2-3 times a month, I try to stay under $100 for all eating out in a month. Maybe once for breakfast or Chinese dinner buffet with IL's, once for pizza as a family, and then I take the kids to lunch to a diner or burger place once a month. Occasionally DH and I meet for (cheap) sushi lunch if the kids are in school. We like to cook and really prefer to eat at home (and my kids seem to eat better when we eat at home). It's feels more relaxing for us, and is better for the budget, of course.
How many times a month do you eat out? - Page 2
As a family, once a week, usually pizza. I do get a bagel or croissant with coffee a couple times a week for breakfast, although I try to limit it to once a week. DH sometimes eats lunch out when he's at work, but not every day. So, including all that, maybe 5 times a week? That sounds like a lot!
I take my girls to a pizza buffet each Tuesday between their morning activity and the library story time in the afternoon. The kids are free, and my buffet is $7.50. The pizza is way less greasy than the norm. DH brings his lunch most days, but eats out for lunch maybe 4 times a month (though it might be not at all for 2 weeks, and then twice one week). We've gotten into the habit of going out to lunch as a family on Sundays after church. It's a nice family outing and we generally spent about $20 for the 4 of us. I'm debating making a goal to cut this back.
As far as dinner, perhaps 2-3 time a month? It was more over the holidays when we did traveling and had guests, but I think that's about right, roughly once every other week. The better I'm doing sticking to the meal plan, the better we do at not eating out at dinner.
Maybe a couple times a month. One or two lunch dates for DH and I (usually at a sandwich place or something) and maybe a nice sit down dinner at a local place. Eating out is not fun with DS, so we avoid it and just go when we have a sitter. I would say well under $100 a month, even with the sitter costs.
I just ran our 2010 spending reports last week. Of the 1,095 meals in 2010 (365 days x 3 meals a day), we ate out exactly 52 times. Ten of those were DD's school lunches, so that leaves 42 family meals out (2 or more of us; if DH or I go out with friends or solo, it comes out of our personal spending)...less than once a week. Our spending plan gave us $130 per month for 'dining', but we averaged $101 per month.
FTR, all eating we do on vacation comes out of the vacation account, so I don't know about that. We were on our first family fun vacation back in April for 9 days.
I'm preparing 2011's spending plan on Tuesday and will drop our dining to $105 per month. (Part of the difference will go towards 'food' -- as in groceries -- because we prefer to keep our CSA and cook at home mostly.) We are unlikely to go on vacation in 2011, so I want the extra $4 a month in the plan to cover a full year. We're good with this amount of eating out and the money we spend doing it. We've come a LONG WAY and are quite happy with where we are now.
We eat out 1, maybe 2 times, a month as a family. Once usually fast food or pho. If we eat out twice it's usually for a planned occasion at a specific restaurant. We're kinda foodies and we really love to cook good food and eat out at fantastic restaurants. We rarely eat at chains. So, when we do eat out at a restaurant it's either just DW and I, or the whole family, and easily runs $150+ per meal. That doesn't make it affordable or realistic very often - maybe every other month.
We consider ourselves more foodie types, too, but poor ones. LOL. I'm all over the newest restaurant for pho or the best falafel in the city. Right now, I'm looking forward to a new place with baja style fish tacos that has all the blogs talking. We only get to do the $150 type meals on anniversaries (mostly due to lack of babysitting--that would add an extra $50 to our night, and we can't swing it right now regularly).
Generally 1 or 2 times a week with the whole family and DH will go out a couple days a week for lunch. I don't go into town during the week unless it's something that cannot be postponed until a weekend. We have a CRV and an Excursion (for pulling the camper and ag trailers). It's really hard to justify making a trip when its over $15 in gas just to drive the Excursion into town.
The weekends are my what keep me sane (I get to see people other than my husband and kids) and when all the shopping happens. Most Saturdays we go grocery shopping, any other shopping we have to do and then lunch.
I'm so jealous of all the ethnic restaurants other mommas have access to!