Yardsale update…it was a complete success! I sold almost everything out and made a grand total of $234, which will go a long ways towards my black/white bedroom redo. YIPPEE!! And I had fun meeting a few blog friends too. A big hello goes out to Lorrie from TN, who was here visiting for the weekend and wanted to hit my yardsale. I’m SO glad she did. And also Leigh (from Tales from Bloggeritaville) stopped by. We have been emailing back and forth for awhile now, so it was great to meet her, yes finally (little bitty thing). Shout outs to Regina and Sally too who both live in the area and stopped by.
My neighbor, who owns a women’s consignment boutique was also having her bi-annual yardsale with clothes that came from her shop. Now we are talking very nice clothes. So, I took my money down to her house to see what she had left. Oh, and I found plenty. She was so generous. I took all I wanted home with me to try on and came back to pay her…I got 15 things for $15!! Can you believe that. Many of these are brand new with the tags still on, since she gets closeouts from local boutiques. We are talking Anne Klein, J. Crew, Harolds, Ann Taylor and many other great brands. I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe. I called my friend, Debbie, to get in on the action and she came over and got 20 things for herself and her daughter. We were trying on clothes in my bedroom, throwing them around and exchanging with each other…it was so fun. All in all…a very good day! Keep reading for the real topic for today….
After reading a recent article in our local Sunday paper, that got me thinking about the subject. Without a doubt, we are definitely eating out a LOT less than we used to. When we were dating in Atlanta, we hit our share of fine dining restaurants and enjoyed it thoroughly. But now, we are mostly stay at home folks and I cook a meal every night for dinner and we save the pricey restaurants for special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries. I know our American society has long been on the eating out bandwagon, with busy schedules, kids’ sports, and the just plain busy pace of our culture nowadays. This article really made some interesting points about how all that seems to be changing with our higher gas prices, as well as economic instability. Eating out is just plain more expensive and it seems that a lot more people are embracing home cooking with gusto. I think that’s great!
This article is from The Associated Press by Ramit Plushnick-Masti and gave some interesting statistics about the subject:
Apparently there is a national trend to eat at home to save money. But after years of eating out, many people have found they don’t have a pot to cook in or a cookbook to guide them. The sudden rush to buy basic cooking necessities has driven up sales of cookbooks, inexpensive cookware and the basic foods needed to concoct a meal. And cooking magazines and Web sites are booming even as magazine sales overall have suffered.
About 45% of Americans are eating out less this year to save money, a nearly 12% increase from 2007, according to consumer research.
Cookware sales overall have declined in the past year, but items selling for less than $100 are doing remarkably well. Further evidence is a boost in sales of “center store” items in supermarkets — pasta, canned goods, baking goods and spices. Sales of such items have risen by 3.4% in recent months.
Bon Appetit, a magazine that serves up recipes for everything from gourmet meals to fast and easy dinners, said newsstand sales in May 2008 were up 39% from a year ago. And many bookstores have reported boosts in cookbook sales.
Because of the eating-in trend, some casual dining restaurants are taking a hit in stock price and sales. But, even cooking can be expensive and a survey on grocery sales found that about 30% of 1,000 consumers questioned said they were buying less fresh produce. Half said they were buying more generic brand products. And it looks like prices will keep rising, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. In February, the service forecast food prices will increase between 3 to 4% this year. Last year’s 4% increase was the highest in 17 years.
So, where does that leave you and me? Are you joining the fairly new trend of cooking and eating at home or do you still go the easy route and eat out a lot of meals per week?
For us, we eat out maybe once a week together. And that is almost always a very inexpensive sort of meal. We are fortunate to have some very good locally owned restaurants nearby that are very reasonably priced, from seafood, to Mexican, BBQ, or a meat and 3 type place. I see many of you on your blogs talking about saving money on meals and cooking, so I know a lot of cooking at home is going on too. I will go out to lunch with girlfriends, maybe once a week or so, but the majority of our food is consumed at home. Cooking is without a doubt more cost effective than eating out. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to try at home all the time, adding flavor and variety to our meals.
What are you doing to save money AND eat well at the same time? This is a subject that is not going to go away anytime soon, so let’s see what all of you are doing to curtail the expense of eating out.
Congrats on the garage sale…you did great! You also hauled away some goodies on the fashion front too!
We are definitely eating out less..plus when I cook, I try to make enough so that we have lunch for the next day too.
Have a great week!
Cindy ~ My Romantic Home says
Wow, thats a great deal on clothes! $1 each!
We have been eating out more in the last year than we used to but within the last month or so I’ve cut back. This economy is really scarey now.
Sandi McBride says
We eat out once a week…on Date NIght Friday…other than that we eat lots of home grown veggies…it’s the only way to go
GARAGE SALE GAL says
I’m catching up with reading blogs:)
so, the hutch looks great, looks like great deals at your garage sale and how fun to meet some blogging gals and I’m tired of cooking meals at home. I make the same old stuff and now with 2 of us, it’s not as fun and we still eat out once a week maybe 2. It’s one of our Treats.
