The fact that I am much more frugal than my Hubs and kids is always brought home to me when we go out to eat.
I remember when we first moved to this area in 2000. It was a game changer for us....we finally lived near civilization(stores, doctors, etc.)and had many choices for eating out(old house there was a pizza joint and a Chinese take-out) and that was also about the time Hubs got a big promotion and raise at his work so we had more discretionary income at this point AND more ways to spend it.
One of those ways was to eat out.
One of our favorite places to go for something other than fast food type stuff was Lone Star Steakhouse. We like a good steak.....plus they had a kids' menu so we didn't have to spend a lot on them when they were younger(and wanted chicken strips anyway over steak).
As soon as the waitress/waiter came to the table the four of them would each order a soda or iced tea.
That's when I'd give each of them the "mom look"......mom look=that look that says "Oh no you didn't!" without opening my mouth.
Hubs would give me a look right back that said "let them order a drink and lay off"!
BTW, I always ordered water(sometimes with a lemon wedge)for my drink.
Then I'd start a discussion at the table about the value of money and the cost of things. Kids being kids have no clue what things cost unless you talk to them about it. And even then, they really don't care or have any concept about "money" unless you make it real for them.
Back then a soda ordered at this restaurant was $1.69.
4 x that amount was $6.78 and if I had also ordered a drink other than water that's $8.45 before we even got any food! The cost of a soda or iced tea at most places here is now $2.69 so over $13 for a family of 5 to order a drink each!!!
That's a whole honking lot of $ for a drink without alcohol and to me, just not frugal, even with free refills because really, who needs to drink 4 or 5 glasses of soda at a time.
You're there to eat a good meal not fill up on sugar water I'd say and then go on to give them the facts about the costs of this meal.
And how this spending would keep us from paying for other things.....like birthday money, toys at Christmas(nobody believed in the Santa myth at this point), or their beloved Summer camp weeks.
Yeah I was a real killjoy......lolz
They eventually got the idea that they didn't NEED a soda at every meal out.
But really, when we went out for College Boy's Birthday meal you'd have thought I never tried drilling frugality into them for all those years!
That or they just don't care since we were footing the bill. ;-)
All 3 of them ordered alcohol!
This is something I NEVER do(unless someone else is paying for it or that's the main point of the night out-drinking)....order alcoholic drinks out. Alcohol out is just the opposite of frugal!!
And Daughter....not only did she order a drink, she freaking ordered a PUNCH BOWL of alcohol!
And then, after the drinks came, each of them ordered a big ass appetizer....a special roll costing between $8.95 and $11.95 each.
We were up to $50 of spending on just drinks and appetizers and we hadn't even ordered our entreé yet!!!
By the time you had consumed all this alcoholic drinks and appetizers who is really still hungry!?!?
Now Hubs after 40 years of being together knows this sort of thing irks me to no end and when we are out alone I can "control" him somewhat.
But he just hid in the crowd that day and let his spending fly!
With tip the birthday meal was $107.60.
So I told them all, "this is why I don't want to go out to dinner/lunch with any of you if I/Hubs are footing the bill!".
It's like they can't control themselves, any of them.
Here's an adventure we had the end of March.....
I got Hubs a 50% voucher for a new brewery in a tiny town South of us.
The deal was I paid $10 for a voucher worth $20 spending at this brewery.
It's really a tasting room since there is no food available.
We offered to take the two kids too and Daughter went.
We were there for about 1.5 hours.
I had 3 drinks-a reg. sized drink and then 2 tasting size(5 oz.)drinks. I did drink a bit more than I usually would in this situation but it was by no means excessive.
The cost for my drinks? $12.50
The cost of Hubs and daughter's bill? $49.00
And then there was a nice tip to add to our total.
See what I mean?
My family has no self-control. 8-)