Apr 15 2010

How often do you dine out?

Alyssa has an interesting question on her blog the other day. She asked, “How often do you dine out?” The comments were interesting!

Some families dined out rarely, and some went to restaurants or got take-out several times per week.

These days, we go out to eat maybe once per month, but there have been times when we haven’t dined out at all.

We used to go out more often, but it’s become more infrequent because lately, we’re trying to be more conscious of what we eat.

I’m concerned about artificial ingredients in foods, so that eliminates probably all fast food options (except maybe Subway?). And I don’t trust some of the lower end sit-down places, either. When I look at nutrition info online, it just looks bad.

It’s hard to want to go out to eat when you’re thinking about how bad the stuff is for you!

We enjoy eating at home. It’s cheaper and I like to cook.

So when we do go out to eat, we try to choose a place that uses real, fresh ingredients. It’s hard to know for sure which places are like that, but it seems like really nice restaurants (you know, the really nice ones with white tablecloths and stuff) use real food. Now, it’s not to say that all places like that cook that way, but to me it seems more likely.

Shane and I used a Groupon* earlier this week and went to such place. The food was good and it wasn’t greasy or questionable. Without the Groupon, it would have cost $75 with tip. But, my coupon was worth $40 off and I didn’t actually have to pay for it, thanks to referral credit.

To me, $35 for two is a pretty good deal. I’d rather spend a little more on a nicer place, and go less often, than to go to fast food or lower end stuff more often.

What about you? How often do you eat out? And do you know of any national chains/Pittsburgh restaurants that use real food?

*Referral link

5 Responses to “How often do you dine out?”

  1. There are healthier options at fast-food places…sometimes. Wendy’s has a good assortment of healthier options…their baked potatoes, for example, and their salads, such as the Mandarin Chicken and side salads aren’t bad, either. Also the Pita Pit. Chipotle advertises that it uses environmentally/body friendly products and whole foods, but idk what kind of truth there is to that.

    But you’re right, it can be difficult.

  2. Thanks for those ideas, Whit! I guess if you get a plain baked potato that would be ok. Or with some real butter.

    We don’t have a Pita Pit here :(. Chipotle might be a good place for me to check out again. I always thought their stuff was way too spicy.

  3. Tomato Pie Cafe on the edge of North Park. If you sit outside, you’re surrounded by the basil, rosemary, etc. they grow for the food and you can see their garden in back of the restaurant. Yummy!

    Enrico’s Cafe on the Strip. They’re very involved in the local food movement.

  4. In December I embarked on a way of eating in which I’m to avoid all processed foods, as well as all grains, gluten, some types of dairy, sugars, artificial sweeteners, oils like canola, safflower, vegetable, margarine, soy products, etc., etc. As a result, it has greatly narrowed my choices in eating out. My family still does fast food, I haven’t had any since December. My hubby and I like to go out once in a while to a restaurant but we never went out all that often. I never enjoyed it that much, annoyed with the price and very often disappointed that the food didn’t taste as good as what I cook for myself at home. I do have a lead on one restaurant that serves “real” food and has gluten-free entrees on the menu, so I want to try that place out one of these days. It is also recommended to eat organic food but I have not been able to wrap my brain around the cost to go there – and it would lessen my options even further. I have experienced enough changes on this new way of eating that I am persuaded to continue. Do you have Baja Fresh restaurants there? I hear that they are “real” food.
    .-= Mrs. Accountability´s last blog ..True Confessions – We Bought AJ His First Car =-.

  5. We are part of the healthy food “revolution” as well (I clicked over from kellythekitchenkop’s site). Aside from all the gross stuff that can happen in a restaurant kitchen, we are concerned with the health consequences from eating chemicals and GMOs (which is what most restaurants serve because it is the cheapest and increases their profit margins). We used to eat out 4-5 times a week between take out and sit down dining. Now we prepare every meal we eat with natural/organic foods. We are saving money and creating good family memories for our kids.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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