There is a silver lining to my below grocery lament. Yodlee tells me that my average Dining Out tally comes in just over $100/month. That’s not bad considering we’ve made two trips to visit family in the last six months.
The usual pattern is my wife and I going out to dinner by ourselves (or with the young’un) once a month, meeting up with friends in town for dinner once a month, and dining with out-of-town friends once monthly. Round it out with maybe two lazy dinners and, to our chagrin, there might be a late-night dessert lapse to be found as well.
I’m pretty thrilled by the usage on the whole (milkshakes aside). As parents of an almost two year-old, we don’t exactly get out a lot. But I’m happy that the bulk of our dining out money concerns either a rare night alone or socializing with friends. Most of the “lazy” dinners centered around the necessities of time constraints.
I’m a firm believer that my generation is way too reliant on fast food, take-out, and prepared foods. Living in a college town it seems to be worse, for various reasons. The fact is, I know plenty of people that eat out as often as they cook (some more), and don’t seem to recognize the real costs or view it as a problem from either a money or health standpoint.
Maybe part of the reason my grocery costs seem high is because we eat such a high percentage of our meals at home?