Friday, August 1, 2008

Saving Money Part one

Some ladies and I were talking last night about ways to save money. I've read several articles recently about ways to save money, but lots of the ideas were impractical or not feasible for my family. I thought I'd list a few of the practical ways that we're trying to save money, and maybe a few money savings ideas that didn't work!

Today I'll share some ideas for saving money at restaurants. These may be obvious, but sometimes obvious ideas are the best.

1. Drink water! I ordered a soda for the first time in a long time the other day and was shocked when it added 2.25 plus tax to the bill! I can go to my corner gas station and get 5 sodas for that price! (See #5)

2. Split meals. Dan and I almost always split a meal. It's better for our wallet and our waist lines! The few times we don't split I usually end up wishing that I had ordered what he has anyway. He always picks the best things.

3. Eat off the kids menu, when possible. Not everyone lets you do this, but if they do it's a great way to get a good meal. They often come with a drink, too. Cracker Barrel and Moe's Southwest are the best places to do this. MMmmm....I'm feeling the urge for a Moo, Moo Mr. Cow!

4. Eat out on kids eat free night if you have kids. We went to Applebee's on Wed. and got a cheeseburger, fries, kids chicken fingers, applesauce, a kid's tea and a kid's ice cream sundae. The total tab was about 12 dollars after tip. We even brought a chicken finger home for Josiah's lunch the next day.

5. Check with school kids for discount cards or coupon books. The schools here sell Smart Cards for $10.00 that have discounts for various restaurants, gas stations, and are attractions. We have a card that lets you buy a large fry and drink at McDonalds and you get any sandwich for free. We get this and split it (See #2). It also has any size soft drink from a local gas station for 49 cents.

6. Buy an Entertainment book. This one doesn't work quite so well for us because we live an hour from the city that the Entertainment book is for. It's too far to drive for a quick dinner out. It is also for places that are more expensive than where we usually go. However, we wait to order ours until it is several months old. By then they usually send us emails offering a discounted price, free shipping, extra coupons...anything to get you to buy the book. By the time we order it we usually only have to use it once for it to pay for itself. I like it because it has attractions, too. We try to go to at least one historic attraction in the area each year.

There are just a few ideas. I'd love to hear other ideas.

Next I'll write about saving money on laundry! Stay tuned!!! :-)


Kelly Spezzano said...

I am guessing you are going stir crazy from being sick as we now have 3 new posts within such a short time! :)

Those are good ideas for saving money at restaurants! Sharing food while pregnant doesn't seem to work though! Ha Ha (esp. now that my appetite is back).

As for the soda, would you believe I actually brought my own soda to a restaurant one time?? I wanted a caffeine free coke, but no-one sells it, so I brought my own. Thankfully, they didn't say anything about it.

One other tip is that some restaurants serve half portions of there meals for cheaper, or they may let you order off their lunch menu (which sometimes has dinner selections only in smaller portions). It never hurts to ask!

Looking forward to the budget friendly laundry tips!

Gary B. said...

Order Pizza, it goes a long way for several people for less a person. AND if you have leftovers it makes a great lunch.

Or you can just eat at home.

Lisa said...

Around here Pizza is expensive! The exception is if we pick one up at Sam's. You can get a good pizza there, but it's 30 minutes home, so we usually eat it in the car.