• Posts Tagged ‘food’

    Giveaway Reminder! Favorite Tweets!

    by  • November 9, 2012 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Just a reminder that the $100 giveaway contest ends today at 11:00 PM CST. Read about emergency funds and enter the contest here!

    As I’ve talked about on our Facebook page, we’re pretty much all set for Thanksgiving; we’ve ordered a turkey and sides. That’ll help immensely considering the difficulty it will be to even get all the semi-prepared food ready with a toddler running around. Join in on the conversation and leave a comment there sometime.

    This week was a great week for tweets about relationships and finances. Here’s the one’s I found particularly interesting. Remember you can follow us at @lovenotdebt.

    Have a great weekend!

    My Only Domestic Skill

    by  • October 29, 2012 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Brownies

    Always Worth the Money

    When my husband and I moved in together, it became evident that certain things would be left to him, and certain things to me. His idea of “making the bed,” for instance, involves mostly pulling at the blankets until only part of them are a giant, wadded-up mess; I prefer a taut surface you can bounce a quarter off of. But when it came to meals, it was soon evident that he’d be the main chef (as I’ve discussed, I’m not much for cooking).

    But one thing I do like to do in the kitchen is to bake. Perhaps it’s my tremendous sweet tooth, but I take great pleasure in taking some time over the weekend to produce some shortbread, or an easy cake. I’m a very exacting person, and while I can’t handle cooking and its vagaries (“cook until browned” – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? HOW BROWNED IS BROWN ENOUGH?), baking is all about precision. When I take a few hours on a Saturday to produce some scones, I know exactly how much flour to use, how much baking soda, etc. It is very difficult for me to feel that I can screw it up, and I like that.

    There’s also a sense of accomplishment to baking. We went apple-picking recently, and the result was not just a full two bags of apples, waiting to rot; it was a very nice apple cake, which even I enjoyed (and I’m not much for fruit desserts). It’s nice to feel that while in much of my life, the moment one thing ends, another to-do pops up, when I’m baking, I start and I end, and there’s a delicious product at the end of it.

    So what’s the problem? As always, financial concerns crop up. Before we had our lovely, rent-free living situation, I was very careful with what and how much I baked. It can get expensive to pick up ingredients, so I stuck to simpler items (scones, which have very few moving parts, and bread mixes from Trader Joe’s, some of which have proven to be delicious). I was also loathe to buy new kitchen equipment, with the result that my items often didn’t come out as planned. No matter how hard I tried, hand-mixing just wouldn’t produce the quality of egg white fluffiness certain items needed.

    But now that we’re married, and not paying for rent, I find my financial concerns around baking are allayed, if not entirely vanished. We received a number of excellent items for our wedding, including a KitchenAid mixer and a few new pans. Our new bundt pan has already been used a number of times (for the aforementioned apple cake, and even for a frittata my husband made recently). And I don’t torture myself much over the purchase of some high quality chocolate chips, or strange new ingredients for whatever Saveur tells me will bake nicely. In the end, it’s a cost that’s worth it.

    Have you cut back on an activity you enjoyed because of cost? Or are certain things worth it to you?

    image: jeffreyw

    Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz

    by  • October 22, 2012 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Coffee

    Should I Be Spending Way More Money on This?

    I had the opportunity to enjoy an “Employee Appreciation Day” at work recently, which of course resulted in conversations having nothing to do with money that I promptly interpreted into financial lessons for us all. On this particular sunny afternoon, a few co-workers were discussing their addiction to iced coffee. Where I live, iced coffee, particularly that produced by a popular chain that rhymes with “Munkin Monuts,” is a big deal. We work in a busy area, on a campus full of professionals, so there’s no lack of opportunities to visit any number of establishments and load up for the day on delicious icy caffeine.

