Eating out Frugally


When I was a kid my parents would put together a picnic for the lot of us and we'd go out to look at a local site.  If it rained we would eat in the car. 

It was a very cheap way to go out for a trip.

Over the last two decades, 'just' going out has become less and less whereas eating out has become more and more.  There are thousands of places to grab a bite or a coffee - costing lots and lots of money.

I am not against any hospitality enterprise.

We go out to eat but budget for it (like yesterday when Daughter and I had lunch and an afternoon cuppa within our saved-for budget).

Man Wonderful and I are meeting my sister and brother-in-law for lunch in the last week of September.  We have set ourselves a budget of £30 and will save for and stick to this amount.  (It helps when perusing a menu too!!)

Today we wanted to have a picnic with GDaughter and the grand-kidlets.

This was not a planned-for thing, just off-the-cuff.

So while we do have pennies in the just-in-case pot, I wanted to make a picnic for the five of us with what we already had.

I cooked/made:

Flatbread - plain flour mixed with a little oil.  Rolled out into flat pieces. Cooked on a                 high heat in a dry pan.

Falafel - leftover veg from last night whizzed in food processor with drained borlotti                 beans, garam masala, salt and pepper and one egg.  Popped in fridge                     while I made everything else then fried in a little oil in pan until set on                       each side.

Hummus - two tins drained chickpeas whizzed with cumin, dried garlic granules, oil                     and lemon juice.  

Plain pasta - I cooked some white farfalle pasta in water with a veg stock cube.                      Drained and cooled.

I gathered together:

Salad - crispy lettuce leaves, whole cherry tomatoes, julienne celery and cucumber

Fruit - whole apples, pears and bananas

Drinks - I had six small tins of tonic water and made up a large bottle of orange                     squash

Serviettes - I use washable cloth napkins so these came along with us

Plates - I don't have plastic ones or paper ones.

We sat at a picnic table at our local National Trust place.  Everything was unwrapped and set out and it was a 'help yourself' lunch.  

What we didn't eat came home and we will eat this for lunch tomorrow.

Eating this way costs us almost nothing, as we already had the items.

What do you do about eating out?


  1. We don't eat out very much. It is so expensive and we can make good food at home far cheaper.
    We sometimes used to eat out or get a takeaway on impulse because we were tired or had had very busy days but I always regretted spending so much and so we try not to now.


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