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Impoverished US Consumers Drown Their Sorrows In Outdoor Dining

Tyler Durden's picture


While phrases like 'eat the rich' or 'fatter-cats' might come to mind, the rise in discretionary spending on dining-out, that has surged post 2009 crisis lows, has now regained levels not seen since 2007. The percentage of discretionary income spent on dining-out may conjure images of filet mignon and Margaux, but it is critical to understand that the sub-index contains all restaurant-eating including Denny's, McDonalds, and the other QSRs; and in the current weakening income environment, it is a safe-bet that much of this spend is not headed to Delmonico's. With food stamps at record highs, real disposable personal income growth stagnant, and real consumer spending decelerating rapidly the difference between consumer sentiment and real consumer actions seems to highlight the hope-filled 'bubble' we find ourselves in as the first quarter is off to a very weak start for spending trends.


All-in-all, Bloomberg points out that their 'Fab Five' measures of discretionary consumer spending are notably worrisome in January with the dining-out spend slowing (and the blend assuredly changing), women's and girls clothing spend dropping, cosmetics spending rose far less than expected, gambling revenues dropped MoM, and even jewelry and watches fell in January and are down notably YoY


As Bloomberg notes, a perfect example of weak concrete data, but optimistic sentiment.


Charts: Bloomberg


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Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:38 | 2224583 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

let them eat fake 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:46 | 2224643 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Fast food joints are subsidized poison.

Cheaper than eating real food.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:50 | 2224667 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Subway is pretty good.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:51 | 2224676 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Please tell me that was sarcasm.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:52 | 2224681 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Please tell me what's so horrible about it, especially when compared to the likes of KFC, McD's...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224716 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Based on the drop iin silver and increase in dining people are trading silver for big macs.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:11 | 2224788 Alethiometer
Alethiometer's picture

The two aren't corrleated.  Gold and Silver prices are being heavily manipulated by central banks in order to suppress their true dollar-denominated price.

Just remember that everything can be PRICED in gold though.  When you start to see the two start to explode away from each other, then we'll know the tide has finally broke.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:46 | 2225005 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

The smack down in silver is, IMHO, directly related to Dr. Paul's smack down of the Bernanke last week with his silver ounce coin in reference to gallons of gasoline. They gotta show the world that silver is just a 'volatile commodity'. Be on the lookout for the stories soon.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:58 | 2225528 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Yes he showed the vampire the silver stake....a little foreshadowing?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:15 | 2225613 minosgal
minosgal's picture

'Why would bread need some cheap sugary liquid?'


Not really kvetching here, but yeast needs sugar (or honey) in order to rise.

Chemistry (or kitchen witchery, if you prefer).

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224714 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

The subs have almost no nutrients.  The main aspect, and most costly part of the sub, is the meat.  Which is trash.  Now if you had to pick one fast food joint, than fine.  And if you want something that isnt fried, ok.  And if you are trying to lose weight, maybe subway is better than the rest.  I know by experience that the meat is the lowest of quality, bought in excessively large bulk. 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:01 | 2224736 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes! Folks we have a winnah!

It is as if the coldcuts were imported from China...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:18 | 2224828 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

I myself drive home for lunch, and stop by the Whole foods and purchase a fresh organically raised Mahi-Mahi steak, then also stop by the organic olive bar. Then help myself to some fair trade vegetables. When I get home I whip up the most nutritious lunch ever.

When my boss sees me arrive back to work at 4:30, he's understanding, because he knows I'm saving him on health care costs.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:24 | 2224864 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

LOL.  Nice.  I get ripped apart for eating almost a 100% organic diet by my wife and friends.  And dont really give a fuck.  Its gotten to the point where I just say, ya I'm probably a dumbass for overpaying.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:35 | 2224933 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Problem is, unless you personally know how that "organic" food is produced, chances are it's the same mass-produced hormone-herbicide pumped shit you get at Ralph's.  You only get a bag with a "organic" label, and a higher cost.

Kinda like Bukowski's character in Factotum, when he's packing auto parts:

The brake parts man took me up a narrow stairway.  George Henley was his name: George showed me my workroom, very small, dark, just one lightbulb and one tiny window that looked out over an alley.

