When we rented, we used to eat out all the time. However, once we became homeowners and were faced with a mortgage, PMI and high property taxes, those days ended. Nowadays we try to plan meals ahead and find budget friendly recipes. When we do go out to eat, we enjoy it more than we used to, because it is much more of a treat. I have to put in a plug for our favorite grocery store, Hannaford, which has a lot of take home ready meals you can buy, that taste like restaurant food without the wait and need for tipping. Their ready to cook marinated meats and seafood are delicious and fair priced!