An article I came across recently seemed pretty exciting to me. According to this perspective, more people in the United States are preparing their meals at home. 82 percent, says the article. Over the past 10 years, restaurant dining has taken a dip. As a result, some restaurants appear to be preparing cook-at-home kits so they can somehow still grab the wallets of folks who don’t wish to dine in, or even get food through the drive-through.
The article suggests a number of reasons for this, including cost, and the younger generations’ desires to reduce it when it comes to eating. Eating at restaurants has always been expensive, right? I know that in our family, we instituted a pretty strict restaurant budget a few years ago, because when we looked closely at where the money was going, it was incredible how much we could spend easily, even if we only ate a couple of family meals out at a restaurant in one month. I’m just wondering if all generations are becoming more money-conscious. After all, shifts in the economy could cause people of all ages to watch their outflows more carefully. However, if it is generation-specific, could this mean that the younger generations are perhaps *also* more health-conscious?
The Instant Pot®, expanding food delivery options, and convenience foods found at grocery stores that make it easier to cook (pre-sliced veggies and fruits, for instance) are all other possibilities suggested by the article. I’m wondering about the possibility of the growing interest in cooking. Or perhaps families’ reducing their schedule load? I hear often about families who feel overwhelmed with school for kids, followed by extensive evenings of homework and activities. At the same time, however, there’s a growing movement of folks who are saying “no” to this kind of lifestyle. Whether it’s opting out of conventional school, or simply reducing the number of evening activities that everyone engages in, it’s possible that as people start to slow down, they feel like they have more time to embrace the idea of making meals at home for everyone. In some cases, kids like to cook, so offering them the opportunity to try out some new skills can go over really well. A chance to build a skill set and confidence, while supporting the family? Sounds like a win-win to me.
How often do you eat at restaurants? Is it a drain on your wallet, or your health — or both? How might you be able to join in on this latest wave of eating at home more often?