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Thread: Eating Out

  1. #1

    Default Eating Out

    I checked my budget and spending habbits because I am going to try out a new investment strategy, and I realized I spend about 3/4 of my budget on food (Actually, I knew that, but it's a shock every time I think about it).

    I eat out almost every meal (I go out with co-workers and friends for lunch and dinner, and go to an IHOP like restaurant for break fast, while catching up on news and other reading), and I justify it by saying "I work hard, I may as well enjoy my meals." I also don't place restrictions on the styles of meals (Sushi and Seafood comes up often). I tip well, since I am a regular at many of the restaurants. I also get at least one cup of Starbucks cofee or a Jamba Juice pretty much every day. Sometimes, I will get the urge for a late moght dessert, and I'll get a big banana split or something. So it adds up really quickly.

    The other, bigger, problem is that my health suffers because of it too, though I have been eating healthier foods lately, the portions are still large (and I've gotten used to them).

    Anyone else have a similar issues?

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  2. #2
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    I ate out for most meals before my family moved in, now I eat out less than half of the time. When they leave I expect I will resume eating out the majority of the time...

    The portions are always too big, but I spend under 1/10th of my income on eating out/food any given month. When everyone moved in I shifted to eating at home and bringing lunches more, and I spent more than the usual amount, but still within that 10th. It is a pretty hefty amount over time, but it's less than buying food for a family. Just eating at home might be an interesting test, but it would probably cost a lot more and take a lot more time than it is worth, especially since I can't cook unless I have the right ingredients (meaning an average meal at home is $10+ per person when I cook (I can produce more for less with more people to feed, though, and that much can feed an entire group, but I've never been able to pull off the claims some women make of ~$3-4 a meal for a family, it's just not within my abilities...the thing is that it becomes unreasonable in (effort*price):payoff ratios unless I'm feeding at least four people (in the 8-12 range I can feed people for 1-2 bucks a person, provided I'm not passing out steaks)), vs. $4-12 on average when eating out...but I suppose the actual meats, vegetables, fruits, spices, and such are higher quality), so it comes out around the same but with a lot more effort expended.

    I swear there's a market for the "Bachelor Chow" that my sister and I theorized as a sort of cereal/gruel-like food that fills all nutritional requirements. That would probably be really cheap...

    My home cooking when nobody is around can be pretty sorry, though, like cans of un-reconstituted soup, frozen pizzas (which is a fraction of the cost of making one myself, but actually more expensive than going to the local pizza shop once every few days to buy another (see: laziness - going to the pizza shop takes more effort than buying a stack of frozen pizzas a couple times a month and cooking them at home)), blue powerade, and water. That could be really cheap...
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    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  3. #3
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    There are some simple to make types of foods that can still taste quite good when made at home.

    Soups: Most of these can probably be made just by putting the ingredients in a pot, adding any necessary water, and heating until everything cooks. The toughest part is just figuring out what mix of ingredients you like.

    Tacos: Most taco ingredients are pretty easy to make, either involving mixing stuff in a bowl, chopping up or grating some single type of food, or putting stuff in a pot/pan and heating with stirring until they cook.

    (Soups and tacos have been my main types of food while living on my own.)

    Salads: Another case where you just need to chop up some ingredients and mix them.

    Chicken: blank chicken (What I call plain chicken.) Can be cooked in a number of ways, and goes with most types of sauces. (and can be used for tacos, soups, sandwiches, etc.)

  4. #4
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    Tacos:
    - Meat (I tend to use inexpensive steaks, but roast can also work), cubed and marinated in lemon/chili pepper powder/any other random dried peppers you have about.
    - Corn tortillas.
    - Salsa (bottled or fresh. Fresh is made from tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and lemon juice, all chopped and tossed in a container for a while).
    - Olive oil.

    Heat the meat either in the microwave, in a pan, or in a pressure cooker until cooked (may use some oil). Set aside, but keep warm.

    Take two tortillas, lightly oil on both sides with some olive oil. Toss on warm skillet and heat until desired texture.

    Slap those on a plate, fill with meat and salsa. Add crumbled queso fresco if you want some cheese. Enjoy. It's pretty cheap, but hard to say if it's more cost-effective than just going to a taco shop and paying a buck a taco...
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    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

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    These damn innuendos...

    I usually have the same thing practically everyday -- cheeseburger and fries, or something related to beef and potatoes. On Monday, I have steak and shrimp. On Saturday, I'll have Chinese food. I usually just eat dinner, but recently, I've started having Apple Jacks for breakfast.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I usually eat out every meal, but not any thing expensive or too fattening. Usually just a burger and fries, but occasionally a salad or a taco and burrito. The restaurants I frequent are Wendy's, Taco Bell, Sonic, Arby's, McDonald's, and Whataburger. I eat somewhat less frequently at KFC, Jack in the Box, Popeye's, Braum's, Taco Bueno, and Chick-fil-a. I can eat the same thing several days in a row, and I usually only bother to have two meals a day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I usually eat out every meal, but not any thing expensive or too fattening. Usually just a burger and fries, but occasionally a salad or a taco and burrito. The restaurants I frequent are Wendy's, Taco Bell, Sonic, Arby's, McDonald's, and Whataburger. I eat somewhat less frequently at KFC, Jack in the Box, Popeye's, Braum's, Taco Bueno, and Chick-fil-a. I can eat the same thing several days in a row, and I usually only bother to have two meals a day.
    Hrmmm... I'm really just curious... how do those count as not fattening?

  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    athenian, do you really eat fast food all the time? What is on the menus of those restaurants that is not too fattening? I'm not trying to be flip here, I'm just honestly surprised. I eat fast food maybe once a week and even that feels unhealthy to me.
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  9. #9
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    A diet like athenian's would kill me...
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    Disclaimer: The above is my opinion and mine alone, it does not mean I cannot change my mind, nor does it guarantee that my comments are related to any deep-seated convictions. Take everything I say with a whole snowplow worth of salt and call me in the morning, if you can.

  10. #10
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Anyone else have a similar issues?
    Well, I think we eat out too much, but it's not even close to every day. We just don't have the disposable income to do that. We go out once a week for dinner usually, and I grab a fast food meal here and there while I'm working. It feels like a tremendous waste of money to me, though, because eating at home is way cheaper and usually healthier.

    I'm not much of a cook but I can cut up fruits/veggies, pour cereal, slap together a sandwich for lunches, and make simple stuff for dinners. We don't eat much meat (I get about 1/2 lb ground turkey a week to add to two meals like soup or spaghetti sauce, and we usually do salmon once a week) which keeps the food budget down.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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