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McDonalds Sales Jump

McDonald's posted a 7.1 percent sales increase for January, even as most other retailers and restaurants posted losses. Looks like folks are turning away from more expensive dinners out and looking toward less expensive fare. Are people realizing that paying $5 for dinner is still quite an indulgence, compared to making food at home?

I personally spent some time at McDonald's while I was out on vacation (or staycation, if you will). I didn't just zip through the drive-thru, either. I actually walked inside, ordered a hot fudge sundae and enjoyed it in the dining room while flipping through a magazine. It was the most bang for my buck I've gotten in a while.

Has the recession signaled a return to simple pleasures? Will we start savoring the little things we very recently took for granted?

---Samantha Maziarz Christmann

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