The reasons I dine out too much: Summer edition

See that delicious polenta? Full disclosure: I did not cook that.

The last week has been a bit of a fail in the home cooking/food budgeting department. J and I went on a short trip to the coast to escape the heat and then, I’ve had my very favorite cousin in town for the past few days. She’s a vegan from Las Vegas, which doesn’t have a ton of vegan restaurants so we have been exploring the bounty of options to be had here in Portland, which has been so much fun!

Since I do not have a budget diary to present to you this week, I thought I’d share a few of the reasons I overspend on eating out or ordering takeout instead of whipping up something homemade.

#1 It’s too hot

There’s been a heat wave here in Stumptown coupled with a super smoggy sky from wildfires in Canada. Turning on the oven kills my tiny little AC unit, and the wildfire smoke makes even turning the smoker on seem like a poor choice. Hot days, especially a few consecutive hot days, mean I am more likely to reach for the Postmates app.

I’ve taken some time today to research as many no cook meals as I can so the next time things heat up, I will be prepared. Summer rolls and gazpacho are definitely on the docket for the coming days.

#2 Work is too stressful

J and I run our own business and if it has been a particularly bad day at the office, we both have no desire to cook. Let’s go out! We deserve it! #treatyoself. Luckily, we can write-off eating out when we visit new places, but we still end up overspending.

I find that if I have leftovers in the fridge or something in the crockpot, it lessens the urge to dine out, even on a rough day at the job.

#3 Out of town guests

Summer is the perfect time to host guests in Portland. And thanks to the Food Network, guests usually come with a list of restaurants they’d like to try while they are here. As you can tell, I really love to try new restaurants so I am always happy to oblige. I do usually plan at least one backyard BBQ while I have company, but I don’t want to limit their experience to my cuisine alone.

On the positive side, eating out inspires me to replicate the tastier dishes I’ve ordered in my own kitchen. I had some next level beer-battered, fried avocado tacos this weekend and tried some vegan cornbread rancheros that could very well replace my biscuit and gravy addiction. New recipes to come!

avo tacos

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