Eating Out Way Too Much and Loving It!

Today was Thursday, and so we did what we do most Thursdays – we ate out.

We actually don’t have this in our budget, and it’s okay.  We didn’t spend a dime.

Every Thursday night our good friends have a standing invitation for several couples to come over and enjoy some good cooking, friendship, coffee, and a time to ask everyone else questions they’ve been having – mostly about the Bible.  Many times, couples will bring some food along, but all that does is make sure we have more than one dessert choice!

We spent four hours there tonight, and it was the best time I’ve had in…well, a week! The only thing it cost was the gas to get there (and I meant to bring some cookies, but I forgot them in the kitchen.)

It got me thinking – for us, eating out is often a time for us to socialize with our friends.  After church on Sundays some of the same couples have a tendency to go to a hole-in-the-wall diner with the best buffalo chicken salad I’ve ever had! (Cravings….)  We do it because we want to spend more time together, and because it means when we go home we can go straight to bed for a nap.  I don’t know why Sundays wear me out so much, lol.

But I think I had more fun going over to our friend’s house and eating her chili than the diner on Sunday.  And it was free.  And it got me thinking that if I didn’t have this friend who wanted to cook so people would come over on Thursdays, it would be so easy to get a bunch of friends together on a weekly basis for a pot luck – each of us would cook one part of the meal, or perhaps each week would be someone else’s responsibility.  That way, we get all the benefits of eating out – not having to cook, having a chance to socialize – without the negative aspects – the unhealthy nature of most restaurant foods, and the cost!

Is this something that would work in your life?  Do you have friends who would love to start a dinner co-op?

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2 Responses

  1. When I lived in a punk house in college, we did this with our “sister houses.” We all got together and cooked just about every night. Sometimes we had themes (Creole, Moroccan, etc) and sometimes we had iron-chef style cook-offs (our theme ingredients were whatever the Whole Foods or Stanlee’s dumpsters provided in abundance).

    Now that I am lame, married, and (this is really the only factor that makes a difference) 2,000 miles away, my husband and I still try to do the potluck/gathering thing at least twice a week. We almost never eat out, and we make some incredible food. The ingredient cost is usually about what we would spend at a nice restaurant, and we can feed 5-10 people, rather than two.

  2. My friend and I tried really hard to set up a weekly potluck / cooking together night in college (we lived in apartments by this time and not in the dorm). The problem was, we were the only two people cooking. We didn’t really have experience in running potlucks – a lot of people either showed up with nothing, brought a dip, or – even worse – showed up and were picky about the food we made! It got really frustrating and I was getting tired and stressed about it, so we stopped. 😦

    Also, a lot of potlucks I’ve been to lately have ended up such that the people have brought dessert after dessert since those are easiest. So when I run potlucks, which isn’t often, it’s not really potluck, it’s JewishGal-tells-you-what-to-bring-for-dinner Dinners. Much more successful this way.

    However, one summer I was in Israel for 6 weeks, and every Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch and Saturday dinner was potluck among our group of friends in the program (also in the host-tells-you-what-to-bring way). It was AWESOME. You would buy/make everything on Friday, and then just carry stuff to each other’s houses all weekend. Nobody had to fend for themselves, we all got to eat amazing delicious food, and of course there was lots of singing. People would start setting these up on Tuesday, there was competition over who could host Friday night (that was the best one), etc. So so so so fun. I wish I could do this again!

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