"Now," he said, "you see these cartons.  You put the brake shoes into the cartons.  Like this."

Mr. Henley showed me.

"We have three types of cartons, each printed differently.  One carton is for our 'Super Durable Brake Shoe.'  The other is for our 'Super Brake Shoe.'  And the third is for our 'Standard Brake Shoe.'  The brake shoes are stacked right here.

"But they all look alike to me.  How can I tell them apart?"

"You don't.  They're all the same.  Just divide them into thirds.  And when you finish packing all these shoes, come on downstairs and we'll find something else for you to do.  O.K.?"

"O.K.  When do I start?"

"You start now.  And, absolutely no smoking.  Not up here.  If you have to smoke, you come on downstairs, O.K.?"



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:45 | 2225000 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Good one.  But yes, I am well aware of that.  I'll take my chances on the possibility of it being organic though, rather than knowing for sure that its not. 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:04 | 2224725 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Subway was the closest fast food joint to our old shop a while back.

Here's the secret: A) Bring in some left over grilled meat from last night, B) go order the veggie sub on fresh baked wheat bread  C) Add A+B  D) You're stylin'

I recommend the chipotle squab. its exquisite.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:49 | 2225021 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

you meant to say 'subway is the best of the worst'.  like most everything else we have in this country.

snooki is better than kim.  how's that :)  coke is better than pepsi.  fox news sux....

ford is better than chevy.  obama is better than .....



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:46 | 2225008 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Well, they do have actual vegetables, such as bell peppers, spinach. They also have tomatoes.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:05 | 2224758 mrdenis
mrdenis's picture

Do you mean eating in the subway?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:36 | 2225372 non_anon
non_anon's picture

i still eat spaghettiO's right out of the can as I did as a toddler

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 19:41 | 2226111 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

"Young adults who eat frequently at fast-food restaurants gain more weight and have a greater increase in insulin resistance in early middle age, according to a large multi-center study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and published in the January 1 issue of The Lancet*.

After 15 years, those who ate at fast-food restaurants more than twice each week compared to less than once a week had gained an extra ten pounds and had a two-fold greater increase in insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease."

80 million Americans have metabolic syndrome or prediabetes thanks mainly to our toxic food.

If you have been eating fast food a lot, you may want to check your diabetes risk:




Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:46 | 2224644 Manthong
Manthong's picture

“US Consumers Drown Their Sorrows In Outdoor Dining”

That’s going to come to mean "squirrel" pretty soon.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:58 | 2224723 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

Mmmmmmm, squirrel.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:17 | 2224820 aheady
aheady's picture

brunswick stew bitchez

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:40 | 2224968 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I wanna open a soup and gruel drive through.. use prison inmates for labor, local growers for produce and be in a position to capatilize on the collapse of snap card / welfare / food stamps / unemployment / S.S.I.  etc.. i'm thinking maybe go the national franchise route. Havn't decided if I should build "check cashing" style  riot bars for the windows though.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:40 | 2224969 Alea Iactaest
Alea Iactaest's picture

Don't forget rabbit.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:00 | 2224733 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



HEY - Don't knock 'em squirrels.  Kinda gamey, but not bad in a stew or with some gravy & biscuits.  :D

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:20 | 2224841 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

That's right! And there's always a few roadkill squirrels you can pick up on the way home for free.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:05 | 2224757 JohnKozac
Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:14 | 2224801 Manthong
Manthong's picture

There is always a silver lining to every dark cloud..

The progressive socialist economic legacy will be evidenced in the nuisance reduction or elimination of squirrels, pigeons, sewer rats and strays of all kinds.

Then we can eliminate the animal control departments in all levels of government..

I guess those guys will probably just be hired into DHS.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:50 | 2225025 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Pigeon!! There are plenty of pigeons around statues and fountains. It's a delicacy in parts of Egypt.

Happy hunting.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:36 | 2224590 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Invest in a claas or a book on how to cook with rice and beans.  

