Inexpensive alternatives to eating out

The United States General Services Administration , which manages the functioning of federal agencies, sets per diem rates for federal employees traveling on official business in the continental U. Per-diem rates cover three types of expenses: lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. It varies considerably by local market.

Whatever your appetite, you can find ways to shave a few dollars off your vacation food budget at every meal. Implement these cost-effective strategies for saving money on food on your next trip.

Short-term rentals with a functional kitchen let you prepare full, healthy meals. They can save you money on all your travel expenses by letting you do things like shop at a local grocery to save money on eating out at restaurants and do laundry so you can pack light and save on checked baggage.

Kitchen access is especially advantageous for larger groups, where communal meals can really trim per-person meal costs. Go just a tick or two up the quality ladder to brands like Hampton Inn, and that continental breakfast becomes a sumptuous hot-and-cold buffet complete with waffle makers and omelet stations.

One of the easiest ways to save money at airports is not eating there. Fill up right before heading to the airport and stash enough snacks in your carry-on to tide you over until you land. As with any shopping trip, planning makes all the difference.

Review your itinerary and determine:. Otherwise, modify meals to accommodate shelf-stable ingredients. Instead, pack a refillable water bottle, preferably metal or BPA-free plastic. Fill it before heading out on sightseeing excursions and at public drinking fountains.

It costs nothing for the refreshment, and you can avoid adding to local landfills. This strategy has limitations. Hunger can strike anywhere, not just at the airport.

So pack enough healthy, shelf-stable snacks to last you the entire trip. Think dried fruit, mixed nuts, peanut butter with no added sugar, energy bars with no or low added sugar, granola bars, and whole-grain crackers.

On extended vacations, this strategy may be limited by your cargo space. Nor can you sustain a longer trip on snacks alone. When the time comes to tuck in away from your room or rental, avoid overly touristy restaurants.

In fact, steer clear of tourist traps period — or at least venture off main commercial streets. In pure value terms, the best meals in unfamiliar cities often involve local cuisine in hole-in-the-wall restaurants in quiet neighborhoods that have yet to be discovered by out-of-towners.

That rule served me well in Thailand , where I ate more street noodle meals than I could count on both hands and never had so much as a rumble of indigestion. My Health Department has an easy-to-search database of health inspection records for many municipal and state health departments.

I like the premeal bread assortment you get at some nicer restaurants almost as much as street food. In some parts of the world, restaurants charge for that satiating little assortment. Not quite the cost of a full appetizer but not pocket change either.

Plan accordingly, and definitely use that plate as a replacement for your first course when dining at full-service establishments. And pay with cash when possible to avoid any billing mistake headaches.

Recently my family was running around town and decided we were hungry enough to stop at Applebees for a bite to eat. Each dish came with three generously loaded chicken quesadillas, which was enough and more than enough for the younger ones to satisfy the kids.

We ordered waters all around and helped ourselves to the free chips and salsa. Jerry ended up eating the leftover quesadillas, and we were all full. The grand total? We also like to eat at a local hamburger joint on special occasions.

When we go we order four cheeseburgers and opt for a side of soup instead of fries for one of the plates. If you have anything to add to this list, leave it in the comments section below.

A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four.

Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living. It is run by a woman out of her house and her food is so yummy! Being the tightwad I usually am except when pregnant, lol! Other times, when we want to spend less the kids LOVE her pizza we will get three subs and have the kids split two and we split the last.

Not bad for a splurge in my opinion 🙂 Of course it is always nice when my parents get us a gift certificate for Christmas…then we might go a little overboard and get what we really want, lol…along with dessert!

All great tips. Fill-you-up food for less. That Chipotle meal sounds like a great cheap option! Sometimes their advertisers will offer coupons that you can print. My kids love going to the store and hitting up all of the free samples.

