Meals Out {The Ordinary Moments}

Money has been tight for Dave 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 Dave 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.

Dave 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 – Dave 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.


  • Donna Wishart

    Donna Wishart is married to Dave and they have two children, Athena (12) and Troy (11). They live in Surrey with their two cats, Fred and George. Once a Bank Manager, Donna has been writing about everything from family finance to days out, travel and her favourite recipes since 2012. Donna is happiest either exploring somewhere new, with her camera in her hand and family by her side or snuggled up with a cat on her lap, reading a book and enjoying a nice cup of tea. She firmly believes that tea and cake can fix most things.

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  1. 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 🙂

  2. 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

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