactly what she cooks each day though it is often left-overs which are generally just as tasty as when first consumed.

Of course a side benefit of all this is that our food costs are pretty low.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:26 PM   #24
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DW is also still working, so we eat out almost every Saturday - usually in the late afternoon. Every couple of weeks, we go out mid week for dinner. Our money secret is I always find coupons to use. The average cost for 2 including tip is about $20. So we spend about $1,500 per year on eating out.
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Old 06-21-2012, 04:24 PM   #25
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I voted "0". I am not yet a retiree, but I only eat dinner out about once a month. I typically will choose a fish or vegetarian entree for this meal, accompanied by a very dry GG martini (a treat, as I usually have so-so box wine at home these days). I have lunch in a restaurant a couple of times a week with co-workers.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:05 PM   #26
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I put two because we travel a lot and sometimes we pick up meals or parts of a meal to bring home. Hardly ever eat out on weekends unless we are out of town - we barbecue almost every weekend... Our budget for eating out is $160 a month, so you can see we eat light when we do (not much fast foods though)...
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:12 PM   #27
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I know how that is! Our goal is to keep our restaurant lunches to around 500-600 calories. Usually we split the most virtuous dish on the menu, whatever that might be. I just checked, and so far this month we have split our lunch 70% of the time, and otherwise I try to take half home. We also don't get appetizers, drinks, desserts, or other extras.
You are doing it the smart way. I only have an opportunity to eat french fries when I eat out and I don't want to share them even if Im gorged.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:36 PM   #28
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You meant lunch or dinner didn't you? I never go out to dinner anymore but have lunch out quite often.
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:41 PM   #29
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You meant lunch or dinner didn't you? I never go out to dinner anymore but have lunch out quite often.
You're right, it appears I shouldn't have specified dinner. I was afraid results could be unusable if the basis for answers varied between 1, 2, 3 or more meals/day...hindsight is a wonderful thing. Should I do a mo' better poll? Guess it should have been, excluding breakfast, how many times/week do you eat out?
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Old 06-21-2012, 05:51 PM   #30
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To be honest, I've seen one or more members who have reported lower living expenses than ours, who has also mentioned eating out every day. And I wondered what we were doing wrong, we eat out most Sat & Sun's, and I can't imagine how we'd afford to eat out more often - with the caveat we rarely eat fast food or the like. Our budget is $70/week eating out, and we never seem to have a gain on that expense item, always a loss... Fortunately we both enjoy cooking somewhat.
I don't think you are doing anything wrong.

I have been keeping records (to the penny) of what I am spending on eating out this year, and balancing my records to the penny with the cash left in my wallet each week since we pay in cash. Because of the question you raise, I pulled up the exact amount spent eating lunch out every single day this year so far and computed the average amount that I have spent eating lunch out.

For each of us the cost of eating lunch out every day averages $60/week, including all charges and tip. So, for both of us together that would be $120/week, considerably more than your $70. However, I only pay $60, my share since we keep our money separate.

We have not eaten fast food for even one of our restaurant lunches this year thus far. Fast food is not only a nutritional disaster IMO, but also not all that fast and often more expensive than regular restaurants here. Not to mention that fast food is more fattening and doesn't taste very good to us (we're spoiled and enjoy our local NOLA cuisine! ). We also don't eat at high rolling tourist places, but usually at local Cajun, Creole, and especially Italian neighborhood restaurants that would probably horrify a tourist. We enjoy the food at these places, though, and enjoy the warm down home atmosphere and being treated like family.

We try to eat sensibly, and this surely lowers the amount we spend - - we are not celebrating and killing the fatted calf, but instead we are eating every day lunch in a restaurant. We enjoy splitting one entree between the two of us most of the time. When we don't, I try to bring half home for dinner (but that is also included in the expenditures on lunch that I listed, as though I ate it for lunch). We take advantage of weekday lunch specials at least once a week, sometimes twice.

