Even if you dream of a retirement filled with steak dinners and brunch dates, chances are you’ll still spend less on the food you consume in and out of your house. The average household spends 25% less on food in retirement. According to Erik Hurst and Mark Aguiar, professors from the University of Chicago and Princeton University, the logic to this is simply that you have more time to shop.
When you’re not in a hurry at the grocery store, you’re more likely to compare prices on similar products, use coupons and spend more time planning meals for the week ahead.
Spending on dining out drops even more sharply—as much as 35%. Hurst and Aguiar say that the story behind this is similar.
When you’re working, much of your dining out may be quick lunch runs or costly lattes on the way to work. Instead of patronizing fast-food restaurants more frequently, retirees reserve their eating-out dollars for table-service restaurants.