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.
Ivy Lane says
I love your blog! We are definitely eating out LESS..we used to go out 3-4 times a week. We have really been enjoying staying in, and cooking at home. The local farmer’s markets have such great seasonal produce for far less money… it is fun to experiment, eat fresh wholesome food and be in the sanctuary of HOME! 🙂
Between what you were selling and what you bought, I am SO jealous!! What can’t I be so lucky to find yardsales like the one in your neighborhood!?!?
And as far as the article on eating out. We have definitely been trying to eat out less.
I have foind that it helps a lot by menu planning. Even though coming up with new ideas is hard sometimes. Especially since my husband and I both work full time outside of the home, so we try to find decent “quick” meals.
Not doing very well as far as saving on the grocery bill but I figure the money we are saving by not eating out so much is definitely a step in the right direction. Now if I could only get better at the whole coupon thing.
Cottage Rose says
Glad you had a great garage sale, and love all the clothes you bought from your friends. How lucky for you. I know what you mean about eating at home, I always cook at home more. It is just me and hubby, so sometimes it is hard to find something for just two of us, but I do try. I am not a fancy cook just plain, but it works for us.
Have a great week.
We are eating out less, sticking to a grocery budget and using coupons. With the budget and coupons we are saving $50-60 per week.
Hi Rhoda and congratulations on your yardsale. But Woo Hoo on all the beautiful clothes you bot. What a deal!! But you’re so small, you would look great in anything you put on!!
Well, I’m kinda like you. I cook every evening too. I do like to go out to dinner and we do that about twice a week, mostly on the weekends. But with grocery prices going up, I really don’t know if I’ve saving any money. But I like to cook and have gotten some great recipes from right here in blogland.
Hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend and be a sweetie,
We’re eating out less. This summer I’ve been able to find several Southern Living and Taste of Home cookbooks and have lots of great recipes.
Some things that have helped us cut our grocery bill: making our own detergent (only 5 cents a load vs. 33 cents a load using Tide), hanging clothes on the line (no dryer sheets or using electricity), using white vinegar as a natural fabric softener, buying meat in bulk when it’s on sale (especially boneless skinless chicken). Toss a few chicken breasts into a ziploc bag with a favorite bottled dressing to marinade and put it in the freezer). Purchase in bulk from a food warehouse like Costco or B.J.’s. Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from orchards where you can pick your own or fresh from the farm. Produce is fresher and most times cheaper.
Great deals on the yard sale! Wish our trip to Alabama would’ve been a week earlier so I could’ve come. Guess I’ll have to settle for a stop at Hobby Lobby.
Ms. Tee says
Congratulations on your yard sale and all those pretty clothes!
We don’t eat out a whole lot, but when we do, it’s usually for lunch on Sundays. Lunch menu items are generally a lot cheaper than dinner. For other things, I use store brands as much as possible, especially for things like milk, pasta noodles, coffee creamer, paper goods. It helps quite a bit with us. Have a great week! 🙂
I would have LOVED to be at your garage sale!! Is there anything left that we can “shop” with? LOL!! And your new clothes are wonderful! Love finding deals like that!
I’m trying to get back into the swing of cooking now that the baby is here and things are getting back to normal. We usually eat pretty well, but when I was pregnant that went out the window a little bit, lol. But mostly organic and hardly any processed. I think I might start meal planning though for the week. I always say I’m going to do this, but I think this time I really will! 🙂
I knew your garage sale would be a huge success. LOVE the new outfits…SCORE!!!
sarah @ a beach cottage says
oooh yeah I would have loved to be there at the sale, sounds like you did well, I’d be pleased with that amount of sales! maybe I should try it
what good bargains you got, great to have a neighbour like her
we have cut down our eating out since buying the Beach Cottage, amazing really how much money it saves, the last few months with the economic crisis I have taken this further and have really pulled in my grocery budget too making all that I can from scratch, not just meals but baking for the lunchboxes, making bread, once a month cooking for the freezer (altho I’ve always done that) etc etc…I’m part of a budget cooking forum that has some great tips and not just for money but saving time too
nice post Rhoda
Rhoda, in our home we still eat out more than we intend to. We are still at the busy with teenagers stage and one or two nights a week it just seems that it’s so much faster to grab a taco!
