October 8, 2013 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
I thought I had made it. I had a secure job at a huge company. I could pay my bills on time. I bought Rice Krispies instead of Crispy Rice.
For the past few months, I’ve visited more upscale restaurants high on the fumes of financial security. My budget has upgraded from dollar menu to value meal.
Then I received an $80 dinner bill that kicked me in the pants. I blame the
one two three cocktails for my lapse in fiscal responsibility during a birthday dinner at a delicious restaurant that shall remain nameless (I’m protecting the innocent; it’s not the restaurant’s fault I balled so hard).
I felt all the feelings after that splurge:
- I felt full (seriously, that food was delicious)
- I was thankful that I could afford that meal
- I was guilty that I had abandoned this blog’s original pledge of eating frugally and had wiled out in the name of YOLO*
- I was sad that there are still folks in my city who can’t afford a meal anywhere, let alone an $80 one
- I felt motivated to refocus Ashlee Eats around the four tenets of my food philosophy: buy local, be green, eat frugally, and fight hunger.
I’ve eaten some delicious food since I started calling myself a food blogger. And sometimes, great food comes with an even greater tab. I’m not saying we should refrain from treating ourselves sometimes. I’m also not saying that I’m anywhere within spitting distance of rich or able to regularly throw down almost 100 bucks for dinner.
But for me, that $80 ticket reminded me that I hadn’t followed my own advice about eating on the cheap. It reminded me that I had stopped writing so much about hunger and frugality. It reminded me that I stopped being a good steward of my own food philosophy, on this blog and in real life.
What do these revelations mean for Ashlee Eats?
I’ll write more about good deals around town, either at fancy places or just regular ol’ spots. I’ll share more recipes, since you can save so much money by staying in a few nights a week. I’ll still highlight restaurants that are worthy of treatin’ yo’self, because we gotta have some fun. And I’ll broadcast more events that provide an opportunity to give back to our community so we collectively kick hunger’s behind.
Oh, and I’ve gone back to Crispy Rice.
*YOLO — You Only Live Once; an urban version of carpe diem; my motto for the past few months; an outdated term I refuse to abandon