Ask the Readers: How Often Do You Eat Out?

By Ashley Jacobs on 27 September 2011 (Updated 4 October 2011) 190 comments
Photo: Dominic Alves

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Angie W, Hollie, and Lezlee for winning this week's contest!

There's no way around it, everyone has to eat. If you are frugal, chances are you opt to make your own food as opposed to eating out. But every once in awhile, be it for social or convenience reasons, a dining experience at a local restaurant tends to be the norm for most people.

How often do you eat out?  Once a week? Every other week? Only on special occasions? When you eat out, do you do anything to save money? 

Tell us how often you eat out and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, October 3rd at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after October 3rd on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Note: Due to recent changes in Facebook's promotions guidelines, we have restructured the entry format of our giveaways.

Good Luck!

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Renee

http://twitter.com/#!/ReneeAChapman/status/118838573838508033

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Linda V.

I 'like' you on FB! =)

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Linda V.

I eat out at least twice a week and on special occasions, although I try not to eat out as much. But it's extremely difficult when you have a chef as a bf who also loves to eat! However, I must say that every time I eat is a special occasion for me. You see, I love love love food (I would consider myself a foodie) and enjoy eating both home-cooked creations as well as a vast variety of ethnic foods. When I eat out, I do try to save money. I use places such as Open Table which racks up points for you if you make reservations to restaurants on their website (after 2000pts they send you a $20 dining check to use towards an Open Table restaurant), Restaurant.com- which I buy gift certificates that cost about 70%+ less than the actual value of the certificate, coupons from ads or online coupons, and lastly, I buy vouchers from various online food deals for restaurants from places such as Groupon.com, LivingSocial.com, etc. All of these places are great to use for dining on a budget, whether you're going out to eat for your weekly meal, or going out for a special occasion!

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MikeW

Believe it or not, my wife and I have finacially angled ourselves to eat other every day in peter to SAVE, yep you read it, money. I'm not talking Ruths Chris or Lobster dinners but between living social and groupon, lunch deals, and plain old fast food..we actually save against what we would normally buy in ingrediants and produce. I'm sire this couldn't work if we had a large family with kids, but for just two folks on the go in the city..its a winner. We somewhat justify it a little further by saying we save on natural gas, power, time benefit, etc. It makes sense for is.

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tim

once a month

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GuestTom

nine times per week- 7 dinners, 2 breakfasts

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Sue

We eat out 2 to 3 times per month, thats down from couple times a week a few years ago.

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Rusty

I eat out once or twice a week.

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NJJ

I only eat out once or twice a month as a special treat!

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Guest

I eat out 2-3 times a week on average!

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Guest

Once a month one breakfast out with friends; one lunch out with a different group of friends.

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Leigh

We eat out quite a bit, probably 80-90% of our meals are not cooked at home.

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Ally

I eat out at least once a month. I tend to go out for brunch which is often cheaper than going out for dinner.

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Jenny

One to two times per week. Trying to cut it back to two Fridays a month!

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Kim

We usually get a pizza once a week and when our schedules get too crazy, we take out food. Between the soccer practices and other school activities, it's tough to make dinner at home. The way we do save money, though, is everyone eats breakfast at home, and takes their own lunches to school and work.

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Katherine

I wish I ate out less frequently, but we just moved to a big city and we had no groceries. We've been averaging about 1-2 times a week (up from 2 times a month).

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Joan

I eat out twice on the weekends only. My family and I get together to catch up with each other over a shared meal. This is our time to share.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

My husband and I eat out once a week (in a restaurant) with my parents. We also get take out 2 or 3 other times a week.

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Therese

We usually just eat out on special occasions, but more often in the summer when we are out later and don't get home in time to cook.

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Denise Yribarren

We (family of 4 adults) eat out once every 2 weeks spending about $25. We have revised this figure to keeping the amount well under $20. We are considering changing this to once every 3 weeks.

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Heather

I generally eat out about 2 times a week, most often for lunch to catch up with friends and family. I find that lunch is a bit easier on the pockets. But I do go to coffee out frequently, also easier on the pockets but boy does it add up!

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Erm, does ordering in count as eating out? We hardly ever eat out as we're really good at cooking and see it as time to spend together! If we order in it's probably at most, once a week. Woop Woop!

