Cheap Food – Make the Most of Your Dinner Budget

Whether you are eating at home or dining out, it’s a good idea to stretch your money as far as you can. While it is easier to live a cheap living lifestyle by cooking at home, sometimes you just want to go out. Here are some cheap food tips to help you save some money when you eat out.

1. Try small, non-chain restaurants – Find a place that seems to be busy so you know the food is good. Often, these small places will have lower prices and I’ve found many that have excellent food.

2. Are value meals really a bargain? – Check to make sure you are getting a good deal. Do you really need that large soft drink? For example, when I go to Wendys, I don’t buy the single value meal for $4. Instead, I buy two $1 burgers and a $1 order of fries and drink tap water. For $3, I get more food. That’s what I call cheap food.

3. Starbucks anyone? – Yes, I know $4 is a crazy amount to pay for a coffee drink. There are some options, however. If you really like good coffee the way I do, shop around the area. You may find an alternative with cheaper prices. There is one thing I do when I go to Starbucks to maximize my coffee dollar. I enjoy cold coffee, but iced coffee is nothing but ice and it is expensive. I get a double espresso in a large cup and then add quite a bit of half and half. What I end up with is a cold latte that cost me less than $2.

4. Ci Ci’s Pizza – All you can eat pizza, salad, and dessert for around $5 classifies as cheap food these days.

5. Coupons – Yeah, I know it’s tacky to use coupons in a restaurant. However, if you really want to be frugal, you need to play the game all the way.

6. Share – Some places you go to give you lots more food than you should be eating. If you go out as a family of 4, just buy 3 meals and get an extra plate.

7. This last tip is not about eating out, but it relates to the coffee dilemma above. When it comes to buying coffee for your home, most great coffee costs $7 to $10 per pound (Starbucks included). You should try 8 o’clock Coffee. It’s about half the price of the others and recently I saw an independent taste test survey and that brand beat out all the others.

These cheap food ideas can help you save some money on your food budget. When it comes to cheap living, every little bit helps. Live cheap and prosper.

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