Meal Plan Monday – Eating out or eating in?

Eating out used to be something we took for granted and enjoyed. Popping to a cafe or the pop-up food market near me at work, going for lunch with friends, dinner with the husband, meals out at the weekend, Sunday lunch in a pub. All things we enjoyed and didn’t really imagine not being able to do.

eating out

This week’s Meal Plan Monday is a bit different. Last week we talked about food waste but this week we are talking about eating out, costs, and why it’s all changed since Covid19 hit.

Until this weekend, we hadn’t eaten out as a family since the beginning of March. Lockdown and restrictions closed many things, and we were then still shielding as things opened back up, but finally this weekend we went out for brunch, with friends. It was lovely. I was quite anxious, but it felt as safe as one can feel during a world pandemic.

We have realised during all this how much we spent on meals out, takeaway coffees, and we have saved a lot of money during being at home for a long stretch.

We missed eating out and the treat that it is, though.

But eating out now, is less relaxed. As hard as our govement pushes us to go back to normal and to support small busiensses, and the restaurant industry, it feels weird and it’s an adjustment. I used to take the boy to our local bakery once a week for a coffee and to do our homeschool work in a space away from home for a bit. That now has to be carefully planned.

We ate out for the first time this weekend and whilst it felt the same it was also different. You book and give more details than normal, and you agree to your details being shared by a track and trace system. When you arrive you have your temperature checked and you are asked to clean your hands and not move around the restaurant unless you are going to use the toilet facilities. Certain things are different, there are more single-use items used (which is a tough one, for me, as we try to be greener) and you are only allowed to stay for a set period of time.

Eating out

That face you make when you get to eat out and it’s not Mum’s food for the first time in 5 months…

It did feel great though to be back doing something more normal. I am not sure how much we will do it. Budgets are tighter and also whilst we do want to get back to normal, we are also cautious that normal also could mean levels of Covid19 rising. It’s a fine line to walk.

The husband and I have plans to actually go out, for dinner, in a few weeks, to belatedly celebrate our wedding anniversary, and both our birthdays, which happened in lockdown. Whilst I am looking forward to it, I am also anxious. It feels weird to be worried about something we used to love doing.

Is it just me that feels weird about this new normal that is probably going to be around for a while? Have you eaten out yet? Are you planning to?

Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged Coronavirus, eating out.


  1. I think the last time we ate out as a family was at the start of the year but we are going out on Monday and will be eating out. It certainly sounds a different experience from before.
    Your boy does look happy to be eating out. hehehe x

  2. I find it harder with the single use everything everywhere atm, I feel really guilty!

    We’re going out for lunch just Thomas and I, tomorrow, and I’m a bit nervous, but looking forward to not cooking one meal too!

  3. It is definitely an adjustment, as it was to eat as much at home as we have the past few months. I live in Canada. What I have noticed the most is the lack of people in our restaurants. Most restaurants I have been in have said that their takeout business surpasses their dine-in guests. I don’t feel as bad about eating out right now as there are fewer patrons. It’s getting out in the general public to get to restaurants that bothers me even more right now which is why eating home more is the way we will go most often. Thanks for writing and nice to see other’s experiences.

  4. We have not been out to eat though we are tempted now. We really miss lunches out or breakfast that was such a treat and some time away from thinking about what everyone will have for food

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