A few weeks ago I shared how we spend money on video games, now I wanted to share another expense- dining out. It think this is probably the biggest expense in our discretionary budget.
Part of the problem is that we love good food. We don’t necessarily have a favorite cuisine. We love Mexican, Thai, Italian, and have some favorite sushi places around town.
While we cook at home many times, we love going out to eat with some friends (and sometimes just on a date night) and enjoy the food.
Our Favorite Spots in Raleigh
It’s hard to pick all the places we enjoyed, but I figured if anyone is in Raleigh, they should definitely check out these places.
- Vic’s: Tons of wonderfully delicious Italian food at great prices. I love, love, LOVE their pizzas. My hardest decision with this place is choosing what to eat. This is the spot we go to when there are free concerts in the area.
- 518 West: We’ve taken family and friends here for anniversary dinners (upstairs is a bit more private). They have great dishes (the crab is fantastic) and a nice drink menu.
- Los Tres Magueyes: Our Mexican lunch spot- it’s quick and it’s delicious. We get our Speedy and chimichanga combos and we’re happy.
- Jibarra: It’s not a typical Mexican restaurant, which I like. It’s more urban in style and the dishes are fantastic. It’s hard to describe the flavor of the food beside saying it’s spicy and incredible.
- Sawasdee: Several friends had mentioned to us that this is the place to go for some good Thai food. They have two locations now in Raleigh, which makes it more convenient (and tempting).
- Mura: If you’re looking for great sushi and a wonderful atmosphere, Mura is the spot. We’ve gone there and had great service and a wonderful time. If you’re in the area, on Sundays they have the buy one sushi roll, get one roll 1/2 special that we take advantage of. We also grab a glass of house wine for 1/2 off too. My personal favorites are the Screaming O, Surf & Turf, and Piano roll.
- Asuka: This Japanese restaurant is a favorite lunch date spot and they have a great buy one, get one roll free special (including dinners). It’s a bit out, but it’s definitely worth the drive.
This is not a complete list by any means, so if you have a favorite in the Raleigh area, please share it in the comments.
Limiting It to Enjoy It More
I think when we go overboard on eating, not only are we hurting our wallets, but we’re not enjoying it as much. It stops feeling special to me and I kind of just take it for granted. I think part of the problem is convenience. We’re going to have to plan out our meals more so we don’t feel tempted to eat out too much.
I think I might try out copycat restaurant recipes for some things. It wouldn’t hurt to learn something new.We’ll also have better control on how it’s prepared, which could help us cut some calories.
Your Thoughts on Eating Out
What’s your favorite cuisine? How do you keep your spending in check with eating out?
Photo Credit: [cipher]