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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Special Occasion: The Lost Art of Eating Out Sparingly

We have the tradition of letting the birthday person in the family choose the restaurant for their birthday dinner. (They also get to select the menu for the eat-at-home birthday meal, but that is another blog post altogether.) The kids ponder over their choice months in advance and truly look forward to eating out. Why? Because it is a special occasion. Does that mean that as a a family of 4, we eat out only 4 times a year? Not at all. But the times that we do eat out are special occasions. Daddy-daughter, mother-son dates, not to mention dates with my husband all fall into that category. Family parties occasionally call for pizza just as some families have traditions to eat at certain restaurants for certain holidays. All of those things qualify as special occasions.

However, soccer nights every Tuesday and Thursday, or every time you are running errands near the dinner hour, or every Friday & Saturday just because it is the weekend do not constitute a special occasion. Those things are by definition are fairly routine. Those times are what freezers & crockpots, salad, taco or any other quick or make-ahead meals were made for. So resolve to make 2013 special - and keep the drive-thru, takeout and eating-out where they belong, out of the weekly schedule and back in the special occasion category. Not only will your heart and waistline thank you, but your wallet will as well.

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