Over the weekend I went out to eat on two different occasions. The bills were significantly different, and so were the experiences.
Vonnie and I visited a nice restaurant that came highly recommended, and has a reputation. The kind of reputation that usually results in people mentioning going there during Monday morning hallway conversations at work when asked if you and your significant other did anything special over the weekend.
Vonnie had butternut squash ravioli, a cranberry spinach salad, and a glass of wine while I ordered the shrimp and scallop au gratin.
Oooh, sounds fancy!
Except it wasn’t very good. I love seafood, but I did not enjoy my entree, and I wasn’t satisfied because the portion was tiny. With no appetizer, no desert, and me sticking to water, the bill still came to $50.
We took our two kids and one of their friends to a local sports bar and grill that has some awesome daily specials. Vonnie and I have frequented this restaurant a few times for $5 lunches, but Sunday’s special is “Power Hour” from 11am to noon featuring $1 for burgers, buffalo wings, and rail drinks. I suspect their goal is to get people to come in for lunch, and stay for the NFL games.
Between the five of us we ordered 2 burgers, 3 orders of buffalo wings, 2 baskets of fries, soft drinks for the kids, and rum and cokes for both the wife and I.
While we were eating, a touchdown was scored in the football game being shown on the big screen TV causing the restaurant employees to blow a super loud air horn. It startled my ten year old daughter Tori so much that she just about fell off her chair. We all laughed hysterically for what seemed like an eternity.
The bill came to $18. I loved my buffalo wings bathed in a delicious Jim Beam Buffalo sauce, and since my daughter didn’t even come close to finishing her ½ pound burger, the daddy trash compactor walked out of the restaurant completely satisfied.
I work hard for my money, and I want spending it to be worth the effort it took to earn. When I review our spending at the end of the week I want to feel good about every purchase and know that they have added value to our lives. I think I’ve found a new measuring stick by which to determine if a purchase or activity is worth opening my wallet.
I’ll simply ask myself the question, is this Monday morning hallway talk, or is this an air horn ready to blow me off my chair?