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