Saturday, April 23, 2011

We love food, perhaps too much

Last night we went out for dinner.  It cost a good chunk of money, and we had a coupon.  But it was oh so yummy and allowed some much needed adult time.

I admit that one my husband and I's biggest weaknesses is food.  We both love it, and in particular the ritual of eating out.  I'm not sure where this came from though.  When I was growing up, we ate out maybe twice a year. And normally that was a meal at the mall, which we traveled too twice a year for spring and fall clothes shopping (The nearest mall was an hour away)  There was also very, very few choices to eat at where I grew up, So when I moved to the big city for University, restaurants and take out were plentiful and convenient.  I've also always had good paying jobs, even through University, so I could afford it.  Or so I thought.

Eating out is the one part of our budget we are having real trouble paring down.  And I think if we could, we'd see our debt disappear much faster.  Mr. Bear is an awesome cook, and we get fresh local organic produce delivered every other week to cook with.  And I love to bake, so eating at home should be easy.  But it isn't.  It is very easy to find excuses to eat out.  "Oh we have errands to run after work and so we'll be home too late to make dinner, so lets pick something up".  Oh we had a hard busy day today, lets eat out to avoid the clean up etc."  And I admit, I'm the worst offender!

That said, I think food should take up a good chunk of your budget.  All this talk about rising food prices is interesting to me.  Historically food would have taken up a massive chunk of  a households income, but nowadays we expect it to take a tinier and tinier portion.  Presumably to leave more money to buy stuff we really don't need.  So while I don't mind spending money on food per-say, eating out as much as we do is still too costly.

Anyone have any tips on keeping dining out costs down?  Our current plan is to set a very tight budget for casual/spontaneous eating out, and also to set up regular (monthly) date nights for Mr. Bear and I to get our fix of formal restaurant dinner meals.   But I'm not convinced it will work... yet...

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