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:07 | 2224763 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Crazy thing: dried beans have roughly doubled in price in my area (Brooklyn) over the past year.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:07 | 2224765 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You a need a class for that? Or a book?

Hell, simple trial and error would be cheaper than either....

Hint: neither of them BBQ very well, they keep falling through the grill....

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:10 | 2224786 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:54 | 2225052 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Step one: fill pot with water

Step two: add beans or rice

Step three: boil and wait

Step four: fill tortilla, open beer, and eat


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:46 | 2224592 Mercury
Mercury's picture

Tight money + can't cook = long DENN

Besides, it's only a matter of time before "dining out" becomes part of the stealth entitlement that is food stamps:

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:38 | 2224601 q99x2
q99x2's picture

No place to live. No place to cook.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:19 | 2224832 aheady
aheady's picture


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:39 | 2224604 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Cooking quality food at home is getting really expensive too. Eating out? LOL!

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 18:04 | 2225866 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Ralph Spoilsport

Cooking quality food at home is getting really expensive too.

Eating out, is less expensive than preparing healthy,and tasty meals at home.

People (some) want to blame obesity on folks appetites.When the reality is the bad foods are all they can afford.

What are the Gub staples at handouts?.Peanut butter, and Real Butter, try not adding pounds with that and bread mostly in your diet.

Fresh vegtables?,fruits????........thing of the past.$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Out of sight,lean cuts of any meat?, poultry, pork, beef........

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA,also a thing of the past for 50-75% of Americans.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:40 | 2224612 alfred b.
alfred b.'s picture


Candlelight dining coming to a McD's near you!


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:41 | 2224615 dumpster
dumpster's picture

eat a burger outdoors at mcdonalds

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:42 | 2224619 Frastric
Frastric's picture

Harking back to the Roman Empire, the spending/eating/gambling/clothing/tech/bling/vanity orgy gripping America is coming to an end...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:56 | 2225066 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Orgies? When do we start? Will there be togas?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:44 | 2224630 Gunther
Gunther's picture

What does that really mean?
People eat out more because they can afford it - highly unlikely.
Those living in a car on a Wal-Mart / McPuke parking lot eat the locally available junk food seems a possibility.
People stop paying the underwater mortgage spend the newly available income on dining out - possibly.
A breakdown in high and low quality food outlets should tell what is going on.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:51 | 2224677 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Where im at, bread is right at 2.59 a loaf. But i can drive to MCD's and get a double cheeseburger and a drink for 2.17$.    Some of the smarter sheep have figured this out.

They now choose to pay interest on the double cheeseburger to make up the diff on the loaf of bread by using their credit cards instead of cash or debit.



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:58 | 2225080 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

They now choose to pay interest on the double cheeseburger to make up the diff on the loaf of bread by using their credit cards instead of cash or debit.


Who says they will be able to pay the CC bill when it comes?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:45 | 2224634 LaLiLuLeLo
LaLiLuLeLo's picture

2/3 of all food is prepared outside the home. I keep meeting women who are five years older than me laughing about not being able to cook. And they wonder why they can't find a man...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:48 | 2224652 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

We really screwed up when we started letting them wear shoes.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:58 | 2224721 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

that's what the muslims have been trying to tell us... if only jihad some sense in her.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:00 | 2224722 tiwimon
tiwimon's picture

"We really screwed up when we" + let them out of the kitchen.



//Besides, nothing tastes better than a dinner made by the wife wearing high heels (and uh, something more comfortable to wear) so don't blame the shoes

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:13 | 2224797 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Not to mention letting them vote and drive cars.

Wearing high heels puts marks on the kitchen's linoleum floor that are hard for her to buff out.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:46 | 2225002 lotsoffun
lotsoffun's picture

and besides cooking.  i had lady friends overseas that told me once 'given what we've seen, we can't believe american woman would ever be able to give head'.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:43 | 2225431 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Research indicates that sex is way better for uncircumsized guys.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:17 | 2225236 GCT
GCT's picture

Lalil thats why make up sales went up!

