Disneysteve asked this on the forum boards and I said yes. But it's a bit of a layered question. There are a lot of things that have changed. Covid forced at least us to stay at home and be less busy, which was nice, but also forced us to cook a lot more. Restaurants weren't open and even if they were, we weren't interested in leaving the house.
Over the past 2.5 years i will admit that we used to eat out, well do mostly takeout, 5-6x/week pre-covid. We might sit down 1x/week pre-covid. But eating out was a lot cheaper. We could do it for $150-200/week for that many meals out. The kids were smaller and we could share meals, the portions were larger, there was less service fees, etc. But being less busy, less activities meant we also just had more time to cook and enjoy our meals at home.
Then it seems like life has been getting back to more normal. The pace of life is much faster and there are more things going on. So it would be so easy to slip back into at least picking up take out during the week like I used to. 2-3x/week I'd grab takeout.
But now I don't. It's the expense. It's shocking how expensive a meal from Chick-fil-A is now for our family of four. Or burgers from a local place. It's insane how a pizza at a fancy place is $35 for large or even 2 pizzas from Papa Johns is $25. A takeout from our local thai place for 3 dishes cost me $57 and the portions were enough for the 4 of us for 1 meal. We had no leftovers. So eating out 5-6x/week now there is no way to do it for $200/week.
Even cooking every meal $200/week isn't a lot of money for the four of us from the grocery store. The price of meat, veggies, fruit, milk has gone up a lot. I understand it's likely due to the fact that we have had long term inflation. But I don't think I'm alone in looking at my DH's paycheck and thinking we did not get a 10% raise, our investments are down, and our medical/vision/dental/auto/home insurance premiums are up as well as a lot higher property taxes.
So our real purchasing power took a severe hit. We already took a massive paycut with DH's job switch and I don't know how long this will go on for. But to compensate we've really tightened up on eating and groceries. This seems the new normal how expensive everything is.