Lifestyle The Frugal Handbook

TFH #31: All You Can Eat

There’s something alluring about paying a flat price in exchange for being able to eat and drink as much as you want.

The feeling of not needing to care how much each item costs before ordering them makes buffets feel like the ultimate splurge.

But recently, I realised that I don’t have to pay buffet prices to feel like I’m splurging at a buffet.

Earlier this year, my partner suggested that we should try going to a bottomless brunch – something we hadn’t done before.

No, it’s not eating brunch without wearing any bottoms, though that is also something we haven’t done before.

Rather, it’s a brunch buffet where free-flow alcoholic drinks are served, so you can have all the cocktails you want.

We found a place, made reservations, and went for our bottomless brunch date as planned.

When we arrived, we were fully prepared to pay the buffet price of $98++ per pax, which would grant us free-flow drinks, appetisers, mains, and desserts.

After looking through the menu, we realised that the items were quite reasonably priced, especially the cocktails which were only $12 each.

Based on the prices of the items, each of us would need to order 1 appetiser, 1 main, 1 dessert, and 3 cocktails just to hit the breakeven point for the buffet.

My partner knows that she doesn’t have a huge appetite, so she suggested that maybe we should just order a-la-carte items instead of the buffet, but still order as if we were having a buffet.

It became clear that my partner’s suggestion was more economical, so that’s exactly what we did.

Between the both of us, we ended up ordering 2 appetisers, 1 main, 1 dessert, and 5 cocktails.

This was 1 main, 1 dessert, and 1 cocktail less than the breakeven point for the bottomless brunch buffet, so we definitely made the right choice by opting to go a-la-carte.

At the same time, this didn’t take away from our experience because it still felt like we were having a buffet by ordering whatever we wanted.

The only difference was that we ended up saving ~$70, which made the date even more pleasant because we paid less than we expected to.

The next time I have plans to go for a buffet, I’ll definitely consider the alternative of ordering a-la-carte instead to see if it ends up being a better option.

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