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 20:18 | 2226228 JR
JR's picture

Now that many women can capitalize on government special privilege and life support, they’re flexing their Sonia Sotomayor muscle with the likes of an Irina Dunn: "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle," a phrase subsequently popularized by feminist Gloria Steinem who got her start as a Playboy bunny and, surely, ought to know.

Should Big Sugar Daddy become insolvent, however...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:48 | 2224653 ZeroPoint
ZeroPoint's picture

5 dollar foot longs are pretty inexpensive. Can you really buy the ingredients and make it yourself for less?



Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:51 | 2224678 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

You can, but you won't get the diversity...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:52 | 2224683 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

I tried once but the casings made from pig intestines are pretty pricey.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:52 | 2224684 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

you can't unless your buying the ingedients for more then 3 people

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:53 | 2224688 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

The ingredients of Subway's subs are shit and bought in massive bulk quantities.  How the fuck do you think they can charge $5 for it?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:56 | 2224706 Arvo Particleboard
Arvo Particleboard's picture

Is your avatar a tablecloth?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:59 | 2224728 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

No, not a table cloth, but rather a Croatian grb.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:17 | 2224823 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Odakle ste vi?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:25 | 2224876 SteveGennisonBa...
SteveGennisonBallWasher's picture

Imotski, born and raised in Cleveland though.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:03 | 2225110 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Comedy gold, right there.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:00 | 2224732 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

They can sell it for $5 because there's hardly anything on those sandwiches besides the crappy bread they make.

Subway makes what they call a "cheesesteak". Growing up around Philly, I'm here to tell ya that ain't no cheesesteak.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:55 | 2224697 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

There are quite a few instances where the cost per meal is vastly better eating outside of the home...  I think there is a happy medium in there somewhere...  and every home should have sufficient food on hand to cook something, anything, cheap at least a few nights a week...  it's a necessity in the biflationary nightmare.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:03 | 2224745 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Vastly better? Where are you food shopping? One of the skills people have lost is how to buy food.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:12 | 2224793 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Well, it's not as though every major grocery chain hasn't had people working on destroying those purchasing skills for decades!  Seriously, depending on where you shop, they either have some sort of loyalty card bs system in place, or they use some kind of pricing trick (4/$5) to confuse you.  They also go out of their way to cause people to grocery shop in such a way that they forget certain items, or they get home and realize that they still don't have food.  It's not just groceries--it's every single fucking thing in our society, including voting, where confusion is injected into the process so that someone else can profit more. 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:16 | 2224817 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Agreed they make it harder than they should but it's a skill worth acquiring to save money. Coupon clipping and buying on sale are good and definitely take a shopping list with you. Our local stores have ads for 4/$5 but you can just buy one item and still get the sale price. Not every chain will do that I know.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:10 | 2225586 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I shop all over...  used to do a lot of gardening, but don't as much now...  buy meat in bulk and freeze it...  generally keep up with penny pinching fairly well.  Probably cook 5 nights a week.

It obviously depends on what you want to eat...  if you want a simple, single course meal of only a few ingredients, then eating out probably won't get anywhere close to touching how cheaply you can make it...  but, when you start adding specialty ancillary courses as well as factor in the cost of spices or other things that are effectively only planned to be used on this particular meal, the cost can even out in a hurry.

It also matters whether you eat out for lunch (generally 2/3 the price of supper around here for the same portions) or supper...  whether they have a particular special that day, etc.  I always order water to save money (and I like it anyway), which saves 10-20% on a bill... 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:11 | 2224787 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

There are quite a few instances where the cost per meal is vastly better eating outside of the home... 


Really?  If you're talking about hi-volume stuff, I'd hesitate to call those "meals."  But for quality and reasonably nutritious fare, it's tough to justify eating out from a cost standpoint.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:03 | 2224712 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes... because if you could not, then Subway could not make money on it...

Can you buy the ingredients for *one* Subway sandwich at at time for cheaper, no probabaly not...

