Friday, September 15, 2006

Dining In

What better day to discuss eating out than Friday...

My most persistent (and possibly biggest) splurge is eating out. It saves time and energy, and it's just so convenient. Especially after work, when you get home too tired to do anything but sit on the couch and just sit. I went through getrichslowly's tips for dining in, and I'm glad to see that I've tried most of those suggestions. I have tried:

  • Eating out at cheaper restaurants
    The s.o. didn't particularly appreciate it, since we both went home feeling unhealthy after meals. Plus, we didn't enjoy the lack of variety.
  • Cooking at home on Mondays
    I couldn't keep it up...there was something so final about knowing you'll be cooking every Monday night. Also, my unimaginative culinary repertoire consisted of beef & mushroom stew, chicken parm, seafood pasta, and korean barbecue beef, and my family got tired these, quickly begging for reprieve.
For anything else, I will research online, price-match, stack discount codes, wait for that random Tuesday between 1:55 and 1:56 am that the thing goes on sale, and choose in-store pick-up. But I love, love, love a good meal out.

It's not like I go all out when I go out to eat - I still do minor cost control, like ordering water with lemon instead of a soda, or ordering an appetizer as my entrée. But I think everyone should allow herself a relatively harmless splurge, and realizing it, factor some elasticity into her budget for it. (To clarify, my "relatively harmless" doesn't include LV wallets or Dior pumps. It's a $20 per person dinner - tips included - that leaves us with leftovers for tomorrow's lunchbag to work.)

So, while I'm slowly breaking myself into cooking at home more from now on, I will keep eating out guilt-free. And though I don't have kids, here are some tips about eating out for everyone. I'll be making more efforts to cook in...maybe just steaks once a week. This will save my as yet unmined culinary imagination for when I get my own place...not to mention spare my very patient family from what's been dubbed "The Experiments."

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