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Old 01-31-2016, 02:41 PM   #101
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$21 meal for someone with 50K in debt and limited resources is too much no doubt but we pay a little more than that per person for lunch, tip included, a few times a week and not at fancy restaurants either.

So for folks that never paid that much for a meal where do you eat? Fast food restaurants?
I'm sure it may be location dependent to some degree. Here in small town Wisconsin, I only know of a couple places where it's even possible to get a meal for over $20. I almost never go out and if I do i'm invited by other people and they pay. When that happens it's usually local family owned restaurants that charge $5-$12 per meal. I don't drink soda let alone wine/liquor with a restaurant meal so that makes some difference. One example is a place called Mary's. I order a Roast Beef Special for $9.79. It includes a large amount of roast beef with bread covered in gravy. I also get mashed potatoes and I get one "choice" item. I choose more mashed potatoes and it's all covered in gravy. This is a large meal. With tax and tip it is $12. If I order a soda it might be $14-15. This is by no means the least expensive sit down restaurant in the area but it's a good value for the quantity AND quality of the food. I'm sure others will disagree but I don't think the fancy places serve better food. It's all about how the plate looks. You get less food and usually not any better food for much higher prices. I don't see the point.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:08 PM   #102
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I'm sure it may be location dependent to some degree. Here in small town Wisconsin, I only know of a couple places where it's even possible to get a meal for over $20. I almost never go out and if I do i'm invited by other people and they pay. When that happens it's usually local family owned restaurants that charge $5-$12 per meal. I don't drink soda let alone wine/liquor with a restaurant meal so that makes some difference. One example is a place called Mary's. I order a Roast Beef Special for $9.79. It includes a large amount of roast beef with bread covered in gravy. I also get mashed potatoes and I get one "choice" item. I choose more mashed potatoes and it's all covered in gravy. This is a large meal. With tax and tip it is $12. If I order a soda it might be $14-15. This is by no means the least expensive sit down restaurant in the area but it's a good value for the quantity AND quality of the food. I'm sure others will disagree but I don't think the fancy places serve better food. It's all about how the plate looks. You get less food and usually not any better food for much higher prices. I don't see the point.
Obviously from your posts you live in a very low cost of living area where you can find many places that cost less than $20 for a restaurant meal. You're also content to spend what you can afford and happy with your lifestyle which is prudent and I'm happy for you.

As for us we enjoy a nice sit down meal with a drink and a desert in a nice atmosphere and in our area that cost more than $20 per person. Heck sometimes we go out to dinner where the cost per person exceeds $75.

Our goal was to maintain the same standard of living in retirement as when working and our budget allows for it so why not?
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:11 PM   #103
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... Our goal was to maintain the same standard of living in retirement as when working and our budget allows for it so why not?
No reason for you not to.

Also, there's no reason that other people cannot enjoy eating out for less.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:15 PM   #104
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No reason for you not to.

Also, there's no reason that other people cannot enjoy eating out for less.
True. It's a personal choice.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:16 PM   #105
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I suspect there's something the author wants the reader to take away from this article, but for me, sympathy is not one of them.

Niggling around the edge of the story is that how an unforgiving economy dashed the dreams of these poor folks.

Then we get to the item where instead of getting her teeth fixed she bought a $100 ticket for a house tour?

Buzzer! Sorry, thanks for coming!

The world has had stories like this since time began; not interested in losers who spend "either/or" money on a house tour instead of their health. Oh wait! No! They want me to pay for that, right?
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:19 PM   #106
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True. It's a personal choice.
We don't eat out often, because we both enjoy cooking, and we make dishes that one would not find in restaurants. So, when we do eat out on special occasions, I can spend significantly more, not for the food as much as the decor and service. And we are happy with this lifestyle.
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Old 01-31-2016, 03:51 PM   #107
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About dishes that would be hard to find in local restaurants, recently I was talking about looking to make a rabbit dish called "Cocotte de découpe de lapin à la provençale".

Another poster suggested that I added wild hickory nuts! Now, that's interesting.

Let me tell you, this original French dish is already impossible to find locally, and now when you add wild hickory nuts, oh man, that's something that money cannot buy and you would have to make it yourself.

Or perhaps when you find a French restaurant somewhere in the US that serves this regional dish, go there with a bag of hickory nuts in your pocket, then give it to the waiter with the instruction for the cook to add it to the dish!