Compare the price of a 7 lb eye of round roast to 7 lbs of roast beef from the deli-counter....
I just picked one up for $20.18  (6.74 lbs)...I will get the basis of ~7 good meals out of that...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:09 | 2224776 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

A lot of the comments here show that people can't shop for food intelligently or prepare something edible if they do buy food. I'm only cooking for two and that's harder to save money on than cooking for four or more people. It helps that the nearest chain restaurant is over 30 miles from here.

A good pot roast bought on sale can make a bunch of delicious meals better than most restaurants will serve you.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:29 | 2224903 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



The only place I know where folks would rave about pot roast and also live 30 miles from "town" is Penobscot County, ME.  I'm guessing you're avatar was one of 'em "pot roasts"?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:32 | 2224921 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

You're within 1,000 miles. :-0

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:03 | 2224746 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

"5 dollar foot longs are pretty inexpensive. Can you really buy the ingredients and make it yourself for less?"

Good luck finding reconstituted pig assholes for the make-your-own foot longs at the grocery store.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:48 | 2224659 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Does "Eating out" include on-line viewing of lesbian cunninglingus?

If so, the trend is more understandable...

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:53 | 2224687 Arvo Particleboard
Arvo Particleboard's picture

No. But it does include fraudulent, central-bank-sanctioned accounting practices, a.k.a book cooking.

Who's hungry?!

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:59 | 2224729 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

A common misspelling of the actual word, "Cunnilingus". Most commonly misspelled by kids or illiterate adults
Excerpt from showing the correct spelling instead of the incorrect, "Cunninglingus"

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:02 | 2224743 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

A snatch is still a snatch by any other name....

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:17 | 2224821 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"Have I told you I'm a very cunning linguist?"

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:00 | 2225095 hidingfromhelis
hidingfromhelis's picture

...a master of many tongues.

And now she eases gently from her Austin to her Bentley...Suddenly she feels so young.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:51 | 2224674 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

Most people are clueless about cooking and are forced to eat out as they can't even turn on a stove.  I know a quite a few individuals who eat out 90% of their meals on overpriced fast food. 

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:53 | 2224685 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

LOL, if Chicken McNugget availability were suddenly shut off, most americans would starve to death.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:14 | 2224802 aerojet
aerojet's picture

And that would be perfectly fine by me.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:05 | 2225561 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

By eating that shit, they are already slowly starving to death.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224708 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Most people are clueless about cooking and are forced to eat out as they can't even turn on a stove. 


I suspect that differs depending on what age cohort you belong to.  Lots of yer 18-30 crowd can't add, so it wouldn't surprise me that they can't cook.  But I think the >50 crowd is still pretty handy in the kitchen, provided their physical faculties haven't left them.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:35 | 2224938 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

"Hand me my cane, the water's boiling"

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:32 | 2224924 RSloane
RSloane's picture

I wonder if the word 'salad' is in their vocabulary. I saw a long line of people waiting to have a heart attack, diabetes, or both.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:58 | 2224682 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

With each passing year people are less and less able to make their own meals; from birth they have been led toward the troughs and pig pens via advertising, microwaves, and planned dependence.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:56 | 2224703 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Not me, I get food stamps, and I've really taken up cooking with all my free time being unemployed.

Cooking good food and reading novels on my kindle that I download for free is not a bad deal.  Discretionary income is waaaay over rated, I usually just blow it all on weed and beer anyway.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:08 | 2224772 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

It's funny because it's true.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224709 WilliamShatner
WilliamShatner's picture

Sister of mine was out to lunch with a friend who is a realtor.  Being as it was in the middle of the week, she couldn't help but notice how packed the place was and remarked about how it was possible considering how bad the economy was in general.

Her friend, the realtor, said "That's easy to explain, these people aren't paying their mortgages".

She even pointed out a couple at a table as someone she had sold a house to and said they were prime examples:  Way underwater on their homes, so they simply stop paying their mortgage and spend the money on creature comforts.  They know it'll take the bank at least a year to start the foreclosure process, so why not live rent free and enjoy life. 

As far as she knew these people might be skipping their property tax payments as well.


Debtors prison, the idea is starting to sound good.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:15 | 2224804 TMT
TMT's picture

Very true.  Moreover, many of these people who aren't paying their mortgage have rented out their homes.  So they are actually making money.

