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Eating out on a shoestring

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Eating out on a Shoe String
There was a time when I avoided all restaurants because I did not know what I would have to deal with inside. I did not want to face the drama of kids that were disappointed, and I had no budget for eating out. Without a clue on what I would face, I stayed home and ate my own food. Slowly, I've figured out a few great places that I visit over and over.
Rules for eating out:
1. Know your budget-Decide on how much you can spend before you walk in. Stick to your budget as closely as possible.
2. Make it a game: Try to find the best meal at the lowest price on the menu. I'm surprised at what great offerings there can be!
3. Look for the deals and the coupons and make them work for you.
4. Eating out with kids? Hand them their money before walking in. Ask for separate checks, and let them do their own math. Let them keep the change after they leave a tip.

Olive Garden:
Lunch/Early Dinner 2 people: $20
Before 4 pm, get the Unlimited Soup and Salad Special for $6.95 per person. Add a desert, and you are set. This is the best deal ever!

Pegs in Woodstock, NH
Breakfast for 2: $20
My choice: Veggie omlett and coffee
Pegs is a great breakfast spot. It is clean, with consistently good food.
Location: Main St Woodstock in the center of everything that Woodstock has to offer.
Pegs has been in business for 30 years.

Pizza Barn in Ossipee, NH
1860 RT 16 Center Ossipee
Lunch for 3: $25 with tip.
The Pizza Barn has been in business for 42 years. It is a large restaurant, with lots of room for kids and groups. We ordered the 12 taco pizza, and could not finish it. It was fantastic!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FLAMENM 6/24/2013 10:07PM

    We look for the holes-in-the wall that tend to have better prices.

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LALMEIDA 6/22/2013 9:08PM


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68ANNE 6/22/2013 6:57PM

    Thank you!

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LINDAKAY228 6/22/2013 6:45PM


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DEBBYFROMMT 6/22/2013 1:17PM

    Great! (You should be on the food channel! You could give Rachel Ray some tips!)

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MSKRIS7 6/22/2013 9:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 6/22/2013 8:33AM

    Great ideas. We also love Olive Garden and that deal. You can also save money by ordering apetizers at the half price happy hour..not so good for kids,

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KELLIEBEAN 6/22/2013 8:28AM

    Great lesson for the kids. Brilliant!


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1CRAZYDOG 6/22/2013 8:28AM

    Lord love a duck . . . let me count the ways I was terrified of eating out once I started Spark! BUT like you, I've learned to look for the "best bang for my buck" . . . both nutritionally and financially.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your idea of giving your kids the $$$ so they can pay their own bill and learn how to handle this part of living!

I still an kind of "eating-out-phobic" but DO definitely like Olive Gardens soup and salad special.

HUGS and hope it's a good weekend for you.

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WILSONWR 6/22/2013 7:31AM

    San Antonio is one of the most "overweight" cities in the country because we have so many good food deals! On Fridays, one Mexican restaurant offers a LARGE plate of beef and chicken fajita meat; another large plate of beans, spanish rice, and guacamole; three flour tortillas; all the chips and salsa you can eat, and unlimited tea for $4.75!!! It is so much food that it can feed 2! Of course, maybe that's how I got overweight ...

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GRAMMYEAC 6/22/2013 7:22AM

    Great idea to let the kids deal with their own money and separate checks.

For breakfast, you should check out the Bradford Junction Restaurant on Route 114, just south of the intersection with Route 103. You can get breakfast for a family of 4 for around $25, including tip. (But don't ask for separate checks here, service can be spotty.)

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MSLZZY 6/22/2013 7:06AM

    Very wise and helpful to let the kids take responsibility for their own meal.

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NASFKAB 6/22/2013 7:01AM

  thanks for the tips must go to Olive Garden

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NUTRON3 6/22/2013 6:43AM

    good ideas

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BELLAMEMAW 6/22/2013 6:42AM


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GOLFGMA 6/22/2013 6:39AM

    Innovative! emoticon

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TORTISE110 6/22/2013 6:35AM

    good ideas!!

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SANDRALEET 6/22/2013 6:34AM

    Staying in calorie range is hard

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DS9KIE 6/22/2013 6:30AM


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KARENKANDO 6/22/2013 6:06AM

    I need to learn to live on a budget. Life would be so much better and less of a struggle if I did. Thanks for the tips!

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LADYRH 6/22/2013 5:52AM

    emoticon ideas

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