Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

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TopHatFox
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Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:05 pm

Seemingly small potatoes here but awell. My (most recent <3) partner likes to go out drinking to a bar or some event. Or eat brunch or dinner occasionally. I'm fine with the event and socializing. She's also into FIRE and that's cool. I am wondering how some of the costs of this can be defrayed.

One Guiness at a bar costs $7. I can buy an entire 6 pack for $7. So what if I just take a beer in my bike cooler and fuck you social conventions? Some of the events are outside or at a large table anyway. I'll buy sweet potato fries or something instead.

As for eating at a restaurant or cafe, I have no idea here. Maybe saving elsewhere or suggesting to cook? Only so many times I can suggest cooking before it's clear I don't want to pay the prices of a meal at a restaurant. I don't like feeling cheap. In fact, once I get more capital to sustain the occasional eating at a restaurant, I probably will.

I'm sure this is a common challenge. How do you all optimize for it?
Last edited by TopHatFox on Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

slowtraveler
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by slowtraveler » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:19 pm

Setting a weekly budget communicated with your lover will work better than trying to never go out to eat. $20-$40 gives enough room to work with in my experience but I live in a very high col area.

Splitting meals and some coupons work too. I've had ~$10 each for multi course meals splitting appetizer, fat entree, and free desert.

Pregame bars and hug 1 drink the whole night if it seems to weird to not have more once in.

A lover who doesn't like going out so much is a lot less expensive. Considering your current poly practice, you could have see the less expensive and more expensive lovers in a way that the average cost is around something that's ere level.

I'm happy you're having fun in New York. Good luck there. Let me know what works or if you find another strategy.

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BRUTE
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:40 pm

brute's strategy is to cook very high end dishes at home. there's few restaurants that could match brute's steak, and all of them would probably charge >$80 just for it, whereas brute can make it for $10/$20 (choice/prime). thus, in his mind, brute eats $100 meals most days.

eating at work etc. is also a good strategy for savings, if the food there is tolerable.

Crazylemon
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by Crazylemon » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:38 am

Trying to bring outside drinks in to an establishment will look way cheaper than home cooked meals could ever make you look. It also isn't fair on the bar, the high price is also factoring in the venue which you are trying to avoid paying for by doing so. Either pay, or drink water. Not doing so is like trying to take the freebies from magazines claiming they are free without buying the magazine.

As for eating out, again don't do it or look for cheap good venues.

I rarely eat out other than for social occasions like birthdays or rare treats. So maybe monthly. In terms of drinks I invite people round and usually end up with more booze at the end of the night than I started with. Other things like making making dinner into part of the fun also. These only work if you have some space at home thought. In the summer things like picnics.

The Old Man
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by The Old Man » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:40 am

You are the man, so take charge. Do what you want to do. The only way to defray the costs is to own the bar/restaurant/night club.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:36 am

One Guiness at a bar costs $7. I can buy an entire 6 pack for $7. So what if I just take a beer in my bike cooler and fuck you social conventions? Some of the events are outside or at a large table anyway. I'll buy sweet potato fries or something instead.
Sooner or later you are going to get caught and embarrassed doing this. Servers will catch on, I've seen it happen. If you sneak in a beer but then buy something else it isn't going to keep expenses down anyway.

George the original one
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by George the original one » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:05 pm

+1 to Brute.
+1 to Gilberto.
+1 to Felipe.

Are there no longer free Happy Hour snacks? Used to be the weekly ragsheet published an annual guide to best Happy Hours.

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fiby41
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by fiby41 » Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 pm

TopHatFox wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:05 pm
As for eating at a restaurant or cafe, I have no idea here. Maybe saving elsewhere or suggesting to cook? Only so many times I can suggest cooking before it's clear I don't want to pay the prices of a meal at a restaurant. I don't like feeling cheap.
I'm sure this is a common challenge. How do you all optimize for it?
Sometimes I need someplace convenient to sit and eat my home packed tiffin as I would get hungry by the time I reach back home.
I order a cup of tea/coffee or the cheapest item on the menu and eat my tiffin. I can't help but constantly scan my surrounding to see if anyone is noticing me when I do that. I'm socially anxious, that way. But even when the waiters have noticed, it hasn't been a problem. The anxiety is a lot lower when I'm with friends (who also need to eat something before leaving for home, but hardly one person else has tiffin, rest of them order.)

An argument can be made that I could eat on my way back on the bus or train, but it always turns out that I prefer to come home hungry than eat even a fruit while commuting. Think of it as you're paying for the convenience of renting a table for half an hour.

