Website owner:  James Miller

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On eating out at restaurants

Occasionally on my daily walk I will stop at a Taco Bell and have their Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito and a “senior drink” for my lunch. I don’t like carbonated beverages but they have a noncarbonated lemonade drink that I like. At this particular Taco Bell the drink is free for seniors and the Cheesy Bean & Rice Burrito is $1.00 so the total cost for both is only $1.00. I like the burrito and the drink, it is a good meal, it is a really great deal, and I enjoy the meal twice as much just because it is such a good deal.

Several years ago one of my wife’s customers gave her an Outback gift card for Christmas and today an occasion arose where it seemed like it would be convenient to eat out. I suggested going to Outback and using that gift card. So we went. I ordered BBQ Ribs and my wife ordered grilled chicken. The dinners included one side dish and bread. My wife and I both chose Caesar salads for the side dish. The dinners were very good. My wife and I swapped, giving each other half of the other’s dish. The bread was great, the Caesar salads excellent, and the BBQ Ribs very good. We both enjoyed the meal. It was more than we would normally eat and we asked for a box and brought half of the BBQ Ribs and chicken home with us. The total cost of the meal, including a 15% tip: around $45.00. That is $22.50 each. Now I can tell you this: Without that gift card I would never pay $22.50 for a meal! I was induced to do it because of the gift card. The way my mind works is this: I enjoyed the Outback meal more than the burrito and drink but the difference in the amount of enjoyment was not worth the $21.50 difference in price. Both meals satisfied my hunger and the only difference was the difference in enjoyment.

It is my impression that the majority of Americans eat out a lot. And there are very few that buy some meal that costs them only $1.00. A great many of them eat at restaurants like Outback where they pay $15.00 - $20.00 or more for a meal. And those who eat at fast food chains usually spend at least $5.00 - $6.00 for a meal. Americans spend a whole lot of money eating out. Why do so many people eat out? Well, they enjoy doing it. It is a pleasurable experience. It is something to do. It gives them a break from all their TV watching. But I suspect the main reason they eat out so much is laziness. They are too lazy to fix dinners at home. Fixing dinner at home is too much work so they eat out. It costs money but they have the money and what is money for anyway, except to spend?

I am the one who has always fixed our meals. I don’t object to doing it. There are advantages to being the one who fixes the meals. If you fix the meals you have control over the diet. If you live by a healthy diet you will be much healthier and live longer. I have been constantly tweaking our diet for 50 years, cutting out this, cutting out that, reducing this, reducing that. We eat no beef, occasionally ham, some chicken, turkey and tuna, but most of our meals are vegetarian. We always omit the salt, try to keep sodium at a minimum. And we never eat deserts. It has been years since I have had any cake or pie. I don’t think sugar and sweets are good for you. If you eat out at restaurants a lot you are not eating healthy. You are probably eating too much and you are probably gaining weight.

  Eat to live, and not live to eat.

   To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.

   Dine with little, sup with less:

     Do better still; sleep supperless.

   No wonder Tom grows fat, th' unwieldy sinner,

   Makes his whole life but one continual dinner.

   Eat few suppers and you'll need few medicines.

   Many dishes, many diseases.

   I saw few die of hunger; of eating --- 100,000.

   He that would travel much should eat little.

May 2017

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