Eating Out As A Couple

Eating out as a couple seems far more expensive than eating out by myself x 2. I always used to think that SP’s restaurant spending looked so high, but now I’m starting to understand why. I can do division or multiplication by 2 in my head easily, but paying for two seems so much more expensive psychologically. Paying for two is way more motivation to me that we should just cook at home.

Every time I see $10 pancakes when I go out for brunch with a girlfriend or by myself, it doesn’t seem expensive. But when I go out for brunch with my boyfriend? I think about how many boxes of pancake mix I could buy with $10 (3-4 boxes of pancake mix) and how many weekends of pancakes that would make (probably 4-5 weekends per box, so 12-20 weekends with $10 of mix). But then when you throw in $3 for syrup, which lasts for ages (usually over a year for me).

I buy orange juice by the gallon and it seems to run me about $8. So, paying for orange juice at a restaurant seems ridiculous when it is $4-5 per glass. That means that two glasses of orange juice in a restaurant costs more than a GALLON of orange juice, which will last me about 2-3 weeks or 7x(2 or 3)=14-21 glasses of orange juice. That seems insane.

A couple of years ago, I tried bringing my lunch to work every day for a month. I calculated that buying sandwich bread every week, meat, cheese, etc. it cost me about $3 per sandwich, but if I was buying sandwiches, it would cost me about $5 per day. For $2/day, having fresh bread was worth it to me. That said, I no longer just eat sandwiches for lunch. My coworkers want to eat more expensive things for lunch every day. Even with lunches becoming more expensive, I’m not spending more than $10/day.

But dinners out? They’re expensive. This is driving me nuts.

He…is used to eating out for dinner every night, so our compromise is that we’ll slowly adjust to cooking more. I think he’s starting to appreciate cooking, the time at home while you’re making the food, and the fact that I seem to always have food to cook in my apartment. But it’s still weird to him! It’s so weird cooking for two and it often results in no leftovers, which I love. I’m actually enjoying cooking more often and it is so nice to have company while cooking, which is far better motivation for eating at home than just being by myself. (Even though if I cooked everything at home, including lunches, my monthly food bill would be so cheap! I just don’t need to go down that low.)

That said, my budgeting for food is completely wonky since we both randomly pay for groceries and for meals out. It’s a good thing that I don’t get mad at myself if I mess up on my budgeted amount for food since, well, I still need to eat! I’m especially forgiving on the groceries line item.

Readers, do you see eating out as a couple as more expensive than single eating out x 2 like I do?

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20 thoughts on “Eating Out As A Couple

    • The closest one is 4 miles away. At ~25 MPG in the city, that’s 0.16 gallons each way or approximately a cost of $1.25 in gas for the trip.

      I mostly just prefer being able to eat breakfast in pyjamas rather than having to shower and go somewhere :P

      • It’s Denny’s, pajamas would be fine.

        PS I think you can get all-you-can-eat pancakes at Denny’s for like four bucks. Plus anything else is cheap and amazing. Definitely justifies $1.25 worth of gas.

  1. I think usually it gets more expensive than eating by myself x 2, as we will probably order desserts too, which I rarely do by myself. Also, the grocery bill I find it gets more expensive as I like some expensive products (organic dairy) but I don’t care about the soap brand for instance, but when we buy together we get both the expensive dairy and the expensive soap to make both of us happy. Also I had bought very rarely candy bars, chocolates, biscuits but now they are a staple :). He also says he did not eat as many vegetables which are not cheap either…

  2. I have found that eating out as a couple is more expensive than eating out twice by myself, but I think that much of the difference is WHERE I go and WHAT I eat in each situation.

    If I’m grabbing lunch (or even dinner alone) I’ll often stop somewhere quick and easy and come out spending less than $15 (often under 10).

    If I’m going out with someone else, it’s often a much nicer place and the meal isn’t anywhere near as rushed. Two entrees, an appetizer, maybe a shared desert, a couple of drinks, and the tip and you are at $60 to $80 without much trouble (and often much more).

    I find that I do eat out more when I am single, mostly because cooking for myself gets old having to do both the cooking and cleaning myself and while leftovers are fine somethings I just don’t want to face the prospect of eating every night for a week.

    • That is so true! I usually get quick stuff if I’m buy myself and never order drinks or dessert. I love not having leftovers when cooking for two! (I hate leftovers and they’re so order to end up actually eating.)

  3. Yes eating out as two is expensive, but just wait until you guys want to take a trip together. I still get sticker shock when I see the price of TWO plane tickets!

    • Oh…yeah, that’ll be even worse! :( We would probably pay evenly, so it wouldn’t be so bad, but I guess you still book plane tickets together and see that number…

  4. It always cost more when I go out to eat with others, I tend to drink soda instead of water and order more expensive items. I’m not sure why that happens, but it does….I have no plans to start cooking though.

  5. I’m also usually shocked by my own eating out expenses and think they are too high! :) I usually order water as well, unless, that is, we order alcohol. But we do sometimes get an appetizer or desert, and if we go out with friends, we do often order drinks…. It’s hard. Then we have two people occasionally eating out for work lunches, snacks, etc.!

    • On Friday, we spent $12+tax+tip for dinner! We managed to eat happy hour size food and didn’t order any alcohol since we were driving somewhere right after. So cheap!

      I think I would be scared to see the work lunches + coffee + snacks for both of us totaled together :/

  6. Oh yes, I hated the costs of dating :D I thought it was a scary expense.

    Now, PiC and I average $26-28 for dinners out after tax and tip, that seems to be our meals out average, actually, though we like to shoot for less of course, and generally don’t eat out so very often. It’s usually a time-or-sanity saving tactic. I’m not finding there’s any savings to eating together vs singly anymore except that I simply don’t eat out alone. If I’m alone, I simply snack at home or cook.

    • If it’s scary for us as women, I can only imagine how scary it is to guys, though they’re probably more used to it? Yup, I’ve definitely started cooking at home more in the last year or so than I did previously and so I normally cook at home if it’s just me. It helps that I’m a good 10 minute walk from the closest food now :)

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