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Why I Prefer to Cook Instead of Eating Out – And It’s Not Just About Money

May 26, 2010 · 21 comments

in Health & Fitness, Home & Garden, Personal Finance

When I was a kid, going out to dinner was a rare treat.  As a matter of fact, I distinctly remember going to a fast food restaurant called Burger Chef, where they served the burgers in these little plastic bags, and I loved those burgers.  If I had to eat one of those hamburgers as an adult, I would probably choke.  However, it was a novelty, so that made it that much better.

Today, my kids know every fast food restaurant there is, all too well.  I try my best to pack dinner in a cooler to take along when I know we will be out at dinner time for a sporting event.   However, sometimes I am not home ahead of time to do the preparing and packing of the food.  So, restaurant food is not a novelty for my kids unfortunately.  They also would probably turn their noses up at a semi-wet hamburger served in a plastic bag.

This leads me to my point for the day of why I so much prefer to eat at home.  Besides the fact that I am so sick of eating out (Spring is our busiest time of year), there are so many benefits to eating at home, such as:

  1. The menu is healthy- the kids are not subjected to choices like overly breaded chicken or a hot dog.
  2. I have a great time cooking with the family, and the kids are learning some valuable skills that they can use their whole life.
  3. I know what I am eating.  There are no worries that my vegetables are laden in butter and salt.  I know that I washed all the vegetables well (including the lemon in my water).  I also know that my hands are clean when I prepare the food.
  4. There is no frustration with bad service.   If someone runs out of water, they can get another glass themselves.
  5. I don’t eat 3 loaves of bread while waiting for my meal like I will at some restaurants because I am starving.
  6. The quality of the meal is generally pretty reliable, unless I am trying a new recipe!
  7. There is plenty of room for our family of 5.  It is great to just sit around the table and chat in a nice quiet, comfortable environment.  And, there is no rush to give up your table because you know other people are waiting.
  8. Eating at home is way cheaper.

On the flip-side, there is definitely still something nice about occasionally going out to dinner.  Not having to run to the store for last-minute ingredients or having to clean up a big mess is obviously nice.  However, I am excited for when life settles down a bit and eating out is a novelty again, that can be appreciated and enjoyed.

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