Restaurants offer the opportunity to hang out with friends, try out different types of food, and demolish your budget. It's easy to just stop for fast food or for restaurant food on the way to work or on the way home, spend a few bucks, then go on your way. Most of our spending is done in tiny little bursts rather than huge bills. There might be a little restaurant tab here, a large tab there, but it all adds up to leave you high and dry when it comes time to pay the most important bills like mortgage and power.
I was a restaurantoholic. Any money that I had would go to the newest, latest, and greatest restaurants that had just opened up. It felt great to take my friends out in the process, but that was doubling my bill. I was spending around $50 each time, and I would be going out at least twice a week. This doesn't even take into account the fact that I was using gas, causing wear and tear on my car, and quite often eating mediocre food.
A lot of people are living from paycheck to paycheck. They look at their finances each and every day, sighing and trying to figure out where they can get the extra money, even while they stop and pick up a dollar or two worth of pre-made coffee or a pack of cigarettes from the convenience store. What they don't see is that these expenses are indeed real, and that they can have a serious effect on their lives. Saving money is easier when you don't have any money than when you do.
Eating at restaurants was killing my budget. It got to be a regular routine. I would get home from work, relax for a moment, put on my favorite natural skin care product, get changed, and then go out for several hours to whatever restaurant happened to be on our radar. Something had to give, because I knew that eating out so much was affecting my dinner partners' finances as well.
3 Top Reasons to Eat at Restaurants
- Social Experience. Hanging out with friends is the most important part of going to a restaurant. There is nothing which beats that shared social experience over a new food or a plate of soggy pizza. Going to the restaurant is not about the food itself, rather it makes a convenient way of seeing friends.
- Better Meals. For those who cannot cook that well, this is a primary reason to go to a restaurant. You have the reputation for burning water, and you've got to nourish yourself somehow. When going to a restaurant, you should be able to get a better meal than one you'd be able to make at home.
- Someone Else Cleans. In my house, this is huge. I have literally thought about hiring a maid so that my wife and I can have the chance to avoid washing those pesky dishes. At a restaurant, everything is taken care of for you, and that makes for a better and more expensive experience.
I talked with my friends and found that they were experiencing much the same thing. They loved hanging out all in one place, but the bill was starting to take a toll on all of them. We examined what we were doing, and realized that we could just as easily have a get together once every two weeks rather than twice a week. We all talked by phone together, so there really wasn't much that we missed by not being in person. As a result, our meals became more special.
Learn How to Cook
Each of us knows that groceries generally cost less when compared to a restaurant. There were a few of us who knew how to cook, but the rest of us had to learn how to do it. I found that there are a number of free classes offered at some of the local supermarkets and the community colleges around the area. We were spending around the cost of a meal together to go to one of these classes. We learned about how to do nearly anything in the kitchen, and we even developed those elusive knife skills.
Go Grocery Shopping
What good are skills if you don't take the time to experiment with all of the great things that you've learned. Going to the grocery store instead of the restaurant made me feel that I was supercharging my money. I was spending a lot for groceries, but it didn't really compare to eating out all of the time.
Have Dinner Parties
This was the crowning achievement. We started to have full blown dinner parties at each of our houses, parties which demonstrated our newfound cooking abilities. We instituted two rules: make your own food and he who cooks does not have to clean. All of us agreed that it was much easier to clean someone else's dishes than it was our own, and after some awesome meals it was absolutely no problem to pick up a washrag and make sure that the dining room table was clean.
This was absolutely perfect. The change to twice a month instead of twice a week was the real key to making the experiences that we shared special. There is nothing which beats getting a bunch of friends together to laugh, love, learn, and live. I learned more about my friends from the kitchen than I ever did otherwise.
About the Author
Benjamin Baker wanted to be a musician when he grew up. Through composing songs for his friends and family, he found that he was addicted to writing. In his spare time, he loves to take his three teenagers camping and fishing. Though he would never admit it, he has a secret love for the natural skin care products from www.mysensitiveskincare.com Benjamin lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and kids.