America Has Decided It Would Rather Eat Out Than Cook

By Clara Olshansky |
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© Peter Cavanagh / Alamy

This is pretty incredible: for the first time in history, Americans are spending more money at bars and restaurants than on their own groceries. According to data from the U.S. census bureau, as of January 2015, American spending on food outlets has surpassed spending on food we cook at home. Specifically, we're dropping $54.9 billion on eating out every year, compared to only $52.5 billion on groceries. This is a big deal, given that, as recently as the early nineties, we were spending two times more to cook at home than we did going out. It raises the question: Why the huge change?

One factor: millennials. Young people are eating out more often than previous generations. Whether it's the growing availability of food trucks as lunch options, the rise of foodie culture in general, or maybe just the fact that bars have gotten way more awesome than they were when our parents were younger, millennials are getting more of their food from food outlets than any previous generation.

Related: MOST INSTAGRAMMED RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA

Another piece might be the shift in gender roles in society. It's less and less common (good riddance!) for a woman to stay home preparing all the family's meals. More people out and about or working can means fewer who have the time to cook full meals every night.

Of course, there's a lot to be said for making time to buy your ingredients and cook your own meal. It's cheaper than eating out, you know what you're putting in your body, and it's a chance to get creative and try out lots of awesome recipes.

[h/t ScienceOfUs ]

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