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I support my local economy!

Yesterday, I mentioned that we’re looking at our bills and budget for 2009. Typically, we don’t pay too much attention to that type of stuff (yeah, I know, really smart, right?), but with the economy slowdown, it seemed like a good time to start planning on saving money and paying down our debt.

I’ve cut a few costs, here and there. We stopped Netflix, because we really weren’t making the most use out of it. My wife’s gym membership has been canceled, because she just hasn’t had time to go. I even canceled the company that comes and sprays fertilizer on our shrubs and grass, figuring that the lawn guy can do the minimal stuff that we need. Of course, I can’t cancel the lawn guy or the pool guy – that would mean I’d have to go out there and do it. That’s ludicrous.

There’s one other thing that I refuse to give up, too – my meals out.

I see eating out as my way of supporting the local economy. I’m helping to keep all of these local restaurants in business, which benefits me directly because it keeps property values higher. There’s nothing that devalues property like a bunch of abandoned buildings from business that went bankrupt.

“But, wondrous Avitable,” you might say, “how much help could you really be providing to the local economy just by eating meals out?”

Ah, dear reader, that’s what I just calculated!

In the average month, I spend about $2,500 on dining out (not counting lunch I buy for employees). That’s $30,000 a year – pretty much enough to pay for the salary of a server, hostess or cook.

Most people would say that if we just spent $300 every two weeks on groceries and ate our meals at home, we’d save almost $2,000 a month. I say that plan sucks! First, we’d have to cook, and then that would require cleaning up, too. Secondly, my absence from the restaurants locally would cause the Altamonte Springs economy to spiral downward and before long, our house would be worth less than we paid for it, and our neighborhood would be filled with all types of miscreants who park their car on the yard and drive big trucks and use food stamps.

So, instead of taking the easy way out and cooking at home, I’m making this sacrifice for the betterment of my local economy.

Some people might say that I’m selfless. Others might say I’m a hero.

Me? I think I’ll go with selfless hero.

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53 Replies to “I support my local economy!”

  1. Jay

    My dream in life is to eat out for almost every meal. Even though I actually like to cook. I hate the cleanup though.

    So, maybe if I hired someone to do the cleanup it wouldn’t be so bad.

    Of course I live in a really small town with only a few restaurants, so that would get boring after a while too.

  2. Lisa

    People worship you in your mind, don’t they? 😉

    You have a point, though; if no one ever ate at restaurants, they’d go out of business. Thankfully, Altamonte Springs has you to help keep them afloat during these difficult times.

    I mean, you’re practically a superhero.

    (*rolls eyes*)

  3. Jennifer

    Or, you could hire a cook. Even a maid who can do the lawn care, pool care, the laundry, the cleaning and the cooking. Ooooooo. Not to mention you’d be saving your health dude. Don’t you want your minions to be worshiping you for long time, vs lamenting over your grave because of one too many burgers and fries.

  4. SingleParentDad

    I’ve just been and bought various animal body parts from my local farm shop, which shall be cooked, roasted and generally bought by use of oil purchased from another local (via Saudi of course), perhaps I should employ a local prostitute to lay th

  5. NYCWD

    I may be mistaken… either through drunkeness or decorations… but don’t you have a dishwasher??? Unless you eat exclusively at local, non-chain restaurants… I doubt your having any kind of true impact.

    Then again… maybe I should buy stock in Burger King.

  6. Kiefer and Emo

    Of course property values will decrease when you are all overgrown with weeds. No he’ll be OK he didn’t cancel the whole lawn service. Well maybe he should get a random Mexican, they’re good at weeds. Hmmm, you actually have a point there.

  7. Avitable

    Sheila, it makes sense to me!

    Angie, you live in this area, too, so we have to band together to save Central Florida.

    Jay, so first, move to a bigger city, then, go out every night, and finally, marry a mail-order bride who will clean up on the days you decide to cook.

    BE Earl, some months it’s been much higher, too, but I tried to avoid showing how bad it really is.

    Sarah, she doesn’t think she is. She keeps talking about getting rid of fat.

    Faiqa, you should take lessons from me.

    Lisa, I’m totally a superhero. Naked Man.

    LeSombre, see – exactly!

    Hello, you are a pillar of the community.

    Jennifer, you can eat healthy things at restaurants, too.

    SciFi Dad, I expect my key to the city any day now.

    SPD, is “lay the table” a euphemism for something?

    NYCWD, yes, but you have to wash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and a lot of our pots and things cannot be put in the dishwasher. And I’m totally having major impact!

    Kiefer and Emo, the grass still comes in nice and thick. No weeds here!

  8. whall

    Two points.


    There’s nothing that devalues property like a bunch of abandoned buildings from business that went bankrupt.

    I disagree. I can think of many things that can devalue property like that. I choose not to list them because they’re self-evident.