Phantom growth.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:26 | 2224879 WilliamShatner
WilliamShatner's picture

True, but that income is going to get taxed and taken away from them after they are foreclosed upon.

If they don't report that income.... well, the IRS has it's ways.

IMO, foreclosures will soar this year as 30 year fixed rate loans drop below 3%.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:43 | 2224987 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

i am not sure about that, as the servicer is still charging your account each month for property taxes, insurance and mortgage payment.......looks like a wash to me, but the cash in hand is worth 2 houses with bushes

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:19 | 2225636 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

yeah, but no one is footing the bill for the real estate taxes...  and cash strapped counties and states are...  not very forgiving creditors (especially with the whole sovereign immunity body guard standing behind them).  You'll hear more about this little hiccup in the next year...  and in 3 years people won't be able to stop talking about it.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 18:09 | 2225886 DosZap
DosZap's picture


but no one is footing the bill for the real estate taxes...  and cash strapped counties and states are...  not very forgiving creditors

YOU nailed that one, BE as unfortunate to OWN your home outright and just TRY to skip City,School, and County taxes....................your home are ours!.

In very short order.This entire world is bass ackwards, OWN nothing of value you cannot hide and renig on everthing, and you win.

Go figure.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 14:57 | 2224710 Eurogroup
Eurogroup's picture

Quick list of fast food restaurants accepting foodstamps:


Church’s Chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s' , Subway.  Grandma’s Famous Chicken

Eight Mile Pancake House., Mr. T’s BBQ, Vito’s Pizza


Jack in the Box, Subway. El Pollo Loco, Papa Murphy’s Pizza


KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Papa Murphy’s Pizza


Domino’s Pizza, Golden Corral,  Southern Cuisine, Rally’s Hamburger

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:01 | 2224739 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Golden Corral?  No way, all you can eat buffets are taking EBT?  lol, that is crazy.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:16 | 2224809 Eurogroup
Eurogroup's picture

Knowing that foodstamps are part of the "Suplemental Nutrition Assistance Program". Let's help those poor fuckers with marketing diarrea, the american way!


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:24 | 2224868 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

WTF? Starbucks not accepting Obamabucks?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:26 | 2224882 Dave Thomas
Dave Thomas's picture

I think they call this Quantitative Eating.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:35 | 2224940 RSloane
RSloane's picture

I'm proud to subsidize fat, carbohydrates, and salt for them.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:15 | 2225618 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

so can you tip someone with a food stamp card?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:05 | 2224751 Azwethinkweiz
Azwethinkweiz's picture

I know Los Angeles is its own fantasy land but every overpriced restaurant that I eat at has not one empty table and upon leaving, the eyes of those lined at the door hoping to get my table light up. How ALL of these people afford fist-sized pieces of meat for $48 I'll forever keep guessing but each night (and during lunch) masses of people sit down to spend and indulge. The real kicker: seeing the young 20-somethings down $17the mixed drinks as if they were back in college partaking in a frat initiation.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:26 | 2224883 aerojet
aerojet's picture

If you're in your 20s and don't have any kids, you can blow money on all kinds of wasteful outings. I'm sure there's a phrase for that behavior, something like aspirant status purchasing or whatever.  People buy things that are overpriced but that they are convinced communicate a certain level of status to others.  It's still cheaper to buy a $48 steak than it is to own a beach house and drive a Maserati.  I'm sure LA is worse than most anyplace else for that type of behavior. 

I once considered moving to Kali, but I realized that to live the kind of lifestyle I am used to in the midwest, I'd have to be a multi-millionaire, and even then, I would always be far, far behind the super wealthy who flit around out there--always a second or third class citizen.  No thanks, not going to play.  My quality of life is way better, even if my income isn't.


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:04 | 2224754 BLOTTO
BLOTTO's picture

In Canada...

