I don't know how you feel about Oprah or her even more lightening-rod-for-criticism buddy, Suze Orman (do you think she was actually born with that spelling of her name?), but something Suze (let's pronounce it Sooooooze, just for fun) said got me to thinking.
She was shilling her latest book on Oprah yesterday, and, at the end of the show, she presented an "action plan" for getting one's finances in order. She wanted folks to try this:
For one day, spend NO money
For one week, don't use a credit card
For one month, don't go to restaurants
The audience seemed to have no problem with the first two. Me neither. But the third idea was an almost shocking suggestion to them...and that's just the way I felt too. Not that I go out THAT much, but I want to be able to, if I want. And let's face it, in many places, eating out is a town's major entertainment, plus it's available at every price point.
Have you EVER gone a month without going to a restaurant? And would you consider it as a cost-saving measure? How many restaurants DO you frequent in a month...on average?
I'm sure when I had little kids, there might have been a month where we didn't go out, but I can't remember one specifically. I probably eat out an average of 6 to 8 times a month (closer to 6), and of course, I'm not counting if we're away. Plus does takeout count out as a restaurant meal? I guess it should.
This made me feel better about the state of restaurants and food service in general. I know that raising food and fuel prices have given restaurants a double whammy. But if people have such a visceral reaction to the idea of not eating out, maybe that sector of the economy, at least, isn't doing as badly as all the rest.