The Gory Details of Eating Out 217 Times in 2012 | YNAB

The Gory Details of Eating Out 217 Times in 2012

“Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.”
– Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, Your Money or Your Life

I’m making an honest review of my spending habits. Not as an exercise in self-punishment, but as an opportunity to see how I can get more happiness while giving up equal or fewer units of life energy.

eating_out

As a habitual (bordering on compulsive) eater-out, it seemed right to re-visit every one of my restaurant transactions in 2012.

Here’s a summary table, broken down by the quality of the food and experience:


2012 Meals Out Broken Down By Quality and Cost
Rating Meals Dollars
Gross 45 $579
Meh 27 $447.76
Tasty 118 $1568.8
Delicious 27 $1105.41
Totals 217 $3700.97

Yes, I ate out a lot.

Because full confession is supposed to be cathartic, I present you with the complete, gory transactional details:

(Scan past the table to see what I learned from the analysis.)


Date Restaurant Amount Rating
1/2/12 Rubios $10.08 Tasty
1/6/12 Five Guys $26.46 Tasty
1/8/12 NYPD Pizzeria $35.81 Meh
1/11/12 In n Out Burger $16.49 Tasty
1/14/12 Jimmy John’s $8.66 Tasty
1/14/12 Papa John’s $16.70 Meh
1/14/12 Scaddy Time $7.52 Gross
1/16/12 Thai House Cuisine $19.40 Tasty
1/17/12 Jimmy John’s $10.76 Tasty
1/18/12 Kneaders $3.23 Gross
1/19/12 Barbacoa $14.09 Meh
1/20/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $5.39 Gross
1/21/12 Cafe Rio $18.05 Tasty
1/21/12 Coldstone $13.53 Tasty
1/21/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $11.04 Gross
1/26/12 In n Out Burger $14.92 Tasty
1/28/12 Chick-fil-a $22.69 Tasty
1/28/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $5.37 Gross
1/31/12 Ichiban $46.53 Delicious
1/31/12 Settebello $8 Delicious
2/1/12 Jimmy John’s $17.70 Tasty
2/3/12 Cafe Zupas $10.43 Meh
2/3/12 Settebello $36.20 Delicious
2/3/12 Settebello $8.99 Delicious
2/4/12 Kneaders $19.82 Gross
2/10/12 Chick-fil-a $15.96 Tasty
2/14/12 Thai Village $29.70 Delicious
2/15/12 Biaggi’s $37.22 Meh
2/18/12 In n Out Burger $6.43 Tasty
2/18/12 Settebello $13 Delicious
2/19/12 Rumbi Island Grill $28.07 Gross
2/20/12 The Downtown Philly $7.96 Tasty
2/21/12 Chick-fil-a $16.39 Tasty
2/21/12 Chick-fil-a $14.49 Tasty
2/21/12 Little Caesars $7.10 Gross
2/22/12 In n Out Burger $14.32 Tasty
2/24/12 Jimmy John’s $22.87 Tasty
2/24/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $4.20 Gross
2/25/12 Carl’s Jr $6.45 Gross
2/25/12 Subway $4.24 Gross
2/26/12 Benja Thai and Sushi $26.27 Delicious
3/17/12 Bombay House $43 Delicious
3/20/12 Goodwood Barbecue $11.70 Tasty
3/22/12 Leger’s Deli $8.26 Meh
3/23/12 George’s Gyros and Burger $18.15 Tasty
3/24/12 In n Out Burger $17.74 Tasty
3/26/12 Settebello $21.44 Delicious
3/27/12 Chili’s $61.88 Gross
3/30/12 Ichiban $59.37 Delicious
3/30/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $14.30 Gross
3/31/12 Jimmy John’s $11.48 Tasty
4/2/12 Rumbi Island Grill $23.86 Gross
4/3/12 Chick-fil-a $14.20 Tasty
4/6/12 In n Out Burger $14.92 Tasty
4/7/12 Cafe Rio $16.72 Tasty
4/7/12 Pizzeria Seven Twelve $43.03 Delicious
4/10/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $4.20 Gross
4/11/12 Chick-fil-a $21.24 Tasty
4/12/12 Culver’s $5.04 Tasty
4/14/12 Culver’s $7.09 Tasty
4/14/12 Jimmy John’s $11.48 Tasty