Maria xx
www.cheekypinktulip.blogspot.com

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Lynda

about 1-3 times a week. right now- more as we are planning a wedding and have less time to cook.

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Lynda

tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/oshkoshbgosh123/status/118931999149916160

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Lynda

i like wisebread on facebook

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Kathryn

It depends on the coupons I can find, especially if there are just two people - sometimes with a buy one get one free it is not much more expensive than it would be to fix the same thing at home and I don't have to do dishes afterwards.

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kristina wittchen

About once or twice a month.

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More often than I'd like. I'd say a few times a week all summer.

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gt0163c

I eat out about once a week or once every other week. It's almost always on the weekend, usually after church on Sunday.

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Shannon Flowerday

My fiance and I made a rule to only eat out once a week to save money, and we save that for the weekend. We normally stick to it, but sometimes we have an occasional lunch or breakfast out too.

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My family and I eat out about twice a month. Once just the hubby and I on our monthly date nights and then once with the kids - usually the local McD's with an indoor playground for those bad-weather days when they need to get out of the house.

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Jenn H

We eat out about 3 times a month.

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Andrew

My wife and I eat out once a week now that we're on a stricter budget.

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BillDeel

In my younger days I ate out probably 3-8 times per week. Now, we only eat out when my wife and I are together. For the past few months (since we started our new budget), we have been eating out once per week on average. This is usually on the weekend for a special breakfast or lunch out.

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Guest

Dont eat out much, usually an event such as a birthday or fathers day. Not much to choose from in small towns.

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EJ

In the last six months, my husband and I have cut down on how much we eat out. We eat out once a week. However, now that football season has started our eating out has increased. Go out on Saturday for college football and Sunday for the NFL.

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Sonia Marlow

We eat out 2-3 times per week sometimes. Then we'll add up how much we have spent and how we could have better applied the money and the eating out will come to a screeching halt! I like you on FB!
The Marlow's

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Lorena M

I eat out maybe once a week, if not once every two weeks. It's hard to stay motivated to make my lunch for work every day, but I'm determined to not make my efforts to save money be in vain!

and I'm now officially following on Facebook, Yay for regular updates!

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Jill

About 2 times per week.

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Elizabeth S.

I like (Love) your facebook page!

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Elizabeth S.

We eat out less than once a month. My 5 year old just found out who Ronald McDonald is. When she turned five a few weeks ago we decided on a free day, and she found out what a McDonald playland is. :) We may not eat healthy at home all the time, but we definitely do not need to eat out all the time.

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sabrina andrews

My husband and I go out to dinner about twice a week. We are tring to cut that down to about once a week!

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Jen

I hardly ever eat dinner out unless it is for a special occasion, and try to only buy lunch 1-2 times per week

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ck

I eat out about twice a month. Drinking water is a good way to save money in restaurants.

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Ian

I eat out at least twice a week, usually on weekends.

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Jess G.

Oh dear. I eat out more times than not, sadly. At least once a week for breakfast, at least once a week for lunch, and maybe 2-3 times for dinner.

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Jess G.

Also, I like Wise Bread on Facebook.

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Mary

I dine out more than I should...probably about once a week for lunch and twice for dinner.

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Kristen

I probably eat out no more the three times a month. I don't go anywhere that will break my budget. I tend to pick something that I don't typically make at home so that it's a fun treat and adds variety to my routine.

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Alicia C.

I eat out once a year - on my birthday. And that's when my father takes the family out to eat. I wouldn't pay that much for food that I can cook at home for a fraction of the price!

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Alicia C.

I like you on FB
alicia crenshaw
And I liked this post.

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Alicia C.

Twitter
http://twitter.com/#!/amccrenshaw/status/119436867715350529

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Gena L

We eat out twice a week or so.

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Gena L

I liked you on FB

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Gena L

http://twitter.com/#!/CptFussybuckets/status/119438711560736769
tweeted!

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David S

1-3 times a week, and almost always to be social.

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Ernest S.

I eat out at least once on the weekend with my wife, and twice during the work week with my co-workers. I try to plan it out so that I brown-bag my lunch the rest of the week with leftovers.

It used to feel like a drag to always bring/eat leftovers, but I find that it is becoming more enjoyable. I think it also helps to get away from your desk and some fresh air -- in my case, I've been eating lunch outside and loving it (plus, it seems to make me more productive overall).