Rocky
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by Rocky » Fri Sep 15, 2017 2:02 pm

I would not worry about seeming cheap but just say straight up that you prefer to cook at home to keep costs down. If your partner is into FIRE, she might be more agreeable than you think.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:59 pm

Find the places that have good happy hours--2 for 1 cocktails, plus food is optimal. That's pretty much how I fed myself the year after college--nurse a cheap drink and snarf up the free food.

Other than that, the usual suggestions: eat and drink at home, enjoy the rare times you do go out and just live a little. Host pot lucks for your friends at your house. Take cooking classes together and make it your "thing."

James_0011
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by James_0011 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:50 am

Just tell her you dont want to pay. If you want to ere you have to accept that you're going to be different from other people.

Are you sure she's into fire? Most people I know who go out a lot are consumers even if they say otherwise.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by TopHatFox » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:03 am

I mean it's like once or twice a week

James_0011
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by James_0011 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:43 am

Idk that seems like a lot to me, but I'm a picky eater anyways.

Scott 2
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:16 pm

While work constrains your time, I'd just do the events and pay whatever it costs. Like you said, it's a small price. Good chance to try some new things too. I bet you can find a stout that tastes way better than Guinness, for instance.

Pregame it for food maybe, but getting drunk before you go out to drink, that's probably not a constructive pattern to adopt. You'll also have to contend with that drunk in every group that can't handle someone opting out of the alcohol. I like to nurse a bourbon with one ice cube. It's manly enough to satisfy the alcoholics and works well as a drink to savor.

I'd say by 22, we were heading to someone's apartment instead of a bar. Much better all around. Probably a downside of just renting a room, is it's harder to host these events, or reciprocate when someone else does.

As I've gotten older, my standard for quality has gone up, and I've developed specific preferences for my food and drink. Even though I can afford going out now, often I prefer home options, because they cater to my preferences. I'd say that's the way to block the waste without being cheap. Educate her palate. A wine tasting or homemade pizza event can be so much better. A vegan diet makes outclassing most places a pretty low bar to reach IMO.

An example - We had pancakes at home 3 times this week. So easy, and I got credit for cooking. I can have white, corn meal, or whole wheat. I can mix any fruit into the batter that I want. I can have local wildflower honey, or grade A maple syrup. I can make the substitutions to be confident they are vegan, even have some meat substitute on the side if I want. Eating out brunch sucks in comparison. Oh boy, fruit and a dry bagel with peanut butter. Only $10...

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BRUTE
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by BRUTE » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:31 pm

Scott 2 wrote:
Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:16 pm
You'll also have to contend with that drunk in every group that can't handle someone opting out of the alcohol.
lol, is that a real thing?

Farm_or
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by Farm_or » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:47 am

Dress like a woman and go on free ladies night

Scott 2
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:53 am

The drunk pushing alcohol on others is absolutely a thing. Events with free booze, it's even worse. "You're out! Let's get you another! Why aren't you drinking? It's paid for! You should have a drink!" Repeat 10 minutes later from some other well meaning person making small talk, or the same one that forgot the prior conversation.

A straight whiskey prevents that, gets you out of beer rounds or pitchers, and makes it easier to avoid shots without being a downer. In my experience, the people that are overdoing are immature drinkers and want nothing to do with whiskey. The ones that are just trying to be good hosts are also satisfied.

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YoungAndWise
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by YoungAndWise » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:57 am

IMO, it seems small fries and considering she is your lover whom you specifically the <3 sign in front of her name; enjoy it and don't sweat it too much. You are only young once.

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vexed87
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by vexed87 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:14 am

There are cheaper ways to be social for sure, but don't miss out on this stuff if you enjoy it. Being financially responsible means you won't let it become a silly habit. If you're still trying to party like this two nights a week by 30 years of age, attempting to relive your best years, you may start to consider it problematic :lol:.

If it's expensive, just do it less often. Eventually you'll get bored of the whole going out thing and a few cans of beer and home made pizza will be preferable to yet another meal out/hangover.

KevinW
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Re: Optimizing eating not-at-home expenses?

Post by KevinW » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:52 pm

Set a budget, whether expressed in $/week or trips/week.

Try to sell your group on an in-house celebration with store-bought libations. Ex. play poker, board games, Dungeons and Dragons, pool, watch sports, etc. with snacks and drinks.

Breakfast and lunch are cheaper than dinner.

Vegetarian entrees are usually the best value. Appetizers and drinks other than water are comparatively expensive.

Patronize establishments targeting lower-income customers. Here in SoCal we have ethnic food diners with $9 dinners, and dive bars with $3 well drinks, within a couple miles of bougie trend-setters with $20 hamburgers and $15 coctails.

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