    These co-workers, however, were discussing the frequency with which they buy iced coffee. I listened carefully, and the average seemed to be about two, but occasionally more, trips a day. Because I am a miserly curmudgeon, I was horrified. I’m no Dave Ramsey with his Latte Factor, but let’s do the math: 2 iced coffees a day, at $3 each (I’m being conservative, as it can be more depending on where you prefer to buy your coffee) for 50 weeks a year, figuring five-day work weeks, means they’re spending about $1500 a year on iced coffee. Don’t get me wrong – I greatly enjoy iced coffee. Once in awhile, I’ll start my Saturday or Sunday by picking up that popular chain’s delicious caramel swirl iced coffee, and happily begin my morning by drinking what is essentially melted coffee ice cream; or I’ll pick up something stronger and cold-brewed, and sip it delightedly. I love coffee. When we moved, my “new apartment” treat for myself was replacing my old and (despite my best efforts) filthy Mr. Coffee machine with a shiny new french press. Part of my excitement over finally having a kitchen was based on the fact that I will finally be able to brew my own cold-brew iced coffee (when the weather goes above 65 degrees, which won’t be for eons, but whatever). I understand a love of coffee. I understand a love of ritual. But I do not understand the constant purchasing of store-created (and store-cost) iced coffee.

    My reasons aren’t only financial, although of course that plays into it. For $14 a month, I get fresh ground French Roast coffee from a local coffee spot I’m very fond of. I’m not so much of a coffee drinker (or snob) that I go through it very quickly, so it lasts me about two months (AND I get a free coffee drink out of the purchase, which I always look forward too, as it’s a way to have a latte without feeling like I’m paying for it). That breaks down to about forty cents a day. I also have a small but cherished ten minutes built into my morning routine, before my husband wakes up, during which all I do is sit on my couch, savor my coffee, and watch Matt Lauer tell me how many more children the Duggars plan to have. It’s glorious.

    It’s also the reason I cannot totally comprehend the need to buy so much coffee (and iced coffee at that, which is universally more expensive) every day. No time to drink it at home? I’ve been there, and that’s why they invented those great heat-sealing tumblers. Love the way Starbucks crafts their lattes? Great, but then do not continuously show up to work in the latest J.Crew outfits bemoaning your lack of savings and expect me to sympathize. Perhaps I’m too tight-fisted for my own good; but I’ve trained myself so thoroughly that things you end up buying, despite being able to make them yourself, are a special treat, that the frequent purchase of coffee unsettles me.

    Am I crazy? Do you buy coffee on a daily basis?

    image: anthony_p_c

    Back to My Old (Cheapskate) Ways

    by  • August 29, 2012 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Black & White Bean Salad

    Let's see how long it takes for me to hate this.

    My husband and I were moved into temporary housing this weekend. Along with gaining more space (I didn’t know I’d missed it until it was back in my life) and scaring our cat into a weekend hiding under the bed, this new situation comes with a variety of frugal challenges; namely, feeding myself and generally living this summer without spending more money than I’d like.

    A part of our unique living situation entails access to a dining hall during the school year. This is wonderful and amazing, and we’re very grateful for it, particularly considering our lack of a personal kitchen. This also means, however, that during the summer months we are on our own, food-wise. A word about my personal abilities: I am very good at things like organizing; cleaning; managing my life; making small clothing repairs; not spending money; silently judging people for spending too much money. I am not good at cooking. My repertoire, even with a kitchen, is limited to spaghetti, rice (if I’m feeling crazy), and making these little salmon cakes out of canned salmon from a recipe that’s been in my family for decades. That’s really it. I can barely put together a functional sandwich. It’s awful, and not something I’m proud of, but there it is.

    I also hate spending money on things I’m not good at (see: cooking). So this summer, with no kitchen and a husband (who generally cooks for us and makes sure I’m not eating cereal for every meal) out of town for an internship, I decided I needed to figure this out ASAP. Luckily, I am very good at: depriving myself of things that cost money; living off of cereal for many meals at a time; figuring out how to eat as cheaply as possible without forming too many vitamin deficiencies. I’ve lived on my own before and dealt with it much in the way I found myself dealing with it this weekend. I bought $30 worth of easily assembled food items that require little to no skill (like tuna salad, bean salad, and some microwavable Trader Joe’s rice – bless Trader Joe’s for catering to the cheap and culinarily-challenged masses like myself). Then I spent an hour assembling said salads (because when you don’t have a kitchen, simple tasks like chopping an onion or draining beans become their own intense ordeal). I plopped those salads in bowls, stuck them in the fridge, and called my cooking done for the week.