Tim Hortons

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:09 | 2224775 BlackholeDivestment
BlackholeDivestment's picture

...the nature of the prophetic market beast prevents buying sell and trading, same as it ever was. The natural correction demands destruction. You will stand fast and be correct now or you shall continue as you were, given strong delusion and you shall perish in the black hole of the beast without mercy.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:22 | 2224848 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

What a disappointing article. I thought it was about eating deer, elk, and bear meat that one hunted themselves.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:22 | 2224852 firstdivision
firstdivision's picture

I honestly have found it to be cheaper at times to go out to eat, than the grocery store, even excluding fast food places.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:30 | 2224905 element115
element115's picture

All of the chain restaurants here in Seattle (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, PF Changs, Buca di Bepo, etc etc) all have have 45+ minute waits on Friday/Saturday nights.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:34 | 2224931 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I should have commented earlier about this...

There are a growing number of urban regions where there are *no* grocery stores, the locals are all but forced to eat fast food....see for example:


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:35 | 2224935 pazmaker
pazmaker's picture

25lb bag of rice $8.94     Eggs from my own chickens    chicken meat from my own chickens   Rabbit meat form my rabbits.   Let  them free range alot and feed cost is held down     overall grocery chains like Aldi's  Save alot and Compare foods and I caneat a whole lote cheaper then eating out.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:38 | 2224954 realtick
realtick's picture

"The consumer discretionary sector tends to outperform when the economy is buoyant and growing. This sector underperforms when the economy is struggling or contracting."

Discretionary stocks are underperforming consumer staples:


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:39 | 2224963 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

ate out at Fridays last nite......most everything was half 2 appetizers, 2 dinners and 2 20 ounce beers totaled $20 ........and just got done eating the doggie bag for 2 people ate 2 meals for $20 !!!!!!.......tomorrow it off to Moes both kids eat free and totals $10 for 4 to eat, plus they barely touch their food, so thats my Wednesday lunch......throw in one day of $1 menu dinner (no more than one day a week is must) can no lie, map out a week of where to buy dinner/lunch the cheapest and repeat the schedule week after paying $160 every week at the shop rite and i have hardly anything in my carriage i even like

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:57 | 2225078 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

awesome.  Maybe you can use a french fry dipped in ketchup to quickly draw your will on a napkin when the stroke hits.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:43 | 2224976 LMAO
LMAO's picture

. already brought up

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:43 | 2224988 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Frankly this trend is very confusing to me...would have thought it would be the opposite. If there are so many unemployed don't they have time to cook? Or has there been some kind of massive cultural shift that no one knows how to cook any more? Probably most likely. My husband and I work full time and cook about 90 percent at home. Even more enjoyable if you raise it/ kill it yourself. In fact if my rooster spurs me one more time I will chop, skin and roast him tonight. When can you do that when you're just pissed cathartic! Oh well, guess it's just another world.

Miffed :-)

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:38 | 2225397 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

If you like your submarine that's wet, full of processed meat, and tastes like a dog after rolling around in the rain....Subway is for you!

Not to say I dont enjoy some fast food.....but that's mostly due to the price, not the quality.  But it IS nice to see consumers are starting to fight back the urge with demand for actual FOOD like Panera Bread over Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle over Taco Bell, Five GUys over BK/McDs, etc.

I wonder how many SMALL restaurants is includd in this?  There are some awesome ones in Boston....but they are expensive as a motherfucker!  Shame as *this* consumer frequents small businesses that provide great service and food.

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 23:57 | 2226867 VisualCSharp
VisualCSharp's picture

You think Chipotle is real food? LOL

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 16:47 | 2225448 laomei
laomei's picture

wouldn't that chart rather indicate a declining income or a rising cost of dining out?

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 17:13 | 2225606 boiltherich
boiltherich's picture

Tyler?  You been in a grocery store lately?  It is almost cheaper to eat in a restaurant. 

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 01:59 | 2227107 Baleful Runes 4 U
Baleful Runes 4 U's picture

This species is obsolescent. Consider nearly all the human behavior you're now witnessing as a kind of apoptosis. Nature will hasten to create something new.

Tue, 03/06/2012 - 02:07 | 2227128 cnhedge
cnhedge's picture

i wonder how the statistics are got.

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