Life on Less: Bringing the restaurant home

I love eating at restaurants. I love the appetizers. The warm bread. Choosing from the mouth-watering dishes. The entre with all the cool sides. The ambience.

I love carry out. We have some cool restaurants around here that make it sooo convenient. I love putting it on a plate and sitting around the dining room table with my family. For me, it’s easier to snitch a nibble from my husband’s and kids plates than it is in a restaurant.

Like everyone else I know, we’re budgeting our dimes like crazy over here.  One of the first things we starting limitting was dining out and carry out meals. I’m not going to lie. At first it sucked sewer water. Then we got a bit creative. Here’s a few things we started doing:

  • Presentation: I take a little more care about how our dining room table is “dressed”, ie: table cloth, candles, napkins…all stuff I already have.
  • Research: I’ve found recipes of some of our favorite restraunt dishes online. Added bonus: I have stumbled across a ton of recipes that we love and never would have tried if we were still eating out as much as we had been.
  • Side dishes: I admit it. I used to  skimp on the side dishes. No more!
  • Appetizers and desserts: I don’t do this for every meal. Generally, I do appetizers with Friday night’s meal, and a dessert with Sunday night’s dinner. Limitting it makes it more special to me. Besides, my waist line couldn’t handle them every night!

That’s a start. It seems so simple, but it’s all things I never made time to do before we started eating at home more. 

How about you? Are you eating at home more? Do you do anything to make it feel like you’re dining out?

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