Monday, October 25, 2004

On the cheap, fast food loses its appeal

We've been squeezing our pennies pretty tight this month, which enabled us to do some other things early in the month. Now I'm five days away from payday and our typical delivered-pizza dinner. But... I want it to be GOOD pizza. Not the cheapest (which sometimes is quite yummy but other times, eh). Don't want to spend for the best. I just want it to be a pizza dinner to enjoy.

Upon reflection, I realize that whenever we cut our dining-out spending to nearly nothing, those meals out (usually fast food) aren't as enjoyable as when we're free with our money. When it's more of a big deal to eat out, any little problem becomes especially disappointing. BurgerWhatsit is normally a nice treat, but when we've chosen that as, say, one of two dinners out that month, I am less satisfied when the place is messy, the order mixed up, or the food not up to par. Then I ask myself, "Why did we buy dinner out?"

Sometimes we go to a family-friendly sit-down restaurant with waiters and such, and spend maybe two fast-food dinners on one nice dinner. That definitely feels worth it, but that feeling fades when we want to grab a fast dinner between here and there some night.

Sometime this weekend we will probably get dinner from our favorite mid-priced pizza place, and enjoy the treat. And yet, I might use the equivalent of the next dinner out to buy some fixings for a bunch of quick dinners, and stash them in our freezer. The next time there's a good price on chicken breasts, I might make homemade chicken fingers and freeze them for another time. At the very least, I'll buy some frozen potatoes, maybe tater tots, and some precooked breaded chicken and fish pieces. Yum yum says the family!

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