Restaurant taste at home
Have it Both Ways
by Rich Finzer
5 Ways to Save while Dining Out
Insider Reports: Restaurant Savings
10 Tips for Dining Out on the Cheap
There's an old adage stating "you can't have it both ways." Well in truth, that really depends on what "it" is. If it's a light switch with the option of being either on or off, then you can't have it both ways. But, if it's restaurant quality dining on a budget, the answer is: you can! How? It's simple. Order takeout entrées, and prepare the balance of the meal at home. My wife and I have become experts at this strategy.
On her way home from work, she picks up meatballs, sausage, and sauce from our favorite Italian restaurant and we make our own salads and pasta to go with it. For us, the meat is the heart of any meal, and frankly, the restaurant makes heavenly meatballs and sauce. So we devote our energies to knocking together a salad featuring our favorite ingredients (meaning no cucumbers), open a bottle of our own wine, and serve our own pasta accompanied by the chef prepared sauce. It saves us a ton of money too.
Here's an example. The restaurant markup on a bottle of our usual table wine is 200-300% over what we typically pay retail. That savings alone more than covers the cost of the takeout food all by itself! Once you add in the gas we didn't burn driving to and from the eatery, the wait staff gratuity, extra sales taxes, along with the convenience and time savings, it gets mighty hard to argue with this formula.
There's more, too. As an extra bonus, if we order at least a dozen meatballs, the restaurant throws in half a loaf of freshly baked Italian bread. So we usually end up with enough "leftovers" to treat ourselves to a second Italian meal a couple of nights later. And that second meal is essentially "free."
Who says that "you can't have your cake (make that meatball) and eat it too"?
Take the Next Step:
- A deal a day great things to do, eat, see, & buy in your area. Shop Groupon.com today!
- Subscribe to our new weekly Surviving Tough Times: Inflation fighters newsletter. This free email newsletter will provide ways to help you save money as the cost of everyday items rise. Each issue features six or seven articles to help you stretch your dollar!
Discuss "What Do You Make That's Cheaper Than Going to a Restaurant" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
Also in Food & Groceries
- How to stretch ground beef
- Grow your own food
- Pie baking tips and recipes
- Calculating your real grocery savings
- Having fun and being frugal with leftovers
- Will a freezer reduce your grocery bill?
- March bargains in supermarket and beyond
- 7 frugal ways to save money on groceries
- 10 grocery savings secrets from insiders
- 6 tips for frugal grocery shopping