At my last job there was the same group of people who went out to lunch every day. There was only one place to go, an all-you-can-eat buffet for $7 plus a drink. They would invite me to go along but I really didn’t want to spend $7 a day on food that wasn’t that good. I spent all day with these people, I couldn’t understand the need to spend money to spend more time with them at lunch.
Now I work with foodies who love to discover specialty foods and restaurant, the out of the way deli, the ethnic market. So far I go along grudgingly if there are low cost options (or they pay). I am perfectly happy with my lunch from home everyday. I hate to waste food and making leftovers last more than a week without tasting funny is a challenge. (I really need to utilize my freezer more.) Not only that but eating out also makes my wardrobe shrink. It’s a strange phenomena. So I pay more for food and I have to buy more clothes!
Here are some of the excuses I use when asked to go out to eat again:
1) I’m on a diet
2) I don’t have any cash.
3) I just had Italian, Chinese, whatever, last night.
4) I am growing out of my clothes and can’t afford a new wardrobe.
5) I’m saving for…(fill in the blank).
6) Didn’t the health department close that place down?
7) I brought a delicious lunch that I’ve been looking forward to all day.
8) I’m only a few dollars away from an early retirement.
But really, I don’t shun them altogether. I allow myself one lunch out every other week. I am not really impressed with the food or the prices but they are so enthusiastic about the little cafés they find that I think its good for morale to share in their discoveries.