Before my days of frugal living, and incidentally before the days of my huge diet shift, I loved going to restaurants. They were the default — happy hours abound in this town, and going to happy hour for dinner could almost always be justified. I was dating someone who made a lot of money and liked to show it off (shudder!) so three, four nights a week, I was in a restaurant.
Then my diet shifted. I also got smart in the romance department and decided not to date the show-off anymore, and I realized that it isn’t restaurant food that’s necessarily what I liked, it was the whole experience: sitting at a table, being waited on, having someone else do the dishes, and hanging out with friends.
And now, I’m “that person” in restaurants. Thank goodness I live in Portland where everyone is “that person” — you know the one asking obscure questions about the menu. It was even parodied in Portlandia. I’ve gotten used to it, but still, I don’t like being fussy. Also, as diligent as I try to be, wheat is everywhere and I end up hurting about half the time I go out to eat anyway.
So, in the spirit of frugality, and for my tummy, my rule about restaurants is never dine out alone. The experience is better shared, and it saves me money to eat home cooked food unless I’m meeting someone.
To take this rule to the next level, I’ve been inviting people over for meals instead of meeting in restaurants, and to my surprise, most of my friends could care less where we meet — it’s much more about getting together and catching up.
That’s probably because as we get older, we get more strict with how we spend our time. I know I like to spend time with my friends — I’m still open to meeting and making new friends, but I’ve past the age of going out to bars to meet dudes.
- Take Small Steps to Go Frugal Without Making Yourself Miserable [Saving Money] (lifehacker.com)
- Ask the Readers: Is It Possible to Be Too Frugal? (wisebread.com)