When you and your significant other go out to dinner, is it special? Do you look forward to it, plan what to wear, think about what you will order? Are you marking a special occasion or rewarding yourselves for overcoming a difficult time? Unless eating in restaurants is one of your life's priorities, be aware that the cost is likely five to ten times the cost of eating at home.
By going to restaurants several times a week, you are missing the opportunity that restaurant dining used to provide when it was a special, looked-forward-to event. Think about it. Lots of things that mean the most to us are rare or at least occasional events. Christmas comes but once a year. A marriage proposal, a honeymoon is a rare event. I know my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, years ago, emerging out of the morning mist from the window of my approaching train, far surpassed later visits.
Here's something a little unusual to consider trying: Go on a cruise. Yes, make it a cheap, last minute deal type of cruise. If it's your first cruise, you'll definitely enjoy it. Take advantage of all the meal offerings, there are many opportunities to eat. It's all included (and free) You might even come to dread meal times. But make a point of tallying up the likely cost of at least one extravagant dinner in which you order the crab cocktail, the seafood chowder, the ambrosia salad, steak and lobster and tiramisu for dessert. (or whatever is your favourite indulgence). Was it $100 or $150? You got it for free! And that was just one meal. After you return home, you'll resent having to actually pay for what was an included part of your cruise. Your restaurant meals at home, added up, would likely buy you both a couple of cruises a year. All that lovely food, plus the travel and entertainment. Just watch your not-included bar bill!
You see, the purpose of this blog is not about total deprivation. It's about priorities and smart spending when you do pull out your wallet.