Buffet: Frugal Or Gluttonous?

Last night the Mrs. and I took in a buffet. I had a small snack for lunch so I thought this would be a good way to get my money’s worth. As I began shoveling food into my pie hole, I wondered am I getting a bargain or just being a pig?

Main Course

For about $14.00, you could load up on tons of seafood (crab legs, prawns, rock salted crabs, and fish). You could suck down a variety of sushi or inhale every type of meat you can think of (chicken, beef steak, pork chops, beef ribs, even frog legs)! I avoided the carbs (different noodles, pastas, and rice) and salads. They had a few soups and a chowder. I took a chance on a bowl of hot and sour.

Dessert Anyone?

I left some room for dessert. They had a few cakes, cookies, and a self serve ice cream machine. I tried a small piece of cake and a bowl of ice cream. The jury is still out if I was being frugal or gluttonous. As I sit writing this, I feel a little bloated and am moving slower than usual. I am leaning toward gluttonous as my frugal self pushed me to eat my money’s worth and possibly more.

Final Thoughts

I wondered how the servers felt seeing patrons act like pigs at a trough. I momentarily thought about my sodium intake and the extra calories I was packing on. I am not a calorie counter, but if I thought about it, I was taking in more than my usual amount. An occasional buffet is fun. You get a lot of variety of food for a reasonable price, but don’t let your frugal self take things too far. Will eating one more chicken wing, really make you happy? Make your meal more worthwhile? Eating should be enjoyed and not a food stuffing contest. Just like everything else in life, finding that perfect medium really hits the spot.

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25 Responses

  1. No Debt MBA says:

    I avoid buffets because I know that I will over eat to get a better “deal”. It’s not worth the tummy ache and I can’t be trusted to be prudent.

  2. MoneyCone says:

    I think I’ve been to that place! Looks like a chinese buffet, but has sushi! Loved it! You really can’t be frugal with food at a place like that!

    Come hungry, leave happy!

  3. Hey Buck,
    My biggest issue with buffets is that I get full so quickly. So like you, I eat to the point of being uncomfortable because I otherwise feel like the price wasn’t worth the amount I ate, even down to forcing one final trip to the dessert counter. Come on, who can pass on the soft-serve ice cream covered in Oreos and gummi bears? Not this Mayor! My verdict: If you’re really worried about getting your money’s worth, pick up McDonald’s instead.
    Humbly Yours,
    The Mayor

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Hi Mayor,

      My wife can’t eat as much as me so this almost pushes me to eat more because I have to compensate for her lower intake! Oreos and gummi bears, yummy! If you go the fast food route, you’ll get your money’s worth, but then you have to worry about your health. Catch-22!

  4. You’re not getting your money’s worth if you’re not receiving authentic value.

    If you’re eating not because you enjoy the food, but because you’re trying to “get your money’s worth,” you’re not receiving authentic value … which means no matter how much you eat, you’ll never get your money’s worth.

  5. Krantcents says:

    Personally, I hate buffets because I tend to over eat. I think it is the consequence of too many choices. I could be satisfied with an all you could eat peel and eat shrimp meal. I don’t know if it is the cocktail sauce or the shrimp, but I really love that. I have not been to a buffet in decades. I avoid them even on cruises.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      So many choices and I’m the type to want to try them all, too. You sound like a seafood man. I hear eating seafood makes you smarter. No wonder you are so wise. Guess I better up my seafood intake!

  6. Hunter says:

    Eat to live or live to eat? I like the occasional buffet. As long as it is quality food…sounds like you were at a good one. It’s been a while since I enjoyed one, back in Australia I believe. I still remember the amazing seafood.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Before I ate to live. Now I am appreciating my food a bit more. Once in awhile is ok, but you can’t hit the buffet line too often. You and Krantcents should hit the next seafood buffet!

  7. 101 Centavos says:

    The food quality at buffets is by necessity quite average. The flavors of the various dishes run into another, making it difficult for any one dish to stand out.
    I consider buffets more like a fueling stop… which is also the way very large people view them.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      You sound like a foodie! Come to think of it, flavors did run into each other. I had to think a bit on which item stood out. Fueling stop is pretty accurate. I’m on the fence on whether I enjoyed the food or just fueled up. Honestly, I think I did a little of both.

  8. I rarely go to buffets any more since I do force myself to overeat so I don’t lose money. It is a bad thing. No one else in my family can even come close to getting their money’s worth either so I can’t justify taking my family their either. When we eat out, we often split four meals among the 8 of us. The kids aren’t really big eaters.

  9. Ha! I went to a pizza buffet tonight with my family. We had a $20 gift card and we went on Tuesday: Kids eat free. We STILL gorged ourselves trying to get our “money’s worth”! It’s like a personal challenge to make the restaurant lose money on the deal.

    I fully recognize buffets are not good for me, and they’re overpriced too. I’ve got to stop going to them… Just need to say “no”

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Mind over matter, Matt! Personal challenge to make the restaurant lose money? Hard core! I think I go in trying to get at least my money’s worth and maybe a little more. If I tried to make them lose money, EMT might have to roll me out of there!

  10. We also avoid buffets. Mrs. RB40 can’t eat that much and I always overeat when we go. It was fun/challenging when I was in college, but I think we have better choices these days.

  11. Alice says:

    I realized something similar not too long ago. I always calculate how much I’m paying for what I buy. I compare the quantity as well. So when I was comparing the amounts of grams in 2 different deserts, I realized that I was going to finish them in one time anyway. So it didn’t matter how much was inside. Instead I should look at the desert as one package. The amount is unimportant.

  1. July 15, 2011

    […] Inspire writes about buffet restaurants.  I avoid them like the plague.   That’s just […]

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