Saturday, June 19, 2010
Frugal Food: Eating In or Out
It is possible to cut your food budget without sacrificing taste and quality.
My favorite shopping is local produced and seasonally grown items. We have an Amish bakery and a German bakery, farm stands selling produce and home canned jams & jellies, a berry farm (blueberries, blackberries and raspberries), and an herb farm.
If you want to save on your food budget, you need to know your stores that are available to you. Familiarize yourself with what each does best. And remember quality can trump price if the cheaper alternative has more waste.
In my town the grocery fliers come out on Monday. So that would be a good evening to plan a week’s menu. Match up what is on sale with what coupons you have for better savings.
In this economy, perhaps it’s time to bring back an old form of entertaining… the potluck meal. It’s not just for church socials!
It’s fun and informal. Make is special by working with a theme. Ask your guests to make their favorite ethnic dish or highlight an ingredient or bring a different component to the entrée you prepare. If you make a nice salad, everything will tie together!
Oh… you might have everyone email you their recipe beforehand. Then you can print them out to share…because they’re going to be good!
I love to eat out. Especially in ethnic or specialty restaurants.
First tip is to go at lunch. In quite a few restaurants, lunch prices can extend all the way to 4pm. That can be an early supper. (Combine that with a movie at matinee price and you have a home run!) Many ethnic restaurants will have a lunch buffet that costs no more than the average entrée. It is a great way to try something new.
It just irritates me to pay $2 or more for a glass of tea. Seriously… it cost them .25c to make a huge vat. Order tap water. Ask for lemon or lime to flavor it up a bit if you’d like. The bonus is you'll get a truer taste of your food.
Most desserts are monster sized. Split one with your dining partner. Half the cost and half the calories!
Many restaurants offer coupons and special event notifications by email. I have these sent to the same address I set up for my coupons. In my inbox right now are 2 coupons from my favorite St. Louis restaurants - $5 off $25 at Senor Pique and $20 off of $50 at Bristol Seafood Grill.
Enjoy your meal!