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Frozen dinners such as Birds Eye Entrees and Bernoli Frozen Entrees are far less expensive than eating out. There are also vegetarian options balla.info › EatCheapAndHealthy › comments › eating_cheap_and_ Baby carrots, apples, oranges. Also cheese like the laughing cow is convenient since it does not need a fridge. Some bread and maybe canned

How to Eat Out on a Budget

Inexpensive alternatives to eating out - Missing Frozen dinners such as Birds Eye Entrees and Bernoli Frozen Entrees are far less expensive than eating out. There are also vegetarian options balla.info › EatCheapAndHealthy › comments › eating_cheap_and_ Baby carrots, apples, oranges. Also cheese like the laughing cow is convenient since it does not need a fridge. Some bread and maybe canned

Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money. Here's how to save money and eat out at your favorite restaurants for less. com , for instance, is a website that sells certificates for a fraction of their worth. You could be eligible for a cheaper meal simply based on who you are.

Children, seniors, students and members of the military are some of the most common candidates for discounts. Many restaurants have mailing lists that they use to distribute news and promotions to customers. Sign up to stay in-the-know. But if you find the emails are tempting you to eat out more, hit "unsubscribe.

To offset the cost, look for more affordable dishes try ones with fruits and veggies that are in season or opt for a smaller portion size if it's available. As for drinks, water is usually free, whereas soft drinks and alcoholic beverages can quickly add up.

If you prefer a glass of wine with your meal, call ahead and ask the restaurant about corkage fees. Even with this fee, it may be more affordable for you to bring your own bottle than to buy one there. Plan your meals around these offers to take advantage of free appetizers, entrees or desserts.

Stay tuned to social media for promotional details. Restaurants like to hear about your experience at their establishment, so if they ask you to complete a survey, take them up on the offer.

Similarly, SurveyMini is a free app that unlocks discounts when you complete questionnaires about restaurants. Don't forget to factor in a tip for your server. For easy ways to incorporate needs and wants into your spending plan, see our advice on how to budget for both.

Remember, the goal is not to stuff yourself, but to eat just enough to make you lose that hungry feeling.

If necessary you can always order an extra side to supplement a large appetite. Sometimes an appetizer is enough to satisfy your hunger. Especially if there are free chips and salsa or bread offered on the house.

Order water instead of soft drinks. Or bring your own if you prefer. The drink will still be cold, and you will get twice as much drink for your money! You might score a free appetizer, or a B1G1 meal deal. Some restaurants offer free meals to kids usually 12 and under on certain days of the week.

Some places have no restrictions. Check out 63 Places Where Kids Eat Free Or Almost Free to find locations near you. This is really most practical for smaller children.

Bring a sippy cup or juice box, and some finger foods for them to munch on. Lunch plates are always cheaper than dinner. If you can plan it, go out at lunchtime instead of dinner. When ordering pizza, if you really like one place more than the other but the other has a better deal, call your preferred pizza place and ask them if they will match their competitors deal.

They usually will. Consider which would be most cost effective for you. Be nice about it, of course. If you plan on going out, know where you want to eat then visit their website and see if they offer printable coupons online.

Often if you join their mailing list they will immediately send you an email with a coupon for a free appetizer or something. Waiters admit to adding extra charges to your bill to increase their gratuity. Sometimes they forget to give you the discount from your coupon.

And pay with cash when possible to avoid any billing mistake headaches. Recently my family was running around town and decided we were hungry enough to stop at Applebees for a bite to eat. Each dish came with three generously loaded chicken quesadillas, which was enough and more than enough for the younger ones to satisfy the kids.

We ordered waters all around and helped ourselves to the free chips and salsa. Jerry ended up eating the leftover quesadillas, and we were all full.

The grand total? We also like to eat at a local hamburger joint on special occasions. When we go we order four cheeseburgers and opt for a side of soup instead of fries for one of the plates.

If you have anything to add to this list, leave it in the comments section below. A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country.

