Sunday, January 16, 2011


I may have mentioned that Peanut and I brunch. Generally every week -- we have a group of friends that all show up on a mostly-regular basis and we try out new or favorite brunch spots in NYC. It's not as expensive as meeting up for dinner and weekend mornings are a time that's usually open for everyone -- and late weekend mornings are even an option for those who have late weekend nights!

One of the main reasons brunch is not as expensive as dinner out is that alcohol is usually included in the price. Many places we go have a prix fixe menu, say, $15 for coffee or tea + one mimosa/bellini/bloody mary/screwdriver + one of a dozen or so meals like eggs and potatoes or brunch burgers.

This weekend we brunched at a place that had fairly pricey a la carte dishes ($9 and up) and nothing was included -- coffee was extra, booze was extra. But I've become accustomed to having both alcohol and caffeine with my brunch, and so ordered both, more than doubling the cost of my entire meal.

Hmmm. My $9 meal jumped to $20.50 (plus additional tax and tip) all for the sake of BEVERAGES? Do I enjoy the caffeine and alcohol at brunch enough to justify that kind of increase? I mean, I could make coffee at home for nearly free, and I certainly don't need champagne every weekend. It's just something I do because at this point, I'm used to it. Kids, that's what you call lifestyle inflation.

I mused aloud on this on the walk home from brunch with Peanut. He doesn't begrudge me the splurge even though all he ever drinks is water. He pointed out that we can easily afford this small luxury if it's something I enjoy. And I do enjoy it, but do I enjoy it as much on a weekly basis as I would if it were more sporadic, and therefore more special?

I think I'm going on a beverage detox for a couple of weeks. I'll order a drink (coffee and/or alcohol) if it's included in the price of the meal, but otherwise I won't order anything I have to pay additional for. (Peanut and I don't pick the restaurants, so I won't be swinging the vote here, either!) This will save me money and deflate my lifestyle inflation a little bit.

What do you think? Is there a little splurge you have that's worth the price -- or would you cut out your "brunch bevs" too?


  1. I would probably enjoy the mimosas more than the food. Can you just order drinks and dry toast? :) Kidding, kidding...

  2. Lol! I simply cannot imagine drinking in the morning...alcohol at breakfast is definitely not something that cafes here offer as a deal, either.

    I really don't have any splurges...just buying goodies at the supermarket and cooking or baking nommy things really is about it! I do have the odd big splurge, like concert tickets.

  3. We used to do brunch where we used to live. It was great. Mimosas, waffles, omelets, I loved it all.
    If we still lived near a place that did it I would still be going once or twice a month. It's these little things we have to enjoy, but I understand your predicament.

  4. I'm not into drinks, unless it's like the most amazing smoothie in the world.

    But if you are, then spend on it :)

    I'm more into the food.

  5. If it's every week, is it really a splurge? Or is it a habit? Sort of on the dividing line, maybe ...

    Guess this group of friends doesn't want to do a roving brunch party, hosted by different person each weekend?

    In any case, a mimosa at a restaurant is so not worth the money. Just read this yesterday!:

  6. I do love me some brunch drinks. But I try to frequent the prix-fixe places over a la carte, and pick either a mimosa or coffee to have with my meal. (Typically it's the mimosa since I don't mind making coffee at home before leaving.)

    But it sounds like for you, part of brunch is the ritual, and it's worth the splurge for the company.

  7. Interesting link MW... it makes you think. But, I am a girl who loves brunch and loves a good mimosa! I've had to cut back some as well though and now I make the mimosas at home after Sunday brunch. It's much more cost effective for us at this point. However, I know I'll splurge once in a while, maybe as a treat for a good week of low cost spending :)

  8. I too live in NYC and me and my friends get together and have brunch at least twice a month. We rarely go to a place that doesn't offer at least one mimosa with brunch. But we usually spend 25pp and get unlimited mimosas. It's something we like to do and can afford. If I couldn't afford it then I wouldn't do it. I say if you like it then do it! You have to give yourself some room to enjoy what you like.


Thanks for commenting!