10 Reasons Why We Dine Outside Instead of Cooking at Home
Since the day we met, we have been dining out. It has become a lifestyle of ours that we didn’t even plan on.
Whenever we tell someone that we eat all of our meals outside, the typical response is disbelief and shock. Often, dining out is considered a frivolous expense or luxury. In particular, articles about budgeting and money saving tips suggest cutting back on dining out as much as possible. However, we look at dining as more than just nourishment.
1. Food is an Experience
Everyone has a hobby or something they are passionate about. Fashion, cooking or video games come to mind. In our eyes, food is an experience that also happens to be a necessity to live. Thus, we treat dining out as a way to try different dishes, cuisines and preparations.
2. No Wasted Groceries
Yes, cooking your own meals is more cost-effective than eating meals outside. However, with perishable groceries such as fresh vegetables and poultry, you must commit to use them or dispose of them. Throwing out groceries is an overlooked expense that we avoid by eating out. Although that expense may just be a few dollars at a time, it is money that has been literally thrown into the garbage.
When you commit to cooking most nights of the week, you give up flexibility. Your friend invites you to try a restaurant at the last minute. If you go, you may need to throw out that chicken you planned to cook that night. In our situation, we have no commitment to cooking any groceries and are free to dine wherever and with whoever we wish – a liberating experience!
4. Desire to Be Outside of Home
We live in a minimal apartment without many bells and whistles. Much of this is by design, as we enjoy being outside of home and traveling. We don’t have cable or any high-priced entertainment systems. As a result, our spending is funneled towards experiences instead of things.
5. Small Kitchen
Apartments in New York City are getting smaller and the rent is getting higher. Living in a studio apartment with a small kitchen is an inconvenience. Of course, cooking can still be done in a smaller environment like this. However, it goes hand in hand that we still prefer to be outside of our home.
Working for much of the day leaves just a few precious hours each night before having to wake up and do it all again. Add up the prep, cooking and cleaning time and even less time remains. For us, spending that amount of time each night is less desirable than going out and not having to worry about it.
7. Supporting Local Businesses
We also treat dining out as a chance to support local businesses. Nearly all of our dining choices are independent businesses rather than chains that can be found elsewhere. Money that would have otherwise been spent on purchasing groceries can go directly to a cart, truck or eatery that often employ other people.
8. Making New Friends and Acquaintances
Dining out is also a social experience. Organizing group meals with other eaters is a great way to meet people. In addition, these group dining experiences are an economical way to sample more dishes than you could on your own. When we find a place that we really enjoy, we will frequent it and become friendly with the owner(s). These are the places that we especially like to refer to friends and curious diners.
9. Visiting Other Areas of Our City, Other Nearby Cities and Towns
Living in New York City gives us the ability to eat food from many cultures. Our curiosity will send us to neighborhoods throughout NYC to try different cuisines. Often, these are neighborhoods that neither of us had visited before or wouldn’t have if we weren’t seeking out the food. It is a great way to feel like we are traveling somewhere else without leaving our own city. Moreover, we have visited neighboring states strictly to try food that isn’t commonly found in New York or for their local take on it.
10. Food is Culture
With just one bite, we experience a new culture. Each dish transports us to another place thousands of miles away, even if we are only steps from home. Food brings us to places we have never been and takes us back to place we have visited before. As mentioned earlier, this kind of lifestyle allows us to meet new people while trying different cuisines. It is interesting how strangers sharing a table will share stories from their lives and travels.
All in All..
This lifestyle may seem unorthodox to many. You may think we spend entirely too much on food. On both counts, you may be right in your own mind. However, the thousands of dishes at the hundreds of eateries and countless memories formed through these experiences are priceless.
Have you considered this type of lifestyle? What do you think? We would love to hear your thoughts, opinions and even criticism!
Traveling duo who met via Instagram during New York’s Hurricane Sandy.
Professionals by day, citizens of the world by choice and nomads at heart. Currently living in the best city of the world, Queens New York. Read more...