    We’ll see how my bean salad experiment goes. I’m hopeful that I won’t burn out too quickly, as I do have a few meals out with friends planned that should keep me sated with more substantial food. And I’m happy with how quickly I’ve reverted back to my cheap, live-alone-and-like-it ways. Yesterday I was heading out to run a few errands, and thought about what kind of snack I might pick up along the way. My internal voice immediately said, “BRING AN APPLE AND EAT THAT, YOU OVERSPENDING HAG” (my internal voice is very aggressive). And so, apple and refillable water bottle in hand (because “YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY AN ICED TEA RIGHT NOW, ABBY”), and bean salad chilling in the fridge, I went on my way.

    How do you handle the cost of cooking?

    image: cookbookman17

    Going Out to Eat: How Much Should We Spend?

    by  • September 22, 2008 • Tagged: , , , ,  • Comments

    Hannah blogs about money and marriage at Monogamoney.com. Topics include saving, budgeting, investing, travel, and The Dark Knight.

    Jon and I recently let a relative stay in our apartment for a week, while we were away on vacation. As a thank-you gift, she gave us a $150 gift certificate to a nice restaurant. And this presents us with a problem.

    Jon and I have very different styles when we eat out. He’d rather go out less often, and spend more each time. He thinks that when we go to a nice restaurant, we shouldn’t scrimp. We should each get an appetizer if we want one, we should get a bottle of wine, we should get dessert, because there’s no point doing it if you don’t have the full experience. I’d rather spend less, and go more often. I get more enjoyment going twice and getting only an entree each time, as opposed to going once and getting the works.

    A few months ago, this perpetual disagreement led to the biggest fight we’ve had since we got married. We had a $400 gift certificate to a nice restaurant, which we received for our wedding. So we decided to invite two of our friends out for dinner. I wanted to strategize beforehand, so we could make sure we kept our tab under $400, hopefully even having enough to pay for the tip. Jon felt like I was spoiling the fun. He won; the bill came to $700. (In defense of my husband, he eats out like this only once or twice a year. And it was his birthday.)

    The next day, after a little yelling and maybe a tiny bit of door slamming, we decided that before we go out for a nice meal, we’ll label it a “Hannah” night or a “Jon” night. If it’s my night, I get to control our spending, and Jon can’t complain. If it’s a Jon night, he’ll order whatever he wants and I can’t complain.

    What do you think? Have you had any similar fights with your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse? How did you resolve them?

    Chocolate Chip Cookies Are Hazardous To Your Budget

    by  • January 16, 2008 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    It’s again cold as hell here in Chicago, so we’ve decided that baking would be a good way to warm up both our bellies and the house. We better check out our bank account balance if we bake chocolate chip cookies, though.

    According to a recent study, the aroma of chocolate chip cookies can prompt women on a tight budget to splurge on a new item of clothing.

    From the study:

    …an appetitive stimulus not only affects behavior in a specific behavior domain, but also induces a shared state that propels a consumer to choose smaller–sooner options in unrelated domains…(emphasis mine)

    Thus, the researchers also surmise that male investors have something to watch for as well: the presence of an attractive woman in the trading room might propel an investor to choose the investment option providing smaller but sooner rewards. I guess with Her around so much I can’t help but make stupid, short-term, impulsive purchases.

    I guess this is another reason why you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach; having an appetite will influence your decisions to put everything in your cart in anticipation of feeding your hunger in the quickest way possible.

    If retail stores start pumping chocolate chip cookie smells into their departments and plastering pictures of attractive women all around, our budgets will be doomed!

    (via BoingBoing)

    Unexpected Wedding Bonus

    by  • January 11, 2008 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    The place where we’re having our reception has a list of 15 caterers or so authorized to serve food there. Since we’ve had an extended engagement, we’ve had the chance to speak with all of them. They range in price from pretty ridiculous to absolutely ridiculous.

    Of course since they are catering our wedding, we have to evaluate their food. Therefore, that means going to tastings! Since they want to impress us, they usually put on a good demo, offering to us the equivalent of a full 5 course meal. To get our business, they make the food much more palatable than what will be served at the actual reception; quite a boon to us. Do this 15 times, and we’ve saved a few bucks on groceries.

    Sure this is probably all a wash in the end, but it is nice to get some “free” food.

