Posts Tagged ‘eating out’

Eating Out Reflection

August 22, 2009

We’ve spent waaaay too much money on eating out this month. I say that because we’re overbudget. Did I underbudget and not plan well? Or do we just eat out too often? I’m going to delve into this…

$21.70  – Chili’s To Go for Two.  It had been a busy evening, we had little to no food in the house, and we enjoyed a great meal while sitting on our new patio furniture. One thumb up.

$24.04 – Lunch for Two at Buffalo Wild Wings.  Mr D2S got suckered into lunch with old college friends, one that was only in town temporarily. I tagged along because it was my day off. Two thumbs down.

$63.02 – Brick Oven Pizza for Four at Local Pizzeria.  Muy delicioso. Treated out-of-town friends. Four thumbs up.

$35- Lunch for Two at Local Diner.  Mr D2S treated one out-of-town friend again. Because I didn’t get to partake in the yumminess and because of the crazy price: One thumb down.

$60.20 – Dinner for Four at Local Romantic Restaurant.  Once again, we treated two friends who don’t live here. They did cover the tip and bought gelato for us later. Also, we used a $10 gift certificate, and I deducted $20 from the bill, because the friend had given us money for feeding him the two previous nights at our home. We’d tried to refuse the money, but he left it on the fridge. Two thumbs up.

$5.50 – Lunch for Two at Arby’s.  Thanks to coupons, we feasted well for fairly little. One thumb up.

$18.86 – Dinner for Four at TGIFridays. I’d written about this earlier. A bit of a bummer, because we’d planned on free food and entertainment, but it did feel nice to treat two friends to a good meal for not much money. Two thumbs up.

$32.33 – Lunch for Two at Red Robin. We justified this one because I’d just gotten my promotion and Mr D2S had just gotten his new assignment. What it is it that celebration = food?? Two thumbs down.

$40 – Dinner for 7 1/2 at Famous Landmark.  The bill was more than this, we just tossed in $40 into the pot. It did cover more than our share, but it was also our idea to go to this place. One thumb up.

$11.10 – Dinner for Two from Subway. What a bust. The whole reason we got Subway was to quickly eat so we could make it to the movies on time. Turns out, the lady at the cell phone place was so slow, that we still missed the show. Two thumbs down.

Well, the thumbs up definitely triumphed (+ four thumbs up). I know we’ve treated people a lot, but it feels nice to do that. And eating out with friends and family is what makes it fun.

I think one thing I can take away from this, is that if I think about the purchase beforehand, I can determine whether or not it’s “worth” it to me at the end of the month. Convenience and laziness are not reasons to drop thirty bucks on a meal. But sharing an experience with seldom-seen loved ones is.


Frugal Dinner Out

August 10, 2009

Tonight, Mr D2S and I had plans with two friends to eat dinner and see a show. This was courtesy of a gift certificate my mother gave me as a graduation present. However, the event was outdoors and terrible thunderstorms ruined our plans.

Since the friends had already arrived, and we’d offered them free fun, we decided to go out to eat and pick up the tab.

We went to TGIFriday’s. I think this place is yummy, yet a little bit more pricey than, say, Applebees or Chili’s. However, I am on their email list and have a coupon (good for all of August) that gets $5 off each of your friends’ entrees. Also, we had a gift card from redeeming credit card points last month.

Here’s what our bill looked like:

2 waters — 0.00
2 sodas — 4.78
appetizer  — 6.19
entree  –10.28
entree  –9.48
entree  –11.49
entree   –8.59

total: 50.81

minus $15 for the coupon…

plus $3.05 for tax….

paid $25 with our giftcard….

and we owed $13.86 plus the tip, which one friend helped cover.

Not too shabby for stuffing four people to the brim.

The deal would’ve been stretched even further, of course, if two people hadn’t gotten sodas ($4.78), if we’d skipped the appetizer ($6.19), and if no one had upgraded their sides ($0.99 times two). But, still…not too shabby!

I also have a Get More Stripes card with TGIFridays. They keep track of what you spend and after 100 stripes (aka 100 dollars), you get an $8 giftcard. This month is double points, so we got 72 points for tonight and are just a three away from our next reward!

So Proud!

July 3, 2009

Mr D2S packed his dinner and took it to work tonight. We haven’t even discussed that idea in a long time. He has been eating out every night he works (four times a week), and we’ve both justified it.

But I just got off the phone with him and he said he ate a sandwich that he brought from home. AND he’s thinking he should pack a meal two to three times a week. He sure knows how to make me happy, ha!

Like I said, I had justified his eating out while at work in my head, but I”ve actually been struggling with it some. While I don’t have the desire to spend a similar amount of money for myself to eat out (or to buy other things for me), I just hated that the money was being spent. I also struggle a bit with other purchases that are required by his job. Stuff really adds up. Just two day ago he really needed some batteries for work. We’d talked about buying rechargeable ones, but they never got ordered. So an hour before he has to be at work, we drop $43.99 at RadioShack for batteries. Insane! Even worse is that Walmart sells them for half that, but the two we called were out of stock. In the end, we should be basically reimbursed for all of these work-expenses, but I always have a hard time shelling out the cash.

Dollar Menu Splurge

June 20, 2009

Our grocery budget is very tight this month ($100), and we’ve already gone over (by $1.22). It’s only June 20th, but in reality we only have 8 more days to feed ourselves because today is over and we’re going to visit family tomorrow.

Today, we had a lazy Saturday morning/afternoon. The fridge has leftovers from a dish that Mr D2S created yesterday. It was a bit odd, but still tasty. Egg noodles, ground beef, condensed tomato soup, green beans, and I’m sure some sort of spice concoction. Because we both had it for lunch yesterday, and I knew I’d eat it for dinner tonight, I really was craving something different.

McDonald’s different. I know it’s disgustingly bad for you, but it’s also disgustingly cheap. I drove to the nearest McD’s (maybe 1.5 miles away), and ordered two McDoubles, two McChickens, and an extra-large fry. It came to $6.17. We enjoyed glasses of Crystal Light that I’d already mixed up at home. Yumm-o.

I felt a little bad for going to buy food, when there wasn’t much of a need. We had food in the house, and I try to reserve fast food for when the convenience is almost a necessity. However, we had the money left in our eating out/entertainment budget, and it sounded good to us both.

So, how are we gonna survive eight more days? We’ve got four pounds of ground beef in the freezer. That equals a lot of Hamburger Helper or skillet dishes. I’ve got two pounds of pinto beans that I could cook. We finally bought another bean masher (I think two have broken on us), so we can eat them refried style. We’ve also got lots of rice, and Mr D2S makes some mean rice. There’s plenty of bread and peanut butter for my lunches, and Mr D2S has money remaining in the “work eating out” category. (It’s not really only his money, but he does use probably 90% of it. Occasionally I’ll get a drink or snack while I’m at work.) We are planning to go out for Mr D2s’s birthday next Sunday night, but we’ll use gift cards to pay.

It’s been neat to see how little we actually need to spend on food, but I’m ready for a month where our food budget is much higher!