4/14/12 Pizzeria Seven Twelve $58.35 Delicious
4/16/12 Barbacoa $18.28 Meh
4/17/12 Thai House Cuisine $19.40 Tasty
4/18/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $7.84 Gross
4/18/12 Jimmy John’s $11.48 Tasty
4/19/12 Scaddy Time $10.60 Gross
4/20/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $13.98 Gross
4/20/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $4.62 Gross
4/21/12 Ichiban $66.24 Delicious
4/24/12 Chick-fil-a $23.06 Tasty
4/25/12 Thai House Cuisine $19.40 Tasty
4/25/12 Thanksgiving Point $6.73 Meh
4/25/12 Thanksgiving Point $14.82 Meh
4/27/12 Pizzeria Seven Twelve $56.35 Delicious
5/12/12 Communal $9.54 Delicious
5/12/12 El Gallo Giro $27.45 Tasty
5/14/12 Thanksgiving Point $37.52 Meh
5/16/12 Jimmy John’s $17.40 Tasty
5/17/12 IHOP $26.99 Gross
5/19/12 Communal $153.14 Delicious
6/2/12 Red Robin $28.67 Tasty
6/4/12 Baskin Robbins $3.48 Meh
6/4/12 Stan’s Burger Shack $9.08 Tasty
6/8/12 Stan’s Burger Shack $9.99 Tasty
6/13/12 Cafe DeJeuner $15.50 Meh
6/19/12 In n Out Burger $4.29 Tasty
6/22/12 Thanksgiving Point $36.79 Meh
7/19/12 BWW $12.66 Meh
7/19/12 In n Out Burger $13.47 Tasty
7/20/12 Jimmy John’s $7.38 Tasty
7/21/12 Black Sheep Cafe $49.17 Meh
7/23/12 Cafe Rio $13.20 Tasty
7/25/12 Chick-fil-a $18.35 Tasty
7/25/12 Culver’s $13.63 Tasty
7/26/12 Little Caesars $10.78 Gross
7/28/12 In n Out Burger $12.45 Tasty
7/31/12 In n Out Burger $2.14 Tasty
8/1/12 Five Guys $11.83 Tasty
8/1/12 Jimmy John’s $20.45 Tasty
8/2/12 Chipotle $10.84 Delicious
8/3/12 Culver’s $9.44 Tasty
8/3/12 Jimmy John’s $7.38 Tasty
8/4/12 Ichiban $42.41 Delicious
8/7/12 Five Guys $6.88 Tasty
8/8/12 Chick-fil-a $18.13 Tasty
8/10/12 The Downtown Philly $10.44 Tasty
8/11/12 Bombay House $43.98 Delicious
8/14/12 In n Out Burger $15.62 Tasty
8/17/12 Kneaders $0.85 Gross
8/18/12 Chick-fil-a $14.52 Tasty
8/24/12 Jimmy John’s $13.63 Tasty
8/24/12 Settebello $8 Delicious
8/25/12 Kneaders $29.56 Gross
8/25/12 Red Iguana $37.06 Tasty
9/1/12 In n Out Burger $15.40 Tasty
9/3/12 Culver’s $15.03 Tasty
9/4/12 Rumbi Island Grill $16.04 Gross
9/5/12 Bombay House $47.02 Delicious
9/5/12 J Dawgs $5.99 Tasty
9/6/12 Kneaders $12.90 Gross
9/7/12 Jimmy John’s $5.93 Tasty
9/8/12 In n Out Burger $13.24 Tasty
9/12/12 Chick-fil-a $21.02 Tasty
9/14/12 Jimmy John’s $7.70 Tasty
9/15/12 Country Bakery of Lehi $3.65 Tasty
9/17/12 Five Guys $8.60 Tasty
9/17/12 Thai House Cuisine $19.40 Tasty
9/18/12 J Dawgs $4.99 Tasty
9/19/12 In n Out Burger $15.61 Tasty
9/20/12 El Mexiquense Grill $9.91 Meh
9/21/12 Jimmy John’s $7.70 Tasty
9/24/12 Cafe Rio $14.57 Tasty
9/25/12 In n Out Burger $2.14 Tasty
9/25/12 Pier 49 $17.74 Gross
9/27/12 Jimmy John’s $5.93 Tasty
9/27/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $2.21 Gross
9/28/12 Culver’s $2.79 Tasty
9/28/12 El Mexiquense Grill $12.15 Meh
9/29/12 In n Out Burger $4.29 Tasty
9/29/12 Pizzeria Seven Twelve $51.12 Delicious
9/29/12 Smart Cookie $5.66 Tasty
10/1/12 J Dawgs $4.99 Tasty
10/2/12 Rubios $9.36 Tasty
10/3/12 BYU Creamery Fountain $9.18 Tasty
10/3/12 Chick-fil-a $20.82 Tasty
10/12/12 Jimmy John’s $14.70 Tasty
10/12/12 Taste of Punjab $40.92 Tasty
10/13/12 Little Caesars $7.85 Gross
10/13/12 Little Caesars $7.85 Gross
10/16/12 In n Out Burger $12.55 Tasty
10/17/12 El Mexiquense Grill $9.75 Meh
10/18/12 Rubios $9.36 Tasty
10/19/12 Thai House Cuisine $12.92 Tasty