    Are Varietal-Specific Wine Glasses Worth It?

    by  • October 29, 2007 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    wineglasses.jpg
    photo: slack12

    We have an expensive hobby – wine. We have spent a lot of money on fine wines, sometimes bringing back a bottle as a souvenir from a trip. But so far, we haven’t invested in any expensive wine glasses. We have a pretty set of balloon glasses we got a s a gift, and we have a few white wine glasses we picked up at Crate & Barrel. We also have a couple random souvenir glasses we got at wineries. As we were registering for wedding gifts, I wanted to register for cut crystal glasses, and Him wanted to register for the plainer-looking varietal-specific glasses, like those made by Riedel. I was adamant that the varietal-specific glasses were a marketing ploy designed only to sell more glasses to pretentious oenophiles. Then recently, I was forced to change my opinion.

    Riedel offers a traveling tasting class where you can taste four varietals in six different glasses: 4 different varietal-specific Riedel glasses, a cheap bistro glass, and a plastic cup. They offer this class all around the world, and for $75 you get the wine tasting plus four Riedel glasses. We decided to take the challenge and signed up.

    The class was amazing, and totally changed my opinion about the varietal-specific glasses! The glasses are designed to allow a specific amount of exposure to air, and the shape of the rim directs the wine onto a specific part of your tongue, which changes the way you perceive the characteristics of the wine. Over and over again, each wine proved to taste and smell best in the varietal-specific glass! I was stunned. An expensive glass can improve a cheap wine, and a cheap glass can mute an expensive wine. (Of course, there exist wonderful cheap wines and terrible expensive wines as well.)

    Now we have to decide if we want to spend our hobby budget on wine or glasses!

    Mandatory Meal Planning (Damn You Freezer)

    by  • October 12, 2007 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    fridge.jpg
    photo: Esther17

    About a month and a half ago our refrigerator didn’t work so well, but we thought we saved it.

    Not so much.

    This past weekend we went out of town to visit some friends, only to return to a refrigerator that was barely refrigerating and a freezer that was not freezing very well.

    We called our landlord and he replaced our fridge right away (he had an extra in the basement?). While most of the items in the fridge were salvaged (anything that didn’t have mini-ecosystems growing in them), we were left wondering what to do with the items in the freezer.

    Unfortunately, we had to discard more than we wanted to. We decided that frozen veggies, ground beef, cheeses, and a few other items could be refrozen. We didn’t want to take the chance on chicken breasts, beef and lamb steaks, and two sirloin tip roasts.

    Adding to the chaos that is already our lives, we decided we would cook all of that food and then freeze it. We’ve had post-work obligations every day this week, so we’ve been exhausted from the constant cooking we’ve had to do and getting to bed late. The good thing is that we found recipes that used much of what we already had around the house. After this week, I believe that Her and I would make a great team on Iron Chef, if the time limit were 4 days and the secret ingredient were “everything that you don’t want to go bad in our freezer.” Take that, Bobby Flay.

    The big negative: we had to throw away a lot of food. The big positive: we’ve essentially menu planned our winter, allowing us to just reheat the food instead of eating out.

    Not exactly lemonade from lemons, but it’ll do.

    Restaurant Whoops

    by  • August 13, 2007 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Has this scenario ever happened to you?

    You’re on your way home from visiting family that’s about 4 hours away, and you want to get something relatively inexpensive to eat. Maybe something like Applebee’s but not a chain. You’re not familiar with the area, but see some good restaurants. After picking what looks like and inexpensive place you’ll like, you enter the restaurant, and ask the hostess to seat you. She cheerfully obliges, and on your way to your table you see that everyone is pretty much dressed like you, so it has to be a casual place. You can’t help but smell and see succulent dishes being served to the other patrons. You think to yourself, “Damn I’m good at picking value restaurants.”

    You get to your table and are seated, and the hostess lets you know that your waiter will be with you in a minute. You pick up the menu and open it to the entrees…

    …to see that everything is $25+.

    After you and your dining partner silently and uncomfortably flip through the rest of the menu, you look at each other. “Well, we only live once,” one of you nervously chuckles. Visions of numbers being added up dance around in your head. Not good, not good.

    You flip through the menu again, maybe to see if there was a misprint or the decimal point was put in the wrong spot or if there’s the non-appetizer dish that’s under $15. It only seems like everything is getting more expensive.

    You finally decide, “Let’s just leave. Before the waiter comes and takes our order.”

    “OMG, can you do that? Have you ever done that before?”

    “Yeah, once. During a business trip.”

    “Uh…okay.”

    After surveying the area, you look for the fastest way to get to the exit. In your mind you think, “1, 2, 3, GO GO GO.” You get up, controlling the urge to sprint. You make your way to the exit, looking behind you to see if your dining partner was sniped by a waiter. “We’re gonna make it,” you tell yourself sheepishly.

