Wednesday, July 22, 2020

When You Eat Homemade Meals Every Single Day, Dining Out Isn't As Appealing...

Many, many moons ago when I was working for large media companies and had clients on the side, I was putting in close to 100 hours a week. During that time, Lisa and I ordered takeout 3-4 times a week. I remember eating dinner in the home office. I sat at my desk. Lisa sat at hers. Lisa's work lunches consisted of leftovers or deli meat sandwiches and prepackaged snacks. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that, but we don't adhere to that lifestyle any longer.

On a side note, during that time, we made homemade meals and treats for our kids. They ate a lot healthier than we did.

Overall, we felt like shit. It began to affect our health and wellbeing. I also felt guilty because I've been cooking and baking for over 35 years. I knew I needed to do something.

In the months and years that followed, I climbed down the corporate ladder. I kept a few clients. Lisa entered the world of management at her job that she's been at for 18 years this year.

We stopped buying premade food and snacks that were loaded with preservatives. I began making everything from scratch whether it was bread and pizza crust or spaghetti sauce and eggrolls.

If I could make it, I wasn't going to rely on premade.

Eventually, I got to the point where I was spending several hours in the kitchen every single day. And, that did not include the time it took to make homemade meals and treats for our kids.

It was a little overwhelming, but I wasn't going to stop. Our overall health improved, we felt better, our tummies were happy, and we slowly began to lose weight.

Lisa began to notice that I was running around and trying to put the final touches on dinner and her work breakfasts and lunches. I would joke and tell her to get out of my kitchen because I was a harried housewife on a mission. 

Finally, Lisa suggested that I incorporate my time in the kitchen into my work schedule. That was about the time when I retired from providing Academic and Independent Living Tutoring and a few other client services. 

What Lisa said made sense on so many levels. 

That's exactly what I have been doing and it's been awesome. I cook and bake 7 days a week and I no longer feel rushed or overwhelmed. And, I've been making even more items homemade including Chinese food, chicken tenders, ice cream, etc.

The reason I'm sharing this is that just recently phase 2 of our state reopening happened. Restaurants were allowed to offer dine-in services after several months of being restricted to takeout and curbside. 

In the days to follow, my social media streams were plastered with photos of people seated at their favorite restaurant and expressing how incredible it was to eat out. Everyone had smiles on their faces and cheering with adult beverages. 

During this time, a lot of people asked us, "What's the first restaurant you're going to?"

Each and every time we've been asked, we don't exactly know what to say.


We are not going to be dining out any time soon for a few reasons...

We don't enjoy dining out.


Since I've been making all meals and snacks homemade, when we have occasionally gone out to eat, within 5 minutes after tasting our meal, Lisa says, "Yours is much better..."

My reply is, "Yeah, and a lot cheaper..."

For example.

It's lobster roll season. 

Lisa and I both love lobster dinners and lobster rolls.

A few Summers ago, we decided to treat ourselves to lobster rolls at a local restaurant. They were $17 each and that included a lobster roll, french fries, and coleslaw. Including non-alcoholic drinks and tax, our tab was over $40. 

The lobster roll had a skimpy amount of meat. Claw meat. No tail meat. Lots of lettuce. The fries were limp. The coleslaw was very warm because the tiny container of slaw was put beside the fries and grilled hotdog roll. 

We were both disappointed. 

From that point on, we waited until lobsters went on sale at our local grocery store. When they do, we get 4 big steamed lobsters. 

The evening we pick them up, we have a lobster dinner complete with a lobster for each of us, baked potatoes, and fresh seasonal vegetables. 

Lisa cleans the other 2 lobsters out and I make a fresh lobster salad that's enough for 4 lobster rolls. On grilled hotdog rolls that have cooled. I always add a little shredded lettuce. 

So, the amount we pay for 4 big steamed lobsters is less than what we paid for 2 lobster roll dinners. 

You can figure out the rest of the math.

I hope I'm not coming across as snobby or arrogant. 

We are certainly not any of those. 

It's just that...

When you're used to homemade. 

In the comfort of your own home. 

And it costs much less than going out...

*shrugs shoulders*

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