I have the best intentions but you know how that goes. I do believe that my blogging friends are wonderful inspiration for cooking though. Keep the recipes coming and I will try to share some too.
carolyn at cranberry crossings: says
Congrats on your yardsale success AND your great clothing finds!
About eating out, we only do it about once a week. But we rarely ever go to expensive places. I cook every night, with the exception of our one night out. We have always had to live on a budget, so cooking has always been a way of life for us.
I’m feeding two teenagers, so if we go out, it’s a meal for four adults. That’s about $75-$100 for ONE meal! I cook and save the eating out for special occasions. If I’m working, my kids cook or my husband cooks. My kids are always in the kitchen with me, so they can cook pretty well. They cook better than my husband, so they do the cooking when I’m working, although I try to have a casserole on hand for those time. Even on busy nights, we eat a simple meal at home.
I read that the size of average American dinner plate has doubled in size since the 1950’s and portions at restaurants are triple the size we should be eating. I cook meals that have lots of veggies and use smaller portions of meat. I don’t buy processed foods like frozen, pre-made dinners either. Those are expensive and contain lots of preservatives.
Susie Harris says
Glad to hear that your yardsale was a huge sucess! Sorry I missed it…I bet you had some great goodies in there too… Maybe next time.
Farrell and Lauren says
We started eating in on weeknights for health reasons, but now are really doing it for financial reasons also. I have definitely tightened the budget and am operating on a cash only basis when I go to the grocery store. We also go to more casual places when we do eat out on the weekends.
It sounds as if you had a fabulous sale! Congratulations.
As for eating out, it’s funny that you mentioned this as I was working on a post earlier about going out. I just have to get it published! Eating out is something we do very little of and have for several years now.
First, I love to cook, so I don’t see the need in eating out. I menu plan based on our schedules for the week and buy groceries with a list in hand and a budget set so it is much more economical for us.
Secondly, I have am so concerned (OK, so I am OCD) about other people’s germs. I am so terrified that someone preparing my food is not clean and it really bothers me!
And third, even for fast food (which I detest) it takes nearly $30 to eat a meal out and if we go to Cracker Barrel or Applebees it is rare that we get out for under $55. If you grocery shop, you know exactly how far that kind of money goes! Instead of dinner out once, I am looking at dinner at home for 3 days! We spend about $150/week on groceries….two complete meals a day, seven days a week.
Now this isn’t to say we don’t go out. We often celebrate special occasions out as it is great to have a break from the kitchen or take the kids out for a fun treat. We just try to be practical when we do it and NOT make it a habit. I buy the little cards local schools sell here that give you 15% discounts or free items at local restaurants. We also like to go out at lunch time when they have lunch specials.
Great post! Now I need to finish mine. 🙂
It's Always Something Around Here says
I love your blog!!!
We eat in almost all the time. I would say maybe 2 times a month we eat out. It is just easier and less expensive for me to cook. We don’t live close to much so between that and the kids constant activities we eat at home. I don’t mind cooking and usually plan out my meals for the week.
We hardly ever eat out. We love to cook and it is our time together at night.
We dont eat out very much anymore. But.. Matt likes to cook and I love making desserts. We’ve come to love cooking at home on the weekends, it’s fun.
Blushing hostess says
We eat out the same as we did because I find it is not that idfficult to grow and prepare restaurant quality food. So, if we are out, it needs to be great and an experience, I won’t spend money on franchise restaurants, it is just not appealing in any way to me. At lunch though I take my baby girl to an old spot by the sea which has great, fresh seafood and a perfect view. Honestly, those folks could throw old ham sandwiches on the plates, we love their porch so much! I mean, why bother if it is not a quality experience, right?