I rest my case.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:00 PM   #108
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I feel some sympathy for the woman because she is 80 and trapped in a crummy life that she created by endless bad choices . Let's face it everybody makes some bad choices but hopefully the ratio is a lot more good choices than bad .
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:07 PM   #109
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Does that mean you don't have a copy of the Road Kill Cookbook in your house?
No, I don't but I did buy it for a relative from Tennessee as a gag gift.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:19 PM   #110
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No, I don't but I did buy it for a relative from Tennessee as a gag gift.
You mean that they gag on the road kill meals
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:21 PM   #111
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I'm sure it may be location dependent to some degree. Here in small town Wisconsin, I only know of a couple places where it's even possible to get a meal for over $20. I almost never go out and if I do i'm invited by other people and they pay. When that happens it's usually local family owned restaurants that charge $5-$12 per meal. I don't drink soda let alone wine/liquor with a restaurant meal so that makes some difference. One example is a place called Mary's. I order a Roast Beef Special for $9.79. It includes a large amount of roast beef with bread covered in gravy. I also get mashed potatoes and I get one "choice" item. I choose more mashed potatoes and it's all covered in gravy. This is a large meal. With tax and tip it is $12. If I order a soda it might be $14-15. This is by no means the least expensive sit down restaurant in the area but it's a good value for the quantity AND quality of the food. I'm sure others will disagree but I don't think the fancy places serve better food. It's all about how the plate looks. You get less food and usually not any better food for much higher prices. I don't see the point.
Heck, in my area of the country is a place called Chili's , where they have this constant deal going on called 2 for $20, you can get an appetizer and two entrees which can include a 6oz steak (and a side) one can be eaten there and one taken home for another meal.
I'm not saying that is excellent cooking by far, but if you are just wanting a go out and eat experience for cheap $$ then that is a good deal.
Heck a lot of fast food places around have 4 for $5 deals going on, I know that she wants to eat healthy, but getting some chicken nuggets, hamburger, etc is probably a little bit healthier than eating top ramen or something similar. There are many different choices if one wants to figure it out.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:43 PM   #112
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Does that mean you don't have a copy of the Road Kill Cookbook in your house?
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No, I don't but I did buy it for a relative from Tennessee as a gag gift.
We splurge and go to the restaurant:
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File Type: jpg roadkillcafe.JPG (651.4 KB, 29 views)
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:44 PM   #113
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I guess I had a much different take on these stories. I kinda respected these folks for not feeling sorry for themselves, making do with what was available to them, exerting some control over their lives and most of all being willing to keep working.
I think I see people like this all the time working minimal wage jobs in grocery stores, etc. and providing service to customers. The only twist on the folks in the story was the nomadic lifestyle. I might not agree with their choices, but they're not asking me to be responsible for them either.

Am I the only one that feels this way?
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:49 PM   #114
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We splurge and go to the restaurant:
Brilliant
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:53 PM   #115
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No, Jazz, certainly not. Compassion and a little "but for the grace" goes a long way with me.
As you say, they are making do with what they have.
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Old 01-31-2016, 04:59 PM   #116
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No, Jazz, certainly not. Compassion and a little "but for the grace" goes a long way with me.
As you say, they are making do with what they have.
I agree and as I posted earlier, a lot of people with money problems really have mental health problems. That is why they can't think logically and make good financial decisions.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:08 PM   #117
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I might not agree with their choices, but they're not asking me to be responsible for them either.

Am I the only one that feels this way?
Gosh no! I've seen too many instances of people "gaming the system" to indulge their inner laziness to be too critical of anyone making an effort to be responsible for themselves.

Like you, not the choices I'd make but at least they're trying.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:29 PM   #118
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I agree and as I posted earlier, a lot of people with money problems really have mental health problems. That is why they can't think logically and make good financial decisions.
I think you are correct and I have read that about people with criminal issues as well. Both may be at least partially mental health and biochemical issues and not simple a matter of bad morals or poor choices. From the emerging discipline of neuroeconomics:

"Our emotional brain has a hard time imagining the future, even though our logical brain clearly sees the future consequences of our current actions," Laibson said. "Our emotional brain wants to max out the credit card, order dessert and smoke a cigarette. Our logical brain knows we should save for retirement, go for a jog and quit smoking"

https://www.princeton.edu/pr/news/04/q4/1014-brain.htm
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:36 PM   #119
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I may be accused of being a hard-ass and unsympathetic, but it seems most all of these stories like the example three RV nomads, are essentially a self-inflicted problem. If you do not save for retirement, do not use good financial sense, then they are destined to suffer the life they have led and will continue to live. It is not my problem to solve that the people are in the situation they are in.

I too have an RV, a real big one. It is for fun and to enjoy visiting places. I still consider it a luxury, even though I can afford it.

I do admire that the example story people are making do with their limited income. However they have to be that way due to choices they make.
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Old 01-31-2016, 05:36 PM   #120
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On the dining out front, we go out 2 - 3 times a week but usually with a buy one get one free coupon or a Groupon type deal bought on sale using deal stacking. I can usually buy a $40 certificate for $15 or $20 gift certificates for $7 from the deal sites. When we subtract out what it would have cost to eat at home for groceries anyway the net cost is not too much extra for some cheap date nights or lunches out.
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