I like to sip iced coffee when I drive. I am not sure that I like the coffee as much as I like crunching on the coffee-flavored ice, but for whatever reason, I like to have an iced coffee in the car. Of course, as a responsible frugalista, I would never admit to stopping at an expensive coffee shop to buy myself an iced coffee. Instead, I try to brew coffee, ice it at home, and then bring a nice big travel mug of it with me when I head out to run errands.
At the same time, if I were to have lunch in a coffee shop, I would never think of bringing my own iced coffee just to save money. If I am going to eat in a restaurant of any kind, I am going to buy my food and drink in the restaurant. I thought that to be such a basic concept that there could be no disagreement on that point. I learned otherwise last week.
I visited a local sandwich shop. Yes – I realize that it is less expensive to make a sandwich at home, but I wanted to eat out and enjoy a good book while someone else brought me lunch. Just because I like to save money does not mean I want to be buried with it. But, I digress.
As I mentioned, I went to a sandwich shop. Actually, it is a French bakery that I simply love. I ordered a delightful sandwich made with French bread flown in from Paris, fresh tomatoes, and wonderful mozzarella, all drizzled with a nutty olive oil and basil. Yummy! I also enjoyed a bottomless cup of outstanding coffee.
At the outdoor table adjacent to mine, another fellow sat down and ordered quiche. He declined a beverage, and proceeded to take two bottles of water out of a bag. He then drank his own water while he ate. I was appalled.
Although I fully recognize that bottled water is very expensive in restaurants, I also believe that if a person is willing to go to a restaurant, they should purchase their full meal at the restaurant. It takes a great deal of nerve to take up space in an eatery and then eat and drink the food and beverages of another vendor.
I feel the same way about bringing my own snacks to the cinema. Unless the cinema allows food and drink from the outside world, it is simply wrong to smuggle my own snacks and drinks into a movie. I am quite willing to tell my kids that we won’t be going to the snack bar, if that is the decision that I have made. I don’t need to save money by breaking the rules just so that I can have junk food – or even healthy food – in a place where I am not allowed to bring my own snacks.
What are the places that you think it is legitimate to bring in your own food and drink? What do you think of people bringing bags of their own snacks and drinks into places where they are prohibited?