    Almost to the exit, you see the hostess resume her position at the greeters podium. Your mind is saying “Abort!” but your legs continue to move towards the exit. You manage to flash a smile at the hostess on your way out, muttering, “We were looking for something more casusal.” Your partner zooms by, head down, no eye contact. You finally manage to push through the doors, and let out a sigh of relief. You made it out to dine another day.

    (Yeah, I could have just wrote, “Have you ever sat down in a restaurant, saw the prices were too high, and then walked out?” but that would have been soooo boring.)

    Expensive Taste And My Job

    by  • July 10, 2007 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Yesterday Jim put up a post on how he developed an expensive taste for bottled water because of his work environment. I can definitely relate – when this blog still had that new blog smell I wrote a post detailing the great amenities that my job as to offer. Fortunately for me, I don’t drink soft drinks and I loathe the idea of bottled water. Many-a-co-worker has looked at me strangely for drinking tap water instead of grabbing a bottle from always stocked refrigerator. We do have other nice perks though.

    I get the chance to travel about a half-dozen times per year for my job, thus the ways in which I have developed expensive tastes are travel related – dining out and hotels. When I travel it is usually for conferences, so I generally stay at one of the hotels associated with the conference; most of the time it is a 4 star hotel. In the last few years I’ve gotten used to the comfy beds, large rooms, and all of the little things that a nice hotel offers.

    The other thing I get to do for my job is take clients out to dinner, and when we do we generally spare no expense. I’ve been to some of the best restaurants in the nation, all at no cost to me. Since the care and pampering of our client is top priority, the wine generally flows, appetizers are plentiful, and dessert is divine. If there is more than one person from my job traveling with me, we generally dine somewhere nice, but not at elite caliber restaurants.

    All of these things are paid for by my job, but since we’ve gotten rewards cards I am now putting these charges on those and getting reimbursed. Therefore I am getting rewards for what I do anyway.

    Has this translated into non-job expensive tastes? Not yet, at least. Except for one less than frugal non-work dining event, our dining bills align with our budget. That doesn’t mean I don’t look longingly at other, more upscale places. Also, we haven’t taken any real vacations, but I’m thinking that we’re probably going to look for more budget-friendly hotel options so that we can spend our money doing other vacation things.

    The good life is nice, but I know I won’t be at this job forever. Until then, I’m enjoying it very much.

    What are your expensive tastes?

    (Un)Happy Mother’s Day

    by  • May 10, 2007 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Two days ago I wrote about the Asian cultural phenomenon of giving back to your parents. As I stated in that post, I don’t mind giving back during special occasions in the form of nice meals at restaurants or nice presents. I don’t mind because I feel like it should come from me, not because there is a cultural expectation or because my parents expect it.

    My mother tends to take this notion the wrong way and as a result often puts us in uncomfortable financial situations. She feels (dare I say) entitled to receive her payback in the way that she chooses – and if she doesn’t get it her way, she’ll bulldoze us until she does. For example, she has no qualms about asking me how much my bonus was and asking for a portion of it (I declined on both questions). This trait of hers is definitely most apparent when it comes to eating out.

    You see, in my family we tend to skimp on presents and place a large emphasis on food. We have a tradition of rallying and celebrating around food. Therefore, whenever there is a birthday or Mother’s/Father’s Day or whatever, we usually go out to eat.

    In fact, the recent $300 meal at Fogo de Chao was my idea to celebrate my dad’s birthday. My mom was very pleased at that place because she knew it was expensive, and even suggested we take her there for her birthday which was two weeks later! When her birthday came around, I asked her if we could do something less expensive because we were still reeling from the previous dinner. Needless to say, she was quite offended. We ended up going to a restaurant where the tab came out to $70 for the two of us.

    About a year ago we went to P.F Chang’s for my dad’s birthday. (Yes I know it is barely Asian food but it was close to where we all work and it was easy on the pocketbook.) Of course we offered to pay. While my dad was fine with the choice of restaurant, my mom definitely felt like we were being cheap, and it showed. She made snarky comments about the low price of the menu items and kept talking about other, nice, and more expensive restaurants. We decided to dine family style, so I suggested that we all pick one item from the menu and then we’ll all share. That apparently did not fly with my mom who then proceeded to order not one, not two, but THREE entrees. What was formerly a wallet friendly meal now ate up (pun somewhat intended) a large chunk of change.

