Restaurant ban?

Last week I am proud to say I did not go out to eat once. This week was on track to sharing the same fate. I’ve been going home and relaxing every single night, old lady that I am. I enjoy the downtime and more importantly, going home is free. An empty social calendar means I can safely say my discretionary costs for the week will be low and that gives me some peace of mind.

I was almost free and clear until yesterday. My good friend – we’ll call her Tinkerbell – texted me and asked if I wanted to go for cheap martinis at a really yummy restaurant downtown. Tinkerbell is always tempting me with offers like this and quite honestly I don’t understand where she has the funds to go out to eat all the time considering she isn’t currently working AND pays rent for a condo downtown.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame my friend for inviting me out. It’s more like I blame myself for not being able to resist.

Does anyone ever have this problem when trying to live frugally? I find eating out the toughest thing to overcome because it’s social and it’s hard to say no to catching up with a good friend and eating yummy food just because you don’t want to spend money. I have in fact rejected dinner plans in the past for this reason but it can be difficult to do all the time.

At the end of the day I managed to be frugal with my dinner tab by deciding to opt out of martinis (cheap martinis still rack up a hefty bill!) and shared a pizza with Tinkerbell. My bill was a whopping $10 with tax and tip, which is really nothing to stress over. But I can’t help but think that I could have also just as easily gone home with the $10 in my pocket.

I know that Fabulously Broke has decided to cut out restaurant spending and I don’t blame her. Eating out is a complete indulgence and one that I find unnecessary. The bf feels the same way and we’ve just about completely cut it out. Friends are another story. I find random friends coming out of the woodwork suggesting dinner plans.When it’s someone I like and haven’t seen in ages, I usually oblige.

I’m sure some of you will suggest coffee dates and I do have a few fellow-frugalista-friends (say that 10 times fast!) that will always suggest coffee and it’s great. When it’s a bigger group, however, it somehow automatically becomes dinner.

What do you think? How do you manage to stay social while cutting spending?



2 thoughts on “Restaurant ban?

  1. Wow I just came across this problem not 5 minutes ago! My friend wanted to go to Happy Hour. But tomorrow night is another friend’s 30th birthday, and because I’m on a $100/week allowance, I declined. I’m trying to do a “rotation” of sorts, and just go out to eat with a different friend/group of friends once a week. This way, I still get to see everyone and be social, there’s something to look forward to, and I can stay within my budget! So far, it’s going pretty well!

    Good luck!

  2. The rotation sounds like a great idea! Same here, if I know I’m already going out once or twice one week, I’ll reject any spur of the moment invites. In fact, I opted for an extra serving shift tomorrow instead of going out to dinner. I guess there is a fine line between being financially savvy and being a terrible friend eh? 😉

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