Money makes the world go 'round.
You don't have to dance like Liza to know that having a few more bucks in your pocket makes things a little better.
I've been a bit more in tune with my budget recently thanks to my latest car woes. If money was no object, I'd write a check, have my car fixed and be done with it.
But life is never that easy, is it?
The lovely Dork and His Pork (who was just featured in Cincinnati Magazine, btw) invited me over for some homemade bourbon egg nog and bourbon ice cream recently. It was an afternoon for two friends to celebrate Knob Creek and catch up at the conclusion of the year.
We were trading stories about food, family and our circle of friends when Jeff made the most casual comment that hit me like a ton of bricks.
"I only go out to eat when it counts," he quipped as he trailed off about other lessons in frugality.
I took pause, my brain immediately flashing the images of a hundred meals out with friends over the years. Yes, many were delicious, and most were with special people. But how many really counted?
This was a profound thought for my universe.
I have always been one of those people who will contemplate and immediately commit to the idea of dining out instead of cooking in. You see, it is a real pain in the ass to warm a pan and roast a chicken/sear some tuna/grill a steak when you are cooking for one. There's the preparation of said meal and the clean up that follows, never mind the lack of instant gratification.
Cooking for one kind of sucks.
Now, I would go through the motions and deliver a live, baby cow in my kitchen and butcher its veal steaks myself if it meant serving a delicious meal to my friends. But cooking for one? No fun, no dice.
Which is why I am so quick to sign on for a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner out.
And this habit is raping my bank account.
I asked Jeff to back up and explain a little bit more about his mention, and he said that he really only commits to dining experiences that involve important relationships and important occasions. It was a reasonable qualifier that I tend to believe more people invoke than I realize.
The gears in my head started turning and I thought about any number of random brunches, lunches and dinners out. I thought about the thousands and thousands of dollars that I've figuratively swallowed down my gullet.
And that's when I decided I was going to make a concerted effort to only commit to meals out when they count.
I don't know how I'm going to accomplish this. Some of it involves packing more lunches (which, in turn, means more food prep at home), and some of it means making other cost-effective plans with friends. Some of it means inviting more friends into my home, and I am giddy with delight about that.
I love entertaining and I love showing my friends that I care for them through the act of cooking.
And those moments always count.
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.