Today I broke with routine and ate lunch at a restaurant. Well, actually at one of those American soup and sandwich stores which are popping up around here in a likely failed attempt to beat Tim Horton’s at the quick and convenient game. While walking afterwards, I noted spring migration is likely to be summer migration this year. Aside from a few Cardinals, Goldfinches, Robins, Chickadees, and Downy’s, all of whom had struggled through this icy, snowy winter alongside us with nary a moment in the Sunshine states, I was alone with my thoughts. Being a
cheapskate conscientious spender, I contemplated why eating out for lunch had been worth it, and why it had not.
A Quick Review of the Cost of Lunch
|$8.68||one sandwich (which turned out to be two sandwiches when served),
one lengthwise quarter of a dill pickle, and
one perfect two-bite apple (actually I like this size but I think our guinea pigs would have been unimpressed)
A Quick Review of the Cost of Supper
|3.99||pound of ground turkey|
|0.50||2-pound bag of large carrots at 1.99, at least 8, used 2, so say 50 cents|
|0.25||1 from a huge bag of yellow cooking onions, I have no idea how many per bag so I’m just randomly guessing a cost|
|0.75||head of celery at 2.99, at least 12 stalks, used 3|
|0.50||bay leaves, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme|
|1.98||two large cans of tomatoes with herbs and spices|
|0.50||long grain rice|
I’ve overestimated some of the costs to keep it simple.
Yep, that’s turkey soup and biscuits and/or dumplings depending on the child. Yes, it’s not very glamorous cooking. My children will eat some pretty amazing things happily but there’s not much wrong with giving them what they want once in a while.
Besides there are leftover chocolate cupcakes (yes, also homemade from scratch) for dessert. So everyone is happy.
That $10.79 is a little misleading because there will also be 2-3 lunches worth of leftovers as well as supper for all of us.
Why Eating Lunch Out Isn’t Worth It
It probably doesn’t take an advanced degree in Mathematics to see why I think it’s not worth it from a $$ and ¢¢ point of view to eat out.
Why Eating Lunch Out Is Worth It
I met with 3 of my peers for lunch. None of us work together or in the same field. Our common ground is our children, some of whom have been in each other’s classes since kindergarten.
We talked about
- High schools and who was going where and why and perhaps more importantly not going where and why
- Field trips
- Sleep-away camps
- Good and bad teachers and administrative staff
- Summer jobs
- Possible career choices
- Peer and romantic relationships and the hazards thereof
- Sweet 16 Parties, from pizza out with a best friend to extravaganzas that make weddings look tame
- Caring for parents who are frail and in failing health when families are divided and cultures collide
Was that worth $8.68?
Spending Mindfully Is Worth It
There’s nothing wrong with spending money. Choosing where to spend it to bring you the most satisfaction at an affordable cost is the trick.
Are there expenses in your life that may seem frivolous to others but which are extremely rewarding to you? Does sharing lunch with friends make an intolerable job bearable for just one more day? Please share your experiences with a comment.