Sunday, April 7, 2013

Menu plan 4-8-13: Cheap meals out


A few weeks ago, a reader noted that we eat out or get takeout most Sunday nights and asked for tips on eating out cheap.  Here are a few strategies we use to get coupons and gift cards for restaurants:
  • Major restaurant chains often have coupons available in the Sunday coupon inserts.  We regularly find coupons for restaurants like Sweet Tomatoes (my children's favorite!) and Steak 'N Shake.  
  • Another source for restaurant coupons are those in local newspapers and magazines.  We get a local free newspaper every week, and several magazines covering my city come out each month.  There are often good coupons in these mailers.
  • Also, we often get mailed sets of coupons for all sorts of services, including restaurants.
  • Sometimes we even get small gift certificates to restaurants in the mail!
  • Some restaurants offer printable coupons if you join their email list.  For instance, Hardee's is currently offering a free small fries and drink when you order their 1/3 lb. hamburger, and Jamba Juice is offering a 16 oz smoothie for only $2.00.  Check restaurant websites for more offers like these.
  • Restaurant.com sells $25 restaurant gift certificates for $10 or less.  You have to read the fine print, though - sometimes there is a minimum table order of $35 or even $50.
  • Also look for restaurant gift card giveaways on blogs.  Enter them, and with a little luck, you might win!  Frugal Follies will be hosting a giveaway for a LongHorn Steakhouse gift card soon - be on the lookout for that!
Here's this week's plan:

Monday - Picadillo over brown rice

Tuesday  - black bean chili over pasta

Wednesday - Char Crust Salmon and Vegetables with bread

Thursday - veggie burritos

Friday - baked chicken breasts, pasta with garlic and oil, salad

Saturday - macaroni and cheese, veggie sticks

Sunday - takeout!

See Menu Plan Monday for more menus!

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