I should call myself lucky that I am in a position to run this experiment. So many people consider eating out to be a luxury. My husband said when he was a kid his family would back a cooler of burritos for their road trips.
Come to think of it, that sounds awesome.
But no, we hardly ever go out to restaurants anymore, so the vacation week would be full of treats for us, I figured? I didn't feel like it was a treat though.
Olive is 8 years old and still has some unpredictable kid eating tendencies. There will be one meal where she eats a whole pizza, another one where she takes a single bite of her $9 sandwich and declares herself full. Sometimes I tried not ordering food myself to account for this, and sometimes it works. I just eat what's left from the family. But after our day at six flags I was starving and grumpy, and Marc said it was because I had one chicken finger for lunch. I really wasn't that hungry. I don't feel deprived.
That was the night of course that we went to a restaurant, got seated, waited a bit... and then the server admitted that they were totally overwhelmed and it'd be 90 minutes until we got our food. So we bailed. It was 30 minutes lost but it was 30 minutes starting at 7pm, so I got to feeling neurotic when we went to a second place. I almost wanted fast food. but not quite.
nothing is cheap, fast food isn't cheap. that's the other thing. it's bad enough that restaurants are so iffy... you can get forgotten about entirely, or the kitchen gets behind and you're stuck for an hour. I am thankful that the restaurant that kicked us out had the honesty to kick us out. I still gave them three stars on yelp.
back to finance. our normal grocery budget is $40 a day. That includes meals, snacks, fruit to have around the house, breakfast, drinks... we almost stick to it.
a restaurant is easily $70-$100 per meal for us now. Fast food is $40-50! Josie needs grown ass person meals. Marc and I have cut our drinking down, we'll get a glass of wine and split it, I'm proud of us. But out traveling, I did not want to get fast food that much, I wanted to try the local places, have experiences, eat a step healthier.
prices will go up because the pandemic sent all the restaurant workers elsewhere, and they deserve to be very well paid to come back. I'm okay with that. it is how capitalism works and fixes things. chefs aren't paid enough, staff isn't paid enough. it's one more reason for me to opt out of the whole scheme though. it just doesn't make sense. no more restaurants.
I'm going to ask my inlaws about those coolers.