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At what price is a meal too expensive for you?

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At what price is a meal too expensive for you?

Old 05-13-05, 06:28 AM
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At what price is a meal too expensive for you?

Relative question. I would answer this question very differently if I was in college instead of having 18 years of salarly making behind me... but my frugalness and cheap ways has me always looking for decent deals. And with food it's SO easy to "waste" money.

We eat out about four times a week. Any meal that costs more than $10.00 per person starts to have me questioning the worth. Of course, I throw a little caution to the wind for special occasions. And we use "buy one get one" sometimes.

The thought hit me this week when we were on vacation in Hilton Head and spent $55.00 total for two on an extremely average fish dinner at a popular restaurant. I could have had a better meal in Atlanta for 1/3 that price. Yeah, I know that is not a crazy price to some (I have lawyer friends who speak of dropping hundreds of bucks on a meal for one person).

I find it hard to enjoy an expensive meal even when I can afford it.
Old 05-13-05, 07:15 AM
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I've been around and would have to say "It depends". I take my family out to dinner weekly, and it's usually to some place like Applebee's or the really huge chinese buffet across from the mall (I know, but they have a real sushi bar, and it's incuded in the buffet price), and these places the tab usually runs to $30-35 for the three of us. However, for special occaisions I've been know to drop $200-300 for dinner for two without batting an eye. And when I was single and living in Berlin '87-'94, I felt it was my duty to myself to experience and enjoy the variety of cuisine available (favorite place - La Toulouse - filet mignon with a huge slab of sauteed goose liver and all the trimmings, bottle of wine, dessert and coffee, about DM350.- or $200, including a double Glenmorangie to sip by the piano while waiting for the table).
Old 05-13-05, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
Any meal that costs more than $10.00 per person starts to have me questioning the worth.
That's exactly how I feel.
Old 05-13-05, 07:18 AM
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Yeah, it truly depends. I view food mostly as a means to an end. Surviving! haha I just enjoy spending money on other things I guess.
Old 05-13-05, 07:26 AM
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For me it depends on if I'm just hungry, or looking for a dining experience. If I'm just hungry, $10 is close to a cut-off point for me. I'm looking for an experience to remember, I don't think about money. I've paid over $100/person a few times, and I'm hardly in a position to afford that, but they were special occasions, and I don't regret it at all.

It should be said though that I view dining out as a form of entertainment, similar to how some people view going to the movies or a sporting event, so I don't mind spending a premium price to eat at a nicer restaraunt. Also, I only very, very rarely eat any fast food, and even more rarely eat dinner at any corporate or chain restaraunts.
Old 05-13-05, 07:28 AM
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More than $100 a person.
Old 05-13-05, 07:39 AM
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Wife and I ate at Outback steakhouse last month, which is not a "unique dining experience" to say the least. There's hardly anything on the menu less than $10. I remember thinking the food can be this good. It wasn't.

I know I'm a tightwad and don't care.
Old 05-13-05, 07:40 AM
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While I was in college, anything above Ramen noodles and crackers was too rich for my blood. Now that I'm a couple years out, I'd say I spend about $15-$25 per person per meal. I wouldn't even say I eat at the really nice places(that price includes tax,tip and maybe a soda or ice tea). I try not to eat out often, maybe 3 times week. Lunches at work when I don't bring in food normally runs me about $7, which isn't too bad...

I'd say anything that costs over $30/person including everything is too expensive for me, even though I will do that maybe a couple times a year. I could probably afford it, but I'd rather save money for a trip somewhere than on a "nicer" restaurant.
Old 05-13-05, 07:42 AM
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For practical reasons, I would say $10-15 is about the limit. My gf and I always check the bill at the end and find we usually pay more for drinks. I usually try and limit the $40+ outings to once a week if I can help it. We had a streak last year where we would eat out almost every night, and weekends were usually to super-pricey places. That gets expensive very very quickly. For a special occasion, $100-150 is not out of the question. The special occasions can't just come once a week though.
Old 05-13-05, 07:42 AM
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Depends on who is paying. I've had $100 meals on company dime and quite a few $50 meals on my own.

