In times like these where so many people are losing their jobs due to the downward spiral of the economy, dating can become a real challenge. Even dinner dates at places like McDonald’s can be difficult to manage. That’s why it’s a tossup of whether you should have dinner out or do the cooking at home.
Consider the price of a dinner out. If you go to a nice restaurant that serves excellent food, you’ll probably do well to get out for $30 to $35. Then you need to include the tip if your server has been very attentive and provided great service. Next, you should add in the amount of fuel you used for your car. With the prices of gas these days, it can add on another $10. For couples without children, it may end at this point. If a babysitter is needed, add on another $25 - $30, depending on how late you were gone. The overall cost of that dinner out can easily reach the $100 mark before the night is over.
Now, compare that with the price of a romantic dinner that you either cook or order in. Starting with take out, you save money instantly by picking it up yourself because you don’t have to tip anyone for service. Also, many restaurants that offer takeout orders will have specials that apply only to orders that are picked up by the customer. So you may even save more money. Your beverages will also be less expensive. That part is true even if you decide to buy food at the grocery store to cook yourself.
Shopping and doing your own cooking can really save some money. You can find a special on two steaks; add a couple of potatoes and a bagged salad that you can spruce up a bit. Throw in some dinner rolls and you’re good to go. In fact, you’ve probably got enough money left to spring for dessert. Once you’ve set the table with candles and turned on some romantic music, the ambience is also going to be much better. You won’t have lots of people talking loudly around you, or couples with several noisy children disrupting your meal, and that can mean a lot.
The thing is that while you spent nearly $100 on a nice dinner out, and it may have been wonderful, you could have had just as nice a time staying at home. Your meal would have been just as tasty and you could have spent a nice, quiet, romantic evening together; just the two of you. As for the kids, you wouldn’t need a babysitter because you will have them in bed and sleeping before your evening begins. If you’re lucky, you may even have in-laws or great friends that love to babysit your kids and they won’t charge you a dime.
In addition, the only gas you’ve spent is on your shopping trip to the store, and that was probably something you had to do anyway. So all in all, you’ll save a great deal of money if you choose to have your romantic dinner at home. However, in the event of a truly special occasion, you may want to just throw caution to the wind and let someone else do the waiting on you for the night.