cheap dates


Now that Bob and I have started budgeting better, we’ve had to modify our weekend dining habits. This means dining out less and dining out smarter. As in, picking restaurants with the most bang for our buck and leaving the more extravagant places as a once-in-a-while thing. Because cooking on a Saturday? Ain’t gunna’ happen.

One might say it’s a sacrifice. Sure, okay. I like to think of it as a creative challenge. How can we eat well and still be within our budget?


But not just ramen, I assure you. That was more for effect.

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Oh, I’m a ramen novice for sure. I’m still not even sure I’m holding my chopsticks correctly (it feels totally unnatural to me) All I can tell you is that my big ol’ cup ‘o noodles was deliciously slurpy. Although I was a little disappointed it didn’t come with a monkey in it. Oh right! Hinomaru Ramen puts monkeys in their food (see it to believe it). No big deal.

Anyway, our lunch set us back about $30 (we ordered a lot of dumplings), which was then followed by a (free!) walk around Central Park. It’s definitely not the cheapest lunch date and we can surely do better, but it’s enough that we’re more aware of what we’re spending now. I like this challenge we’ve set for ourselves. Even better, we get to prove that New York isn’t just a playground for the rich. With the exception of the Upper East Side. Aaaand the West Village. Whatever, we got this!

Another quick word on budgeting: if you’d like to track your spending, I’d highly recommend Mint! It shows you – in really neat pie graphs, might I add- what you’ve spent your money on and how close you kept to your budgets. It is pretty eye-opening, especially when you see what things add up to at the end of the month. You won’t even believe how much we’ve spent on food in the last few months. Let’s just leave it at that.

7 responses to “cheap dates”

  1. rooth says:

    I’m a big fan of Mint as well – I’ve been using it for the past 5 years and I like the little pie charts that it creates for you. Well, typically I cringe at the pie charts, but you know, at least I know? Ramen is so delicious and I really am of the opinion, the cheaper the better tasting. Who cares if it has a ton of MSG and 400% your daily allowance of sodium???

    • Jillian says:

      Hey, that’s what I say. Who cares about all the salt and MSG? Not me! But that’s because I only have it once in a blue anyway. I have the same hate-love relationship with the pie charts. I love it because it’s cool to see where your money is going, but then it’s like, oh shit, THAT’S where my all my money went?!

  2. Lena says:

    I LOVE a good cheap date–pho and ramen and bahn mi for all!

  3. Laura says:

    Love Mint! We’ve been using it for years and it is so helpful, especially if you are not a fan of cash-only budgeting that Dave Ramsey speaks so highly of. We like to use credit cards for the rewards and Mint helps us keep track of what we’re spending so we don’t overdo it and can pay the bill in full every month. So awesome!

    • Jillian says:

      I get the whole cash thing, but one might argue that it’s essential to build up good credit. Which you might know since you just bought a house! And that’s actually something I need to get on. I almost never use my credit card. But my debit card gets TONS of play!

  4. nice post but really if you want cheap domain registration and hosting is the answer.

  5. Nikki says:

    I need to try Mint. Sounds like a good idea. Sometimes being creative and thinking outside the box makes for some good dates!


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