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Ernest S.

"Liked" on Facebook!

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Summer

We eat out 2 to 3 times a week, depending on the week if it was good or crazy. We also use coupons to save money.

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Summer

Follow and Tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/LLLSummer/status/119477379553964033

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Anne

We go out for dinner about once a week for pizza. There's a local pizza place that serves delicious and authentic Italian pizzas - by far the best that I've had in this area. The price is about $25, which includes the tip. It's our weekly treat. A few years back, we used to go out more often, but that was soon draining our bank accounts, so we had to cut back drastically.

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Lisa

We usually eat out Saturdays and Sundays because we are always running around, but we always use a coupon !!

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Dorene Tetkowski

We eat out usually at least one night a week, Saturday night. Sometimes two and that would be Friday.

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Brenda

My husband and I eat out at least 4 times a week or more, my husband still works so he also eats out during lunch. Many retirees around here join friends for breakfast, etc. We are even called the Breakfast Bunch at church.

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Tomomes

Once a week. Try to save by not eating appetizers. Going to BYOB restaurants.

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Aaron Christian

When we eat out, we try to order water instead of a soft drink. At around $2 a head for fountain drinks, this is a great way to save.

We eat our 1-2 per week at fast food restaurants and perhaps once per month at more expensive sit down restaurants.

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Courtney

We eat out everyday of the week! Weekends we splurge and go to more expensive places but our budget is definitely taking a hit.

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Emily

We eat out once a week, and I try to use coupons.

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Patti

I usually go out to eat with co-workers once a week. I also go out again on the weekend with my boyfriend. It's our reward for bring lunches during most of the week. We tend to go to more ethnic restaurants like Thai, Indian, and Vietnamese.

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Patti

I also liked the Facebook page.

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Rita

I eat out M-F for lunch and sometimes on the weekends!! I also liked you on Facebook.

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Olivia

About once a month. We do it for special occassions and sometimes when the grocery money allows, just for fun. We use coupons for fast food. We sometimes redeem survey points for gift cards to nicer places.

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Pat Pierce

My husband and I eat out at least twice a week...especially if we're out doing errands at mealtime as we live fairly far from most amenities. Convenience and good coupons make it appealing.

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Liz Blu

We eat out 2 or 3 times per week and almost
always at sit-down-be waited-upon restaurants.

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Carla Wrege

I eat out twice everyday. I spend 9.98 each day and since I don't buy groceries it's cheaper for me and more convenient;)

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Guest chris

Twice a month..

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Angie W

We eat out about once or twice a month at most. It is so much more economical to eat at home, not to mention that it tastes better!

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Angie W

Like you on Facebook as Angie White

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angel

I eat out almost every work day for lunch(gotta change that) and every Sunday with my family after church.

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Tiffany R

We typically get a pizza once a month and we eat out someplace special a few times a year for various birthdays. My son's last birthday, he requested Chick-fil-A - I was happy to accommodate.

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Michelle

We eat out a lot, whether it's just a snack or a meal, nearly everyday.

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Lincoln Haresign

i eat out 2-3 times a week

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Tomomes

I liked you on Facebook!

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Sarah

As a graduate student, I only eat out approximately once a wee, usually only for convenience. Also, for me, eating on campus also constitutes as eating out. To stay frugal and fit, I make my lunches and dinners.

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Tomomes

I didn't leave my email last time so adding in this post.

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Carmen

Dinner - on average every other week. Lunch - I tend to go out once a week.

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Courtney Lowe

We eat out maybe once a month...maybe.

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Guest

Once a month, max.

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Guest

I eat out once every two months - I am a single mom, a teacher in Wisconsin ( lost about 10%) of my pay to Scott Walker regime...and that is only the start - I can see going to twice a year soon.

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PinkPanther

It really depends. Back where I come from eating out is very cheap and lots of healthy and unhealthy options so it's common for my family to eat out almost everyday, twice a day almost.
Moving to where I am now, my partner has buys his lunch outside daily (business lunches) while I make my own because I'm don't like to lose focus while working.
We eat out weekends - usually friday dinner, breakfast and dinner on the weekends.
We should probably cut back because food isn't as good outside most times if we're looking at home style cooked food. But gourmet and restaurants aren't bad choices, you just sometimes get sick of them. Better to save the money anyway.