Going out to eat is one of the main ways most of us stay connected with our friends and loved ones. Everyone has jobs, partners and other things that take up their times, and often the only way to get everyone in one place at the same time is to make a date and pick a convenient dining spot.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Getting all of your friends together and cooking something at home is a great way to achieve the same result, but it’ll cost you less, give you more flexibility in what you do, and you don’t have to worry about getting a cab home at the end of the evening.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative to going out, but still want to keep your friendship group tightknit, read on.
It Saves Money
Getting everyone together at that new restaurant you’ve been stalking on Instagram can seem like a great idea, but it comes at a definite cost.
If you try and see your friends regularly, as we all should, then going out to eat can take a heavy toll on your bank balance. And this is about everyone involved – sometimes people can’t really afford to eat out, but they do it because they want to see their friends. And, of course, there’s always that gnawing feeling when you consider exactly how much money you’ve just spent on a single meal.
For the same cost of a single meal, you can put together a hearty meal for three or four friends that will impress and ensure everyone’s wallet is a little fuller at the end of the month.
Cooking at home doesn’t have to mean compromise and you don’t have to be a Master Chef winner to feel comfortable and confident cooking for others. There are plenty of dishes that are tasty, satisfying and inexpensive to make – and you get the satisfaction of knowing you made it all yourself. Enrolling in one of our cookery courses can give you all the skills and knowledge you need to make a range of dishes, ensuring a varied roster of treats for your guests.
There’s No Bar
One of the significant expenses of going out for a meal – and one that always adds that uncomfortable ‘wow’ factor to the final bill – is the price of drinks.
It’s easy to order a few cocktails and a couple of bottles of wine and forget how much they cost, but that’s not an issue when you’re eating at home with friends. This isn’t to say that everyone has to be an upstanding puritan during your dinner – far from it – but that everyone can enjoy the drinks they want without it being an issue.
The best approach is to pick up some wine that goes well with your meal, and then let guests provide whatever they want in addition to the vino. This means that everyone has their perfect drink of choice and no one has to worry about an outsized bill at the end of the night. And, as a bonus, you can drink whatever you want! Then all you have to do is find the way to your bedroom – and that beats finding a cab to get home any day of the week.
You Can Really Reconnect with Your Friends
One of the contradictions of going out to eat is that it often doesn’t actually provide a very good venue for talking with your friends. You might have a person on either side, but in the haze of ordering, eating and departing, you don’t really get to spend much quality time with everyone. And before you know it, you’re back at home and realise that you didn’t actually get to speak to the majority of people at the meal.
When you cook at home with friends, this isn’t an issue. While the food is bubbling and simmering, you’ve got all the freedom you need to sit down and talk with friends at length. This makes a home-cooked meal more enriching and valuable, giving everyone the time – in a relaxed atmosphere – to really reconnect and make the most of the opportunity.
You’re Learning Something
This is one of the greatest benefits of opting for a home-cooked meal with friends – every time you do it, you’re getting better and better.
Everything that’s worth learning takes practice and repetition, and that’s precisely what you’re giving yourself when you decide to cook rather than go out. Developing culinary skills takes time and the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Before you know it, your friends will suggest dinner at your place more and more – just make sure you get them to lend a hand now and again.