Random Meals

Cheaper than the Restaurant

This might sound like a duh-statement to most of you but my husband and I recently came to the realization that we could eat restaurant-quality (or close enough) food for so much cheaper at home! A few weeks ago, he made one of the best steaks I ever had. Even my brother, who was visiting, admitted that it was one of his best steaks ever. Not only did it boost my husband’s pride, it also made him (us) realize how much money we often throw down the drain when we eat out. Part of it is that we often eat out when we are craving something specific (steak, shrimp, cheese plate). For many of those dishes, it really isn’t that much more expensive to have it at the restaurant. The biggest difference is everything else you get when you’re out. A glass of wine that costs as much as most bottles we buy? Sure! A sweet dessert that will make my stomach hurt in two hours? Why not! Add them up, as well as the likely one or two appetizers and you end up with one ginormous bill and one big tummy ache. So buying a $10 steak at the market doesn’t feel quite so expensive now, does it?

All this to say that my husband and I have been putting our best foot forward, in hope to change our eating habits. We know what our weaknesses are so we just have to be ready to prepare them at any time. Having potatoes and asparagus in the fridge means that Jeff can run to the store on his way home to buy a steak and we will have a fairly gourmet meal an hour later. Keeping dumplings (either homemade or from the Asian market) in the freezer will prevent us from ordering ridiculous amounts of food from our favorite Chinese take-out restaurant. And living right by our awesome little market means that in a matter of minutes, I can be back home with a fresh baguette, some yummy cheeses and meats and have the perfect cheese plate ready fairly promptly. And we’ll get so much more for a lot cheaper in that specific case!

Living in Charlottesville, such a foodie town, it is really difficult not to go to the latest meatball place that just opened or to our favorite neighborhood restaurant. I’m not going to lie and say we won’t be eating anywhere but home because that clearly isn’t going to happen. On the other hand, I do believe we’re on the right track to, at the very least, not eat out quite as often. Case in point, I made us a cheese plate last night…well, more like a cheese/anything-else-I-wanted plate. We had some aged cheddar cheese, Purple Haze goat cheese, Wensleydale cheese with apricots, prosciutto, grapes, strawberries, fresh baguette, guacamole and rice crackers. You might wonder why I added guacamole in there. The answer is simple: I just wanted to. 🙂 And as a bonus, we have lots of leftover cheese, baguette and prosciutto that I’ll get to use in the upcoming days.

What is your biggest weakness from a restaurant? What are your best tricks to convince yourself to eat at home?

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