When I moved to New York City after graduating from college, I found a seemingly endless number of bars, restaurants, museums and shops to explore. It was easy to combine my love of food with inherently social nature of going out to eat.
After work, going out to dinner with friends or grabbing drinks with coworkers became the norm. And usually, setting out to do one led to doing both. Instead of drinking on an empty stomach, we ordered food. Or, we reasoned, what's the harm in having a margarita or two with dinner?
The harm is that the tab quickly adds up. After more than a few expensive weeknights, I knew I needed to rein in my spending habits. So I implemented a simple rule: I could either order alcohol or food, but not both.