    Now let us fast forward to this upcoming mother’s day. This mother’s day, we decided to actually follow some advice floating around the personal finance blogosphere and instead of taking my mom out to a restaurant for mother’s day brunch, we offered to drive to her house and cook her brunch. So far she is extremely lukewarm to the idea – mainly because we’re not going to spend a lot of money on food for her.

    We’ve already spend close to $400 on food for them in the past two months or so, and we definitely don’t need to spend more. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind giving back, but not when it is on these terms.

    This Valentine’s Day, Save Money By Taking Your Loved One To A Castle

    by  • February 7, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    …a White Castle.

    Ever since I was a kid, around this time of year White Castle would plead with passers-by on its marquee to make reservations for Valentine’s Day before it was too late.

    Yes, reservations at White Castle. For Valentine’s Day. Read the details.

    The cornerstone of this fine dining experience is the Cupid’s Crave Kit (which for some reason isn’t available in Chicago, so you’ll have to order from the menu), which includes “eight cheeseburgers, one sack of fries, two regular soft drinks, coupons and keepsake items to heat up your homespun romance.” From prior visits to this esteemed restaurant, I estimate that one would expect to pay about $10.00 for the whole meal.

    To see what you’re getting yourself into, check out this eGullet thread chronicling the experience (via Gaper’s Block).

    And really, since you’re getting coupons, it makes total financial sense. Enjoy the slyders, and the unforgettable memories you’ll have.

    Finances and Dating: Coupons

    by  • October 24, 2006 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Since we’re engaged, I will never be able experience dating as an adult in a big city. Many bloggers talk about the financial dynamic that they have between them and a long-term significant other. But what about the bloggers who are looking for love?

    A few weeks ago I ran into a guy I knew in college on my way to work. There weren’t that many things that I remembered about him, but one stuck out. He wasn’t exactly smooth around the ladies, so naturally he was teased about going out on a date with a girl. On top of that, he announced that he was taking her to Steak and Shake – and had a coupon! Now I’m sure he didn’t invest the saved money, but rather spent it on beer later that night.

    Her and I use coupons for restaurants all the time, but we’ve been together for a long time. It is one of the ways that we can justify eating out once in a while at some of the more expensive restaurants in Chicago.

    You’re on a first date. Do you use a coupon? What do you think about the person who uses a coupon?

    Friday Food – 24 courses, $175

    by  • August 18, 2006 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Food is funny. We all have to eat to survive, for nourishment, for that oh-so-great feeling of a full stomach. Some deem food and eating as a trivial necessity, in the same category of light bulbs or putting gas in their car. These people would be quite satisfied in unhinging their jaw like a snake and pouring the food in. These people probably don’t want to spend much money in food costs.

    Others, I would assume the most of us, like to experience varying levels of flavor in our food with the minimum amount of fuss and the maximum amount of nutrition. Of course that combination can’t always be obtained, so sometimes they have to make do. These people mix up eating out and eating in, and want to enjoy the meals rather than treating it like a chore. This crowd will plunk down affordable amounts of dough (GET IT?!?!? HAHAHA) for a good meal.

    Then there are the foodies. Never eat at fast food restaurants, calling the grub “dreck.” Knows the chefs at five star restaurants. Can tell you the best place for foie gras (which was recently banned in our town of Chicago).

    This is pretty old news to many in the Chicago area, but the restaurant Alinea has been crowned foodie heaven. The price? The eight course meal will run $75 a person. Twelve courses is $110 a person. The real reason to go there, though, would be to experience the $175 per person 24-course meal marathon that lasts more than 6 hours. This doesn’t even include beverages, but I’ve heard that a wine flight included with the meal will run another $80. Imagine the tip you’d have to leave! For a good dose of Alinea food porn, local Chicago blog Skillet Doux chronicled the 24-course event on his blog.

    We love to eat out, but a meal like this would seriously set us back in the finances department. When we do eat out, we usually hit up the local neighborhood fare instead of the trendier places in town. We find we get better service and great food at good prices. That doesn’t mean that I would never consider eating here…maybe when we win the lottery.

    Would you ever spend that much money on one meal? What was the most amount of money you have ever spent on one meal?