Do You Eat Out Less Than You Did Pre-Kids? If So, Why?

family restaurant menu
Image via iStock

When was the last time you stopped for dinner in a restaurant with the kids in tow?

If you’re like me, it was probably a while ago. We eat out rarely, and it seems we are not alone: In a Gallup poll conducted in July of last year, those falling in the age range of 18 to 29 were more likely (nearly double) to eat out than those who were older. This poll made me wonder this:

Do those with children eat out less than those who do not have children and, if so, is the reason cost or convenience – or a mixture of the two?

Pre-kids my husband and I went out for dinner about once a week.

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When my kids were young we went out once or twice per month. At that point we could each buy a meal and share with our kids, or give them something we brought along, like a baggie filled with Cheerios or puffs. Eating out was still fairly inexpensive at that point. However, we had to work around our kids’ schedules and moods, so it wasn’t always convenient.

Then the kids got older. They didn’t scream through meals, but they required meals of their own. We are now at the point where each of us has our own meal, and my oldest can clear her kids meal and still be hungry; which, of course, means soon she will need her own ‘big person’s’ meal to be filled up. (I can hear the cash register say cha-ching as I type this!)

Suddenly eating out went from costing $25 to double that or more.

I’m guessing this plays a big part in the reason people under 30 are more likely to eat out. When it costs half of a week’s grocery bill to stop for pizza or burgers with the family, it becomes a better option to remain at home and throw something in the oven or on the grill. I have a difficult time paying $40 for pizza out when I can buy a few frozen pizzas at Winn Dixie for $10 and call it a night.

Then again, I’m fairly cheap!

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I thought it would be interesting to take an informal poll of our readers and find out this:

How often do you eat out? If rarely, is it cost or convenience that keeps you at home? If you eat out fairly often, how old are your children?

Image via iStock

What do you think?

Do You Eat Out Less Than You Did Pre-Kids? If So, Why?

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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  1. nichole says:

    my hubby and i used to eat out more before the kids,, because one, its cheeper like you said, to feed many mouths at home then at a regualr priced menue place (meaning no kids eat free or such), and because we had more money back before the kids, that we could spend on whatever. now, we rairly do. altho when my gma is visiting, her and i take the kids out to eat often. my hubbys idea of out to eat is fast food. he doesnt like the kids getting ancy waiting for food, or laughing or moving at the table or anything. they will be not much louder then a talking cupple, and squirming a tiny bit, but not hitting or spilling anyone, and he gets mad and yells at them, making a seen. i dont like eatting out with him and the kids together, because how he acts with them there, is very embarrising, and it honestly makes me mad that hes scolding them over something stupid. so i dont really ever ask about going to a sit down place to eat when we have the kids. it saves me and the kids the headakes of dealing with it actually.

  2. CherylHaver says:

    We eat out about the same. We use apps to find good deals and places where kids eat free. It is amazing how many deals are out there if you just look.

  3. Danny Barker says:

    less… much less… It’s just too expensive. Also, the environment while eating out isn’t always child friendly, so it can be quite a hassle as well.


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