Eating out V cooking

  Blackhat 12:53 22 May 11
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With meal prices continuing to fall in the pub trade we find ourselves eating out more often these days. Not something we would have considered a few years ago. Is this becoming more popular amongst forum members?

Local pub (5 minute drive), 3 meat carvery £3.49. We use this alternate Saturdays, other Saturdays we try local steak pubs ranging from £3.99 to 2 for £10. Last night I had a surprise; my nearest pub (few 100 yards) has a new menu featuring Simple steak & chips £6. It stated an 8 ounce rump, my favourite. Well it could not have been more simple, a pile of chips and an 8 ounce rump steak, nothing more, no peas, mushrooms or salad. Spot on and it was one of the best steaks I have had in years!

We also eat out during the week when we can’t be asked to cook, shopping bill has come down a lot and we get out more often. We aren’t wealthy but for a few quid it beats cooking and washing up!

  OTT_B 17:05 22 May 11

Certainly my local pub offers cracking deals on food, although we rarely eat there. Not because the food is bad, it's just that they sell food that I could just as easily cook myself, which I prefer to do. We eat out periodically, but mostly at restaurants who will serve food we'd never normally think to cook, and which (i have no shame in admitting!) are beyond my culinary skills.

  Noldi 17:21 22 May 11

The problem I have is a lot of the pubs in our area seem to have the same menu, I think they must order the food ready to go into a oven from the same supplier?. I find the little pubs out in the middle of now where has a more varied menu.

I know what you mean and with two kids 19 and 21 you never know when they are home to eat so we go out and eat quite regular, one rule we have is we all sit together Sunday for a meal.

Noldi

  Forum Editor 17:53 22 May 11

We eat out a fair bit, either on our own or with friends/family. We both work fairly long and often irregular hours, so it's a way to spend time together without having to do the cooking.

It's an indulgence I know, but we feel we can spend the money we earn as we see fit. It's lovely when the children join us - it's our favourite spare-time occupation really.

  onthelimit1 18:02 22 May 11

Local pubs in my part of rural Shropshire - lucky to get a decent 2 course meal for less than 20 quid plus drinks.

  spuds 18:13 22 May 11

Around my neck of the woods, many of the 'home cook' pubs were unable to survive, and eventually ceased trading. Those that remained, then seemed to have gone the 'ding-ding' way of using a microwave. Not a success.

Of the good 'up-market' eating establishments, many became far to expensive, with a drop-off of clients.

But that all now appears to be changing since Wetherspoons came on the scene with package deal meals. Other remaining local pub type eating houses, are now becoming a little more enterprising with special deal meals in fear of losing further customers. Perhaps the good cheaper eating days are returning, and you might still be able to catch a bus, have a good meal with a drink or two, and still have change out of a fiver?.

  morddwyd 19:10 22 May 11

We eat out several times week.

We love home cooked meals, and my wife is an excellent cook (so am I, under her direction!) but simple infirmity makes home cooking a major trial.

My wife still insists on preparing two or three meals a week (I'm only talking main meals, obviously) but to be honest these exhaust her so much that she's back in bed by 3.30.

We have our favourite places, and do the rounds.

They vary from 3 miles to fifty miles away.

  TonyV 19:59 22 May 11

We eat out quite a lot. My wife is an excellent cook, but she does enjoy going out for a meal. We are fortunate, in that within a very reasonable distance we have a number of very good eateries. The one we went to at lunchtime today, out in the sticks, was really busy, and you are well advised to book up rather than go there and be disappointed with no table being available.

Equally so, there are a number of places local to us where you would go for a quick lunch, or something a bit special and since we don't spend lunch time or evenings going to the pub for drinks, which cost an arm and a leg these days, we feel we would rather spend the money on a drink and a good meal. In terms of distance from home, I am talking walking distance to 25 miles max.

TonyV

  Blackhat 20:35 22 May 11

We also frequent our local chippy once a week on the night we do our supermarket shop (for very little). A mini cod & chips £1.75 each, of ample portion for it to be a full meal.

We have an average income & no children so with these sorts of costs eating out/takeaway is taking over from cooking. I enjoy an English breakfast most Saturdays in my local Inshops café for £1.85.

I must add that between pub meals/takeouts we do eat a healthy diet, although I think that some of these pub meals are very well balanced. Our weekly supermarket shop for just the 2 of us is now on average £25-£30.

  IClaudio 23:24 22 May 11

Those prices sound good, but for less money, you could buy a nicer piece of steak, and a few good potatoes and do it all yourself (Sainsbury's at the moment are offering two huge Rumps at £5). And be able to indulge in a nice bottle of wine without worrying about your driving licence.

The pub (and I apologise if this is not the case...) will not be devoting love and attention to your steak and the chips will be heated up in the microwave or last week's fat. At home, you'll be able to cook your steak exactly as you like it (no embarrassing arguments with the waiter about the overdone/underdone) and make some fantastic chips with hardly any effort (coat them with a couple of spoons of good olive oil and shove'em in the oven for 20 minutes...). Throw in a handful of cherry tomatoes at the same time and maybe some asparagus. Wow!

I couldn't face walking 100 yards for a £6 supper...

  Quickbeam 00:27 23 May 11

I can cook quite well, and will do pretty adventurous things especially with game. So when I eat out it has to be something quite different and new to me, which usually means it costs a lot:( But we all need a slash out treat now and again.

Funnily enough one of the best meals of last year was a simple steak and chilli beans in a Mexican eatery in Nottingham while a dozen of us were at the test match for a blokes weekend away. It was the first time in 20 years that I've had a steak in a restaurant, I'll certainly have another one the next time I'm there.

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