We never order alcoholic drinks, appetizers, desserts, side dishes, and so on, since we do not drink and since the rest we regard as more for celebrations than an every day lunch. Lately I have been ordering water instead of diet Coke because the caffeine is bothering me. Just TRY to get something to drink without alcohol, sugar, or caffeine in a restaurant. Usually it seems like water is the only choice.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:35 PM   #31
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We never order alcoholic drinks, appetizers, desserts, side dishes, and so on, since we do not drink and since the rest we regard as more for celebrations than an every day lunch. Lately I have been ordering water instead of diet Coke because the caffeine is bothering me. Just TRY to get something to drink without alcohol, sugar, or caffeine in a restaurant. Usually it seems like water is the only choice.
I think you need to take your SS and enjoy yourself a bit.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:37 PM   #32
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I think you need to take your SS and enjoy yourself a bit.
It's not the money - - it's my waistline, plus aging metabolism! But we do celebrate a few times a year, when it is merited.

But yes, I am thinking about taking SS next year.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:05 PM   #33
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Between eating out and ordering in I estimate between 3-4 (I put down 3). That's as a couple, my partner usually has lunch or dinner with her friends an average of once a week.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #34
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It's not the money - - it's my waistline, plus aging metabolism! But we do celebrate a few times a year, when it is merited.

But yes, I am thinking about taking SS next year.

Ah I see, one more year syndrome.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:55 PM   #35
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We rarely eat out at night because the lunch time deals are so much better.

Also, unfortunately, I don't see at night for driving as well as I used to.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:50 PM   #36
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We don't eat out very often in restaurants but we do get take out once a week.
We bring a Costco pizza home every week, but we only eat out 2-3 times per month... usually lunches.

Worse than that, I'd say that only one of those monthly meals is with spouse-- the others are usually with friends for investment discussions.

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Come on, what is the big deal about flipping some store-bought meat cuts on the stove, or rinsing and then chopping up some clean produce before putting it in a pot? It is fun, and we make it the way we like it.
Perhaps it's fun to you, but to us it's a chore. The value we add to food doesn't even equate to minimum wage.

We have a neighbor who cooks for us whenever we help her out with home repairs or paperwork. She loves to cook, and we love to eat her cooking-- it's the perfect symbiotic relationship.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:59 PM   #37
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DH and i eat dinner out 2-3 times/week and call it entertainment. I think (rationalize) that it is because we so seldom ate out when the children were home. When we became empty-nesters, it was HEY, PARTY ON.

We use coupons, including QPON phone app, watch for specials and always have beer, which helps us forget any guilt. One place we frequent has $1.00 delicious tacos on Thursday night. We did not go there tonight ....because a roast slow cooked in oven allllll day.

We may very well have to cut back on this practice soon. Right now, we are newly retired and definitely enjoying it.
...and i very much enjoy cooking....and do not need the added salt from restaurant meals.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:04 PM   #38
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The value we add to food doesn't even equate to minimum wage...
Oh, but people do so many things that have economic values below minimum wage.

Speaking for myself, I have done plenty of things around the house that are of much higher economic values than my cooking.

But there is really nothing that pays me as well as my w*rk! And I am talking of retiring early. Ironic, isn't it?

PS. Just now notice that the OP placed this thread under "Health in Retirement", not "Life after ER" nor "Finance". Does he imply that eating out is less healthy than home cooking? Or the other way around?
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:17 AM   #39
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Cause DW still works full time, but I am sure we'll take your suggestion eventually. We also have lunch out instead of dinner sometimes as others have suggested, and I am sure we'll do more of that when DW retires in 2014 (her estimate)...though then we may have to compete with diners on expense accounts in a big hurry Mon thru Fri!
It is hard to dine out during the week when one works. No need to compete with the expense accounts, though, because they have to get back to work.
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Old 06-22-2012, 06:44 AM   #40
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We eat a late lunch at restaurants every day, so after that I seldom want to eat dinner out as well.
We do pretty much the same thing - eat a late lunch/early dinner out every day. We almost always go to a casual place (like Panera). I didn't vote because I'm not sure whether to consider this a "0" or a "7".
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