I think we would all agree that dining out is more expensive than cooking at home. We all go out to eat from time to time, but did you notice that we always seem to attach some sort of excuse to it? Whether we’re celebrating, or we’re on vacation, or we’re just too busy to cook it seems like we have to justify to ourselves a trip to a restaurant. Sometimes there are some valid reasons, sometimes there isn’t a reason other than we just want to and that’s OK. But there’s one excuse that we tell ourselves over and over that’s just an outright lie.
Vonnie had an appointment late Friday afternoon that was going to push eating dinner later than usual. We had planned to grill steaks, but since her return time was a bit up in the air, by the time we got food on the table it could be very late. We talked about options, but really didn’t come to a decision.
While she was gone I went to the grocery store and picked up steaks and a salmon fillet. When she got home, we calculated how long it would take to actually make the meal and decided to go out to eat instead using the excuse that it was already late and going out would get us food faster.
We went to a nearby steakhouse, ordered our food, and had a nice conversation. When our food arrived I happened to notice the time and mentioned to my wife that we could have made a meal at home in the same amount of time. She thought for a minute, as she stared at the clock on her cell phone and then nodded her head in agreement.
Going out to eat to save time is a big fat lie.
Let’s compare potential timelines:
Eat At Home:
- 8:00pm: Start preheating oven for baked potatoes, start making salad
- 8:10pm: Baked potatoes placed in oven
- 8:30pm : Start Charcoal For Grill
- 8:30pm : Start Making Salad
- 8:35pm : Salad Served
- 8:50pm : Grill ready, Steaks start cooking
- 9:00pm : Steaks / Potatoes ready
- 9:05pm : Main Course Served
- 9:15pm : Food Eaten, Cleanup begins
- 9:25pm : Cleanup complete
- 8:00pm Leave House
- 8:15pm Arrive At Restaurant
- 8:25pm Seated in Booth
- 8:30pm Initial contact with server, waters ordered
- 8:35pm Waters served, order taken
- 8:45pm Salads Served
- 9:00pm Food Served
- 9:10pm Eating Complete
- 9:15pm Bill Delivered
- 9:20pm Bill Paid and receipt signed
- 9:35pm Arrive home
As shown, the timeline for the food delivery is very similar. The salad would be served earlier had we stayed at home, and the main entree was served at almost the exact same time. We’d actually have eaten and cleaned up 10 minutes EARLIER than when we walked in the front door from dining out. But wait, here comes the ironic part; take a wild guess at what we ordered. Vonnie had steak, and I had salmon. We also had the ingredients to make salad in the refrigerator.
We spent $70 at a restaurant to eat the same food we had at home, and the entire experience took longer.
I’m not here to tell you to go out to eat or not – that’s up to you. But if you find yourself trying to convince yourself to go out using the excuse that it will save you time, just know that unless you’re hitting a drive though, it’s a bold face lie. You’re going to pay through the nose eating at a restaurant and you’re doing it simply for convenience.
The question you have to ask yourself, will it be worth it?