Cooking Versus Eating Out
I heard a story many years ago about a young woman just starting out in the business world, after spending a few years as a new mother. She was getting ready for a big, important business meeting the next day, so she carefully laid out the outfit she would wear.
She knew she wouldn’t have time to prepare a big breakfast before she left in the morning, so she bought some jelly donuts and made a pot of coffee before she went to bed that night.
When she got up in the morning, she put on her outfit, only to have one of the kids spit up on it. She hadn’t planned on needing a backup plan, but pulled on her second-best outfit, grabbed a jelly donut, and put a mug of coffee in the microwave.
She punched some numbers on the appliance, looked hurriedly over her notes, and grabbed the steaming mug as she ran out the door (this was before the days of travel mugs).
When she got to her car, she set the coffee on her dashboard, pulled on her seat belt, and put the car in gear. Crash! She hit one of the kid’s tricycles that had been parked behind her car. Sadly, as she had backed up, she had taken a bite of the jelly donut. As she slammed into the tricycle, the hot coffee fell into her lap, and she squeezed the jelly donut in pain.
A friend of mine went to a local donut store and had breakfast. He decided to get some donuts for the office and also decided to eat one as he left the store’s parking lot.
He took a huge bite of a filled donut, only to realize that the filling was rancid. He tossed the donut out his car window, only to suddenly notice that someone was driving by with his window open just as my friend tossed the partially-eaten donut out his window.
It landed on the passerby’s face…..not a good day for him, either. What is the morale of the two donut stories? Eat breakfast at home and stay away from donuts…..
Now, what about the other meals in your day? Eating out a lot can really play havoc with your budget. Be careful here. That $10.00 lunch times five days a week is fifty dollars times four is $200 a month, just for lunch. Ditto with dinner. Add a tip and you are spending a lot of cash.
What’s a suddenly single person to do? I suggest allowing yourself two lunches out per week and brown bagging it the rest of the week. The thirty dollars a week turns into $120 per month and that’s a nice piece of pocket change.
With dinners, I cook a pot of stew or soup and divide it into plastic freezer containers. Each pot makes 4-5 dinners. Take the frozen soup out of the freezer before you go to work, so that it is ready to heat up that evening. Add some bread and fruit and you have a healthy meal that won’t bankrupt you and that is probably healthier than whatever someone with a big appetite at a restaurant will serve you.
When I do go out to dinner, I ask for a to-go box and split the dinner in half, whenever possible. That gives me two meals for the price of one and it allows me two meals that I didn’t have to cook (cooking is not my “thing.” I eat to live; I don’t live to eat).
What tips can you offer my readers?