Also depends if you are counting alcohol in your "meal price" -- in that case I've easily had $200 meals on company dime.
Old 05-13-05, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
Also depends if you are counting alcohol in your "meal price" -- in that case I've easily had $200 meals on company dime.
Good point. I wasn't even thinking about alcohol. That would definitely account for a good portion of upping the bill. I love alcohol, but usually just wait until I get home to make a drink (unless I'm in a bar specifically to drink).
Old 05-13-05, 08:12 AM
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Depends on the type of restaurant. If I'm just going out for a Saturday night meal, then an entree above $20 would be too much. Special occasions merit higher. Still, I probably wouldn't pay more than $30. I don't drink beer or alcohol at dinner.
Old 05-13-05, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
Any meal that costs more than $10.00 per person starts to have me questioning the worth. Of course, I throw a little caution to the wind for special occasions. And we use "buy one get one" sometimes.
Same here. Only occasionaly will I go for the $11.99 meal at, say, TGI Fridays. Actually had some Chipoltle Shrimp for that price last week. So for everyday life, under $10. When you get to the $20-$30 per person range, you are more than likely paying for the atmosphere. These are great for romantic dinners.

Originally Posted by atlantamoi
The thought hit me this week when we were on <u>vacation</u> in <u>Hilton Head</u>
Well that is two reasons right there. 1. Vacation spots are notoriously more expensive. 2. Hilton Head, everything there is more expensive. Nice vacation spot though.
Old 05-13-05, 08:44 AM
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Its hard to buy LUNCH here for much less than $10. Usually 7 or 8 is my average, and that's without a drink.

Usually dinners are around $10-15 not including drinks. Usually I'll back away from a place if the cheapest entree is more than $20. However, on special occasions I've dropped over $100 pp.
Old 05-13-05, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownAbs, Inc
Depends on who is paying. I've had $100 meals on company dime and quite a few $50 meals on my own.

Also depends if you are counting alcohol in your "meal price" -- in that case I've easily had $200 meals on company dime.

Yeah - alcohol is the real whammy.
Old 05-13-05, 09:17 AM
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suziq999

Its hard to buy LUNCH here for much less than $10. Usually 7 or 8 is my average, and that's without a drink.

Usually dinners are around $10-15 not including drinks. Usually I'll back away from a place if the cheapest entree is more than $20. However, on special occasions I've dropped over $100 pp.
Same here. If I go out to lunch, it typically runs me 7 or 8 bucks, sometimes more, and I try to stick to around $10-$15/person for dinner (sometimes it's not my choice ) if I'm eating out. Every now and then I'll splurge on something more expensive, but I've only <i>very</i> rarely had a meal that cost more than $25 and was better than something I could have had for less.

das
Old 05-13-05, 09:19 AM
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$100 for both of us, gratuity included, is as high as I like to go if humanly possible. There are so many good places to eat for $40-50 that I rarely even flirt with that.
Old 05-13-05, 09:26 AM
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Top Ramen will feed two people for 12.5 cents. Anything over and above that, you're getting ripped off.
Old 05-13-05, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
$100 for both of us, gratuity included, is as high as I like to go if humanly possible. There are so many good places to eat for $40-50 that I rarely even flirt with that.
Word.
Old 05-13-05, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Top Ramen will feed two people for 12.5 cents. Anything over and above that, you're getting ripped off.

"Top" Ramen? Well La-di-dah, Mr. Trump. Plain old Ramen is good enough for me and my family @10/$1.00
Old 05-13-05, 09:53 AM
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We try to keep our meals at a reasonable price most of the time, but we do like to have fancy meals once in a while. When we were in France, we had a fantastic meal that lasted about 5 hours and cost about $300 for the two of us. Granted, that was with 5 courses, wine, dessert, apertifs, digestifs, etc. Usually when we're doing the fancy meal, $200 can come awfully quickly, especially with wine/cocktails.
Old 05-13-05, 09:55 AM
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We do a lot of take, mostly because we can't take our monster-children anywhere these days. We can get take out from Baha Fresh for $20 for all four of us, as long as we do drinks here at home. And we can get Chinese from the local Safeway store for all four of us for under $15.
Old 05-13-05, 10:03 AM
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When it costs significantly more than the meal and the dining experience was worth I consider it too expensive. An occasional great meal, even at a high price, isn't too expensive.
Old 05-13-05, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Xander
When we were in France, we had a fantastic meal
I was in France earlier this year and was in pure ANGUISH! Yeah, I know... it's France. Romance and all, but still. Unbelievable prices.
Old 05-13-05, 10:12 AM
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We go out about once or twice a week and all four of us eat for about $35 on average. I've never spent more than $40 a person.

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