Miss Sandy says
It looks like you got some really great clothes from your friends sale!
We eat in far more than we eat out. We enjoy going out maybe once a month for a nice dinner and at the most some type of fast food once or twice a month. We like for meal time to be a part of our family time and enjoy cooking together as a family.
I find I save money by making out a menu for two weeks and shopping for all the necessary items at one time. I find I make less trips to the store if I have everything on hand and don’t pick up extra items like I would with extra trips. I also use green bags for fresh produce and it lasts weeks so I can purchase ahead without it spoiling. They can be pricey up front but are worth it in the long run.
Jules from "The Roost" says
Very good post I am so glad I found your blog! Love it. We are in fact eating in more. We are empty nest and went through a phase of eating out almost every night. That got old fast. It is quieter and more relaxing at home. And good I might add 😉
We were travelling this weekend and I was reminded of how much I dislike eating out. I have always been a big believer in family dinners at home…even trained my workaholic husband years ago! It has to be somewhere really good and special for me to really enjoy eating out. We have had to travel a lot for the kids activities over the years and I am burned out on all the “chains”. I always pack a cooler for our trips with sandwiches and healthy snacks…it saves money and time!
If I ever found a garage sale like yours I’d be completely broke so I guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t around for yours! I’m glad you did so well. Your things were beautiful.
I love the skirts you got from your friend. Those types of skirts are my favorites, so comfortable yet so feminine.
We do pretty much what you do as far as eating out. We’ve been operating that way for years so not much has changed for us during this crunch time.
As for saving money on groceries I’m a coupon queen who can save lots of money on groceries. My biggest success was a few years ago when I bought $58 in groceries and paid $1.03! However, the prices and sales are a lot different these days. The thing that is helping me most at present is to make a menu that includes all the meals and snacks for the week and make a grocery list and stick to it. I’ve also become the leftover police making sure that my teenagers reach for food that is already in the fridge and needs to be consumed before preparing something else. And I’ve become much more efficient at taking leftovers and converting them into something else, a new meal.
One other way I save money is to prepare my menu and list according to the loss leader sales for the week. These are usually on the front pages of the store flyers. I also stock up when they have buy one, get one free sales, especially if I have coupons to add to those sales. I tend to stop at three stores that are in the same general vicinity in order to take advantage of the loss leader sales in each one. It sounds like a lot of time, but I’ve gotten it down to a science so it’s really pretty quick shopping. The key is to prepare ahead of time and only buy things that are not on your list if they are on DEEP discount and you actually need them. And pray before you ever leave the house!
Jo from Toronto! says
This is a great post! I love those great clothes that you got at your friend’s sale, by the way. But I’m very sad that I’m NO WHERE near Alabama, because I can see that I definitely missed out on your garage sale!
I think this post about saving money by eating out less is quite timely. However, ever since we started eating in (because of your excellent recipes and others from Southern Living), I see a lot more people with bagged lunches at work. I’m not sure why that is. Personally, I get sick of eating out. I feel like the food tends to taste the same after a while.
One thing we have done in order to save more money is giving up our car. Because we gave up our car, I also gave up my gym membership (because I walk everywhere now). Mind you, I live in the wonderful city of Mississauga, which was designed to be like a series of “mini-cities” with a library, firestation, grocery store, wine store, etc every few miles. So I’m not more than a 20 minute walk from anything I need.
In our group of friends, we have an unfortunate couple who are currently NOT dealing with $25K in credit card debt. I noticed that ever since they revealed this tidbit, a LOT more of my friends have gone to secondhand shops and started eating in. This was way before the stock market and real estate trouble started, by the way. I think seeing how they’ve sort of dug themselves into a hole is a constant reminder of how we don’t want to live.
I would have to say that my biggest encouragement comes from simple recipes, such as yours! By the way, my brothers-in-law loved the fig cake (which was easy as pie!) so thank you from all of us!
Mom on the Run says
Since we have so many kids, we don’t eat out that often (especially now that they are grown and eat a lot!) DOTR and I work together so we usually go out to lunch at Sweet Tomatoes about once a week (with a buy one get one free coupon) and usually we take the kids to our favorite Mexican dive when everybody is home from school as a “family night out”. Otherwise, it’s mom’s home cooking and always has been. With just boys in the house, though, I hear a lot more objections to the frou-frou stuff I used to cook, so I’ve had to change to more manly menus for growing boys. I guess real men don’t eat quiche at my house anymore. Or if they do, they complain about it.
We rarely eat out as a family…maybe once a month. It’s hard with three kids just logistically, and I don’t want to spend money like that if I can’t relax with a glass of wine and eat my meal without lots of interruptions. I eat out a couple times a week for lunch at work, and have really laid off getting Starbucks on the drive into the office in the morning. We, too, save the expensive going out for anniversaries, birthday’s etc. (and without the kids!). Now, paying the babysitter is a whole other issue. The going rate in our neighborhood is $15/hour. Yikes!