Meals Out {The Ordinary Moments}

Money has been tight for Hubby and I for the last few years due to paying off debts, maternity leave, paying for childcare, another baby, more maternity leave…! You get the picture. We now don’t have money for luxuries at all but Hubby and I decided when we had LP that there was one thing we would continue doing – We would go out once a month as a family for a meal.

Hubby and I, even when we were heavily in debt and worried about money a few years back, would go out for a meal once a month. We bought a Taste Card for a heavily reduced price and used it to get buy one get one free meals in restaurants. We’d go out as a couple once a month, spend £20 on a meal and it would be our one and only treat for the month.

Since having the children and becoming debt free we have continued this ritual. Having a meal out once a month makes the rest of the month of not doing a huge amount, not having takeaways and not really splurging a whole lot easier. We pay £30 a year for the TasteCard and then get a meal out once a month for the four of us for £30ish – Three courses and drinks. It’s our one real extravagance and I love it.

Meals Out {The Ordinary Moments}

Even when Little Man was newly born we would take him out with us, now he is nearly 11 months old and joins in with the meals, sharing our food, playing and chatting away. LP has what she wants from the children’s menu – with a bit of guidance, and always has ice cream for pudding. LP knows that when we eat out she wears a bib, she often uses her own cutlery from home as they don’t often have kids’ cutlery and she knows we have starters, mains and then puddings. LP usually gets a ‘special’ drink too – juice or squash or sometimes even a milkshake!

Meals Out {The Ordinary Moments}

Our meals out are an indulgence – We don’t have many of them, we lead a fairly simple life really but I realised at our last meal out that these meals in restaurants are teaching LP about how restaurants work, socialising, spending time together and most importantly, that if you work hard then you can have a treat – Everyone deserves a treat!

Meals Out {The Ordinary Moments}

I’m hoping our monthly meal out will be something we continue throughout our lives – Maybe grabbing a Pizza Hut Buffet after the kids finish school one month or a day trip into London and a meal at a fancy Restaurant another month. Maybe we’ll even go to restaurants once a month when they’re grown up – Hubby and I with our 21 year old LP and our 19 year old Little Man, eating together as we always have done.

Who knows what the future will bring? But for now at least, meals out are an ordinary moment for the four of us.

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5 Comments

  1. March 30, 2014 / 7:35 pm

    I think taking kids out to eat regularly is really important too, how else can we expect them to behave well if we don’t give them the chance? Not that it’s always plain sailing!
    We sometimes find as well that the kids will try foods they would be highly suspicious of at home. I know you are a BLWer as well (real word?) and I think that gives kids a head start on eating out and eating with others.

  2. March 30, 2014 / 9:07 pm

    It’s so good that you get to do this – we took Toby out for a meal for the first time tonight and he was brilliant. Made me realise that taking a baby out to eat is nothing to be scared of! I think you’re right too – we were lucky when we were little that our parents took us to restaurants sometimes and I think learning how to behave while eating out, and how restaurants work is really important. I still love going out for meals with my mum and dad and my brother now so hopefully your family meals will continue for a long time too πŸ™‚

  3. March 30, 2014 / 10:23 pm

    I love this idea. We do try to go out with the kids. I love it when we can. I have great memories of all of us kids going out to dinners with my parents. I think it’s really good tradition to keep once a month. Nothing to be scared of. I even take just my two little ones out to lunch just the three of us now. It’s quality bonding time too. #ordinarymoments

  4. Katie @mummydaddyme
    March 30, 2014 / 11:20 pm

    Ah this is a lovely post Donna and I completely relate to what you saying. We are constantly watching the pennies too but will treat ourselves to the odd lunch or dinner out as a family. Like you said I think eating out teaches children a variety of skills. It’s a lovely monthly family ritual to have and so nice that you all enjoy it so much as well. You are such a lovely little family. πŸ™‚

  5. March 31, 2014 / 4:36 pm

    I am very very vocal on how financial life is a bit hard for the last years and yet we try very hard to go out too. No takeaways as well and we do batch cooking just so we can save. And we try to save on anything and everything. Our eating out happens twice a month but its just fastfood actually. Your post is as always honest. Thanks for sharing =)

    #ordinarymoments

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