The lure of eating out

Dave and I LOVE going out to eat.  We spend WAAAAY to much money at restaurants, especially lately.  We're trying to cut back, and it's oh-so-hard, but it's also good for a couple of reasons as well.

One of our all-time favorite places to eat.  (Source)

1. Cost - As mentioned above, we spend way too much money eating out.  We're talking hundreds of dollars a month. Seriously.  It's gotten out of control.

2. Health - When we eat out, we generally have a beer (or two), and we obviously are not counting our calories when we order chips and salsa in addition to our meals.  Even when you order something that seems reasonably healthy, if it's made in a restaurant it's probably not as healthy as you'd like to think.

Those are two pretty convincing reasons right there.  So why is going out to eat so damn attractive!?!?


1. No cooking - As the household chef, on nights that I'm tired or just don't feel like cooking, going out is the easy solution.  During particularly rough weeks, we might go out two or three times.

2. No dishes - No cooking equals no clean-up, and no one likes to clean up, right!?!? 

3. Tastier food - As much as I would like to convince myself that my food is as tasty as a restaurant's, I would be wrong.  Nearly everything that I eat in a restaurant seems to taste better than the stuff I make.  From fried chicken to burritos to soft pretzels. Everything tastes better when someone else makes it.

4. Human Interaction - Dave and I often feel very isolated from human interaction.  We no longer really have neighbors, and - except for when we're at work - we don't encounter any other human beings unless we go out.  Sometimes we just want to be around other people, even if we don't know them or have any intention of talking with them.  Just being in a room that's buzzing with the sound of other human beings is oftentimes very enjoyable to us.  Does this mean that we've lived in the "country" too long? 

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that for various reason - which I'll discuss in a future post - we are cutting back financially in many areas of our lives.  One of the most obvious ways to cut back is to stop going out to eat.  However, I don't think we can stop altogether, so we're planning on creating a budget - say, perhaps $100 per month for eating out - and we're going to try to stick to it.  It's only been a week now, but I'm already craving a Mad Mex burrito....


BeeKayRoot said...

If you haven't already, sign up to your favorite restaurants' e-mail lists, because they send you coupons more often than not.

I know, I know. This isn't the piece of advice I should be giving, considering you eat out too often. But, hey, it'll save a few bucks.

One of my fave chain restaurants is Smokey Bones, and they send me awesome coupons on a regular basis.

LAURA said...

Budgeting is the answer! If you decide to budget $100 a month then get that out of the bank at the beginning of the month. Write "eating out" on an envelope and put the cash in it. When the cash is gone you can't eat out again until the next month.

I hate cooking too. I stay home all day so it's not like I have to come home from work and cook... but if I don't do my cooking before 4:00 I don't really get to it. So the crock pot and I have become good friends. I have a lot of good recipes if you are interested.

As for the human interaction and enjoying the noise of the restaurant... maybe you could just take a recorder the next time you go and then play the noise at home haha!

Melissa said...

Cutting back is a good idea. Trust me, i LOVE eating out! Love it! But i did it way too much before i got married. I married a guy that doesn't mind eating out ON OCCASION! So now we eat out on occasion & it's more special b/c we don't do it as often! And i can't believe how much more money i have!

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