Why are Americans eating out less often?

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Americans Eating Out Less and Cutting Calories



Many Americans seem to have lost their appetite for eating out.

This is a rather abrupt shift from recent years, when many people were spending more money at restaurants and less money at the grocery store.

Analysts are now warning that a restaurant downturn is imminent. For example, Bloomberg reports that Stifel Financial Corp. analyst Paul Westra says this is the "start of a U.S. restaurant recession." He has a "bearish outlook for restaurants" and says restaurants should brace themselves for what's to come.

This begs the question: Why have so many Americans' tastes changed from dining out to home cooking?

According to CNN Money, some in the restaurant industry say it all comes down to money.

"It's gotten a lot cheaper...to get fresh beef at your local butcher and go home and grill it," Wendy's executives said during a conference call with analysts.

Wendy's sales grew a dismal 0.4 percent in the past three months. Meanwhile, Starbucks, McDonald's, Taco Bell and Chipotle all missed recent sales projections, Grub Street reports.

Diners are likely to see higher prices on restaurant menus these days. It's often the result of restaurants bumping their workers' pay due to increased minimum wage laws or an effort to better compete for workers in a tight job market, says CNN Money.

RELATED: 8 tips to teach your kids about saving money

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tips to teach your kids to save money

Play money-centered board games or games on apps, like Monopoly or Money Race.
It's an interactive and fun way for your kids to learn about basic financial practices without feeling like they're being lectured.

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Give them an allotted amount of cash to spend on lunch each week.
Your child will learn how to budget accordingly throughout the week, figuring out how to balance spending money on food some days vs bringing their own on other days (something that can be directly translated into the adult workplace).

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Have them write down or tell you their absolute dream toy.
Then, show them that it's possible to have that toy if they save x enough money for x amount of weeks.

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Give them an allowance.
 

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Stick to a set time and date each month for giving your child their allowance.
Practicing giving your children their allowance every other week or on certain dates of each month will help them prepare for set paydays in the working world--it will teach them to budget out and how to know when to save up in anticipation.

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Match your child's savings each month.
This will imitate a 401K and show your child ways in which saving can (literally) pay off.

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Have your kid organize their funds in to different jars to represent different accounts.
Examples could be "Saving", "Spending", "Charity", "Emergency", "College".

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Take your kids grocery shopping and explain certain choices you make with your purchases to them.
Your children will benefit from knowing what's best to purchase name brand vs. generic, why some snacks are better to buy in bulk, etc.

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