10/20/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $14.30 Gross
10/21/12 Ichiban $60.45 Delicious
10/22/12 Jimmy John’s $7.70 Tasty
10/23/12 Cafe Rio $8.35 Tasty
10/24/12 Rubios $9.36 Tasty
10/25/12 El Mexiquense Grill $9.91 Meh
10/26/12 Cafe Rio $14.49 Tasty
10/27/12 Bombay House $44.01 Delicious
10/27/12 In n Out Burger $13.47 Tasty
10/29/12 Rubios $9.36 Tasty
10/30/12 BBQ and Grill $8.54 Meh
10/30/12 Chick-fil-a $20.17 Tasty
11/1/12 Jimmy John’s $7.70 Tasty
11/3/12 El Mexiquense Grill $10.18 Meh
11/3/12 Jimmy John’s $16.14 Tasty
11/3/12 NYPD Pizzeria $25.33 Meh
11/5/12 El Mexiquense Grill $9.91 Meh
11/6/12 Rubios $9.36 Tasty
11/6/12 Rumbi Island Grill $29.48 Gross
11/7/12 Kneaders $17.10 Gross
11/10/12 Cafe Rio $17.13 Tasty
11/10/12 Cafe Rio $9.64 Tasty
11/12/12 Beans and Brews $3.66 Meh
11/12/12 In n Out Burger $5.55 Tasty
11/13/12 In n Out Burger $2.14 Tasty
11/14/12 In n Out Burger $18.10 Tasty
11/14/12 Thai House Cuisine $9.70 Tasty
11/15/12 El Mexiquense Grill $9.63 Meh
11/16/12 Cafe Rio $17.13 Tasty
11/17/12 Settebello $18.10 Delicious
11/17/12 The Downtown Philly $13.55 Tasty
11/19/12 Thai House Cuisine $19.40 Tasty
11/20/12 Little Caesars $10.78 Gross
11/21/12 Kneaders $15.28 Gross
11/21/12 Taste of Punjab $19.91 Tasty
11/25/12 Scaddy Time $11.18 Gross
11/26/12 Beans and Brews $3.66 Meh
11/30/12 Cafe Rio $9.64 Tasty
12/1/12 El Mexiquense Grill $17.67 Meh
12/4/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $4.14 Gross
12/5/12 Chick-fil-a $14.48 Tasty
12/5/12 In n Out Burger $2.14 Tasty
12/6/12 JCW’s Restaurant Lehi $14.30 Gross
12/7/12 Culver’s $6.66 Tasty
12/8/12 Pizzeria Seven Twelve $23.94 Delicious
12/11/12 Chick-fil-a $22.51 Tasty
12/12/12 IHOP $15.91 Gross
12/12/12 J Dawgs $5 Tasty
12/14/12 Cafe Rio $9.75 Tasty
12/15/12 In n Out Burger $14.28 Tasty
12/17/12 Jimmy John’s $8.84 Tasty
12/17/12 Paradise Bakery & Cafe $4.14 Gross
12/18/12 Rubios $12.12 Tasty
12/19/12 McDonald’s $5.69 Gross
12/19/12 McDonald’s $2.58 Gross
12/19/12 Red Iguana $18.51 Tasty
12/20/12 Bombay House $76.39 Delicious
12/24/12 Cafe Rio $16.18 Tasty
12/25/12 Subway $1.05 Gross
12/25/12 Subway $18.57 Gross
12/26/12 Mad Greek $3.76 Gross
12/26/12 Mad Greek $34.26 Gross
12/29/12 Woody’s Burgers $22.76 Tasty
Total $3,700.97

I Don’t Regret the Expensive, Delicious Meals

…just the cheap, gross ones. Note the meals/restaurants rated “Delicious.” These are places my wife and I can go for some good food and a quiet conversation – which is what we value most.

With a year of data in front of me, I’m inclined to double the money spent on expensive meals, while (almost) eliminating the waste on meals that are anything less than ideal.

No more dollars wasted on “Meh” or “Gross” food. That’s over.

We’re Wasting Something Much More Precious Than Money

The eating out habit robs us of time. Time we could spend enjoying ourselves at home (or a nearby park, or taking a walk together).

Instead, we eat out, which means:

Excessive eating out is like any other wasteful activity: It creates deep down stress and guilt, and reduces happiness.

Occasional meals out at carefully chosen restaurants create good memories, and adds to our happiness.

The key (for me) is seeing a clear distinction between the two, and acting accordingly.

What about you? Did you spend anything close to my obscene $3,700 eating out in 2012?