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Old 06-22-2006, 07:38 AM   #1
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Wink S/O -- eating out frugally

OK, so obviously it's cheaper to cook your own and not eat out, ever.

But c'mon...we all need the break sometimes, or just can't arrange to be home or take our own food, etc...

So what are your tips for keeping it inexpensive??

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Old 06-22-2006, 07:45 AM   #2
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

if you can share a plate do it
gee that kinda hard
if i go with my nieces to TB only one gets a combo and then we share the soda. really i always ask for baby cup cuz i cant phanthom drinking that big flower bucket anyway
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:47 AM   #3
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

we're really not frugal enough about this sort of thing - but i guess the obvious stuff for us is not getting the "extras" (appetizers, dessert, alcohol). dd's not a big eater yet so she mostly just shares with us. And considering portion sizes, if you can take enough home with you for a second meal then i guess that's saving a bit....
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:51 AM   #4
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

Try eating vegetarian meals and not ordering drinks. We don't order appetizers either, because meal portions are so large anyway.

I'm a veggie, and DH isn't but he eats veggie alot for his heart diet, but we save tons of money when we eat out that that way. We can go to what is considered to be one of the more expensive restaurants in town (a tapas places) and get out for under $20 with very full bellies.

Also, we buy one of those Entertainment coupon books every year from DD's school...there are tons of BOGO coupons in there...we save way over the $35 that we spend on the book. We do eat out ALOT, but find that we really don't spend all that much on it, but it took us about a year to refine how to do it without blowing our paycheck.

It helps to get to know what's around in your area...for example we can get HUGE lunches at the local Thai place for $6 each (not buffet) and usually we just have a very light dinner on those nights. the Ethiopian restaurant is a fave too...and we can both each eat a huge dinner there for under $10 total (20% tip included).

Last edited by ahisma; 06-22-2006 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 06-22-2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

Drink water instead of paying for your beverages. Use coupons.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:09 AM   #6
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

The entertainment book is a great idea. It saves sooo much $$ and is definitely worth the money!

Our kids are older now and DS has started ordering off the adult menu so the cost has gone up quite a bit. When we go OUT and want to save $$ we just skip appetizers and dessert. Sometimes I also wait to see what DH and the kids are ordering and if it's going to be expensive I end up ordering something cheap. LOL

Other times when I just don't want to cook we'll either order Chinese at about 3:45 in the afternoon and save it for dinner because at a few of the places around here they serve their lunch menu until 4:00. The prices are all $3.25 and it's enough food to usually have leftovers! Dh and I each order one and we order one for the kids to share so with tax it comes to $10.xx. If we're being super cheap then we'll pick it up, if not we have it delivered and then it's a few $ more for the tip.

We've also ordered pizza from Dominos on Tuesdays when it's B1G1 free for delivery, or B1G1 free every other day if you pick it up.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:09 AM   #7
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

My fav tip is the most obvious -- Kid's Eat Free night! We like Montanas best for that, very kid-friendly they get stickers and coloring stuff...DH and I get to order a yummy entree each, and the kids both get a meal. They always have lots of leftovers (huge kid portions) so they also get next-day lunches out of it.

Plus, it's fun.

But we don't do that very often...most of the time when we need to eat out, it's lunch time...no kids eat free then...
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:16 AM   #8
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

Which chain places do you all know of where kids eat free? I want to make myself a list, so I can remember when I go out with my kiddoes and don't want to spend much.
I also use the entertainment book and have saved A lot of money that way.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:16 AM   #9
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

A few places here in town or close have certain days where kids under 12 eat free. that is nice. I usually always order water with my meal too instead of being charged $1.50 for one drink which I could get almost a 12 pack of soda for that.
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:50 AM   #10
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Re: S/O -- eating out frugally

OK, chains with kid's eat free...

Montana's, kids eat free Mondays (I think lunch too, actually...)
East Side Mario's - kids eat free Tuesdays
ETA: Crabby Joe's...I can't remember if it's Monday or Wednesday

Both of those are with the purchase of an adult entree, of course...

There's usually also local/non-chain places that have this too.
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