    First, we’d have to cook, and then that would require cleaning up, too.

    That may be true, but there are ways around that as well. For example, you could hire one of those poor out of work illegal immigrants to do the shopping, cooking and cleaning for you, and I’d bet you’d be doing well if you paid $2K/mo. Also, there are places like Dream Dinners and Super Suppers that can think up, purchase supplies for, and set out pre-planned meals for you and you just go pick ’em up, store ’em in the freezer and then have “the help” whip it up when you’re ready. It’s as good, if not better, than restaurant food a lot of the times and a heckuva lot cheaper.

  9. NYCWD

    …but you have to wash the dishes before
    putting them in the dishwasher…

    Are you fucking kidding me???

    If not… just shred your Manhood Membership Card.

    All rights, privileges, and night-vision goggles have been revoked.

  10. Kris

    Perhaps I’m the only one, but I’m letting out a resounding HOLY SHIT!!

    You spend on eating out (*snicker*) about 90% of what we make in a year. Ye gods. Send half that money to me a year and I’ll send you enough snickerdoodles to last you a lifetime.

    And yeah, Amy needs no gym membership. She’s a twig for crying out loud. (All the more reason you guys need the snickerdoodles – heh.)

  11. Grant

    I’m torn. On one hand I want to eat out more. On the other, if I quit patronizing the local Asian restaurants then maybe they’ll go under and the waitress bunnies will have no means of supporting themselves except with prostitution or marrying me, either of which is good.

  12. Sybil Law

    You are the awesome. :woohoo:
    Your budgeting skillz astound me.
    Wait- didn’t we just hear about your experience after eating at one of these restaurants?! :puke:

  13. becky

    You are an inspiration. I haven’t decided if its good or bad. But none the less, this is another reason why I won’t let Travis read your blog posts…it will give him ideas!! However, I do love your rationalization!

  14. Twinkie

    Oh yeh, wonderous selfless hero… you amaze me. WOWWWWW!!!!! You spend that much on eating out? I think we probably spend about $100. dollars a month eating out. And that’s for a family of six. That’s eating out TWICE a month.

    I don’t know if I should be jealous of you or…?

  15. Avitable

    Wayne, I don’t do well with frozen dinners that have to be heated up. I also have a thing about leftovers – I just won’t touch them.

    NYCWD, you do! They still have crud on them and it needs to be washed off!

    Kris, man cannot survive on snickerdoodles alone.

    Finn, brilliant. I am a hero!

    Metalmom, so you think my rationalizing is a good thing?

    Em, not really – that’s like $20 a day for lunch and $50 a day for dinner, give or take a little bit. That’s not really that much.

    Maria, I knew I liked you.

    Britt, I’m not proud of it, but I have no problem being deeply personal and talking about all of my flaws on the world wide internets. That’s how I do things!

    Grant, I think your second option sounds pretty good there!

    Sybil, yeah, not all of my experiences are teh awesome.

    Honeybell, I should travel around the country helping people justify things!

    Becky, you don’t let your husband read my blog??

    Sheila, want me to sign your breasts?

    Always Home, it’s smart thinking.

    Robin, the logic is unassailable.

    Twinkie, well, with no kids, I have a lot more money to spend. It’s nice.

    J, I can justify anything. Even homicide!

  16. Robin

    $2500 a month eating out? Quite scary. That’s more than some people make in a month after taxes. I would feel poor, but then I realized that you would probably never be able to pull that shit living in the NYC/Long Island area and still be able to pay your bills….then I feel better again. 🙂

  17. Stephanie

    We spend about $1200 per month on groceries (including paper products, toiletries) and eating out twice a week as a couple,and the hubs eats out for breakfast and lunch 3 days a week. And I was stroking out over that.

    Thank you for making me feel better!

  18. Girl, Dislocated

    $30,000 a year on FOOD???!!! You used Jupiter years to calculate that right?! If not, then what you spend in one month on food would cover my food expenses for literally about two and a half years! :lmao:

  19. Ren

    Hero – yes. Selfish? Perhaps enlightened self-interest. That’s better anyway.

    I think the only reasons our dining bill isn’t that high are that we will eat leftovers and we often dine out for $20-$30 (four the four of us). And we do cook occasionally — I don’t mind grilling.

  20. Listen To Me Bitch

    While eating breakfast this morning I turned on the TV to see some lady talking about debt/the economy/etc. I watched for a few minutes as she talked about her 3-step plan for adjusting to the economy (or some such BS) Step 1 was to go a week without using a credit card…check, Step 2 was don’t spend any money for an entire day…check

    Step 3 was to not eat out for a month….a month? Seriously? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me…

    Then the camera cut away and I saw that I was watching OPRAH…I immediately turned off the tv and sprayed myself in the eyes with windex while searching for cyanide tablets…which I unfortunately was unable to find.

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