I'm reading The Circle of Simplicity by Cecile Andrews. I really like her philosophy of living frugally, with a sense of "enough". Not self deprivation, but self-fulfillment.
Love her comments about eating out:
"I would much rather be sitting with my husband in a neighborhood cafe having dinner- meeting neighbors, reading, enjoying the feeling of community.
So my conscious choice is to do less cooking and eat out more often. Now some of you are thinking, you could save so much money at home. But living simply isn't just about saving money. That's only one factor. As we will see later, living more simply also involves building community, and for me, eating in neighborhood restaurants builds community.
I finally concluded, though, that eating out probably does save me money. When my husband and I cook at home, we are just plain irritable. I figure that eating out saves on marriage counseling and it's certainly cheaper than a divorce."