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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Remember when you used to go out?

I often fondly reminisce about ye olde days.  I'm talking in the BC era - Before Children.

The heady days of double incomes and zero kids to sap the life force finances from you.  A time when sausages, fish fingers and minced beef weren't the staple go-to meal bases in the house.

A time when we ate out at least a couple of times a week.

Eating out BC

In the AC (After Childen) years we rarely ever go out.

Partly because of the hassle of engineering all 5 of us out of the house and to a restaurant in clean clothes.  Partly because The Feral Threesome seem incapable of using cuttlery consistently.  It makes me look like a bad mother when my three children are ditching their forks in favour of their fingers in public.

Eating out AC

Mostly, it's the cost.  Feeding three kids is not cheap.  I often have to go without wine just so they can have chicken nuggets and chips.  Sacrilege!

But as the kids get older (read: more open to and understanding of threats and bribery in return for using cutlery and behaving like humans), I find myself daring to cross the threshold of restaurants once again.

There's something decidedly decadent and indulgent about going out to dinner once you have kids.  It's the whole concept of someone else doing the prep work, the shopping, the cooking, the cleaning up.  No dishes.  No faffing around with 4 kinds of lettuce and finely julienning carrots.

While eating out is still pricey, I've become severely addicted to started relying on daily deals websites for cheap deals.

I'm all about the shopping and the bargains.  Sites like Groupon are genius to me.  I can justify anything based purely on the savings.  And I don't even have to go searching for a bargain - they're emailed to me every single day.  It makes me feel special.

We try and take the kids out once every month or two.  They get all excited about dressing up and going out at night.  They're beside themselves when it's not yet another trip to Macca's.

We've found some great little restaurants, and I've been able to enjoy my wine with dinner thanks to the savings.

Mostly, we actually interact and enjoy each others' company.  At home the TV is almost always going in the background, #1Hubby is usually working or reading the paper, the kids are in the toy room, and I'm in the kitchen cooking.  There's no interaction beyond my yelling at the kids to stop pummelling each other, or to eat their veg.  When we eat out we talk.  To each other.  In real life.  It's quite novel for our family.

So thank you, Groupon.  For saving my yelling voice once every month or two, and ensuring that I can still have a wine with my dinner when we do go out.  Oh yeah, and for the whole family bonding thing.  But mostly for the wine.

Do you enjoy eating out with your family?


This post was brought to you by Groupon.  Duh.  But it's all true, because I am a whiz on the daily deals sites, and I have bought many a Groupon in the interest of avoiding another night of fish fingers in front of the TV.


  1. We've started searching out great steak houses that have playgrounds attached. We found the Belvedere Steak & Crab house in Redcliffe and the Lonestar on the Gold Coast.

    Kids play and the husband and I can have a fancy pants meal. Winning!

  2. Excellent idea! We used to have Lonestar here in WA, but not anymore. Now we have Outback Jacks, which is essentially the same thing - and they have a play room in the restaurant with computer games, drawing etc. etc. It's perfect, because it has big glass windows around it, so that you can sit and enjoy your wine and still see your know, if you wanted to.

  3. Yeah I love eating out but we don't get to that often...If I could I would eat out every night :)
    Love the idea of sitting down together and eating - talking and having fun! And yeah kids eating with manners would be so nice.


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