Greek Stuffed Sweet Inexpensive alternatives to eating out. Check alternaatives 63 Places Where Kids Eat Algernatives Inexpensive alternatives to eating out Almost Eting to find locations Economical non-alcoholic choices you. It eqting nothing for the refreshment, and you can avoid adding Inexoensive local landfills. For example, if you have specific dietary restrictions or food allergies, you can lean heavily on some tactics and avoid others. Vegan 3-Bean Chili. The stats on the sandwich are very reasonable without modifying any of the toppings: It has a respectable eight grams of fat and 35 grams of protein. Reserve this treat for date nights, special occasions, and celebrations.

Inexpensive alternatives to eating out - Missing Frozen dinners such as Birds Eye Entrees and Bernoli Frozen Entrees are far less expensive than eating out. There are also vegetarian options balla.info › EatCheapAndHealthy › comments › eating_cheap_and_ Baby carrots, apples, oranges. Also cheese like the laughing cow is convenient since it does not need a fridge. Some bread and maybe canned

Recipe: Egg Pizza With Scallions. This hearty chickpea masala is the perfect recipe for vegetarians and can be prepared spicy or mild, depending on your taste. The recipe calls for a splash of heavy cream, but you can use coconut milk to keep it vegan.

Recipe: Cauliflower and Chickpea Masala. This easy, kid-friendly dish starts with crescent roll dough on the bottom, then it's loaded with ground beef, cheese, and any of your favorite taco toppings. Recipe: Taco Pizza. This recipe uses baby kale to stuff the toast cups, but feel free to use spinach or arugula if kale isn't your favorite.

Recipe: Bacon and Egg Toast Cups. Feel free to use any hearty veggies you have on hand in place of the beets and radishes. Brussels sprouts, diced sweet potatoes, and carrots would all work well. Recipe: Baked Eggs With Roasted Vegetables. This creamy mac 'n' cheese is loaded with all kinds of good stuff, like white cheddar, broccoli, and seared chicken.

Leave out the chicken. Broccoli isn't your favorite? Feel free to substitute it with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Recipe: White Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese With Chicken and Broccoli. This baby is everything you love about caprese and grilled cheese crammed into one delicious sandwich.

Serve it with salad or soup, and you've got yourself a dinner that's both fancy and budget-friendly. Recipe: Caprese Grilled Cheese. This recipe calls for a lot of basic ingredients you'll already have in the pantry. It makes six to eight servings too, so you can enjoy leftovers for lunch all week.

Recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup. Dal is a timeless classic — and this version is an ideal starter if you've never made it before. You only need a handful of ingredients, and the whole thing only takes 20 minutes. The original recipe calls for red split lentils, but if you want to get more creative, add some French lentils, too.

Recipe: Dal. Black bean patties are one of the most popular alternatives to meat. They're also pretty easy to make. Recipe: Black Bean Burgers.

Recipe: Tuna Melt. Pair it with any greens you have handy! Recipe: Sweet and Spicy Glazed Chicken. Tangy, spicy kimchi or Korean-style fermented vegetables is another way to add a ton of flavor to a dish for not a lot of money.

Keep a jar stocked in the fridge, then work it into fried rice, noodle bowls, or burgers. Recipe: Minute Kimchi Fried Rice. Recipe: Rice Bowl With Fried Egg And Avocado. Recipe: Southwest Turkey, Vegetable, and Rice Skillet. This recipe calls for only three ingredients, and you can always add a protein to the mix if you want.

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Shells. Recipe: Chicken Pesto Bowls. Recipe: Zucchini Corn Quesadillas. Recipe: One-Pan Pizza Chicken. Recipe: Super-Fresh Cucumber Tomato Salad. Recipe: One-Pot Caprese Chicken Pasta. Recipe: Vegan Creamy Kale Pasta. Recipe: Greek Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

Recipe: One-Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese. Recipe: Spicy Chipotle Buddha Bowl With Cauliflower Rice. Recipe: Chicken and Mandarin Salad With Simple Sesame Dressing. Recipe: 5-Ingredient Coconut Curry. Recipe: Garlic Butter Capellini Pomodoro With Shrimp. Recipe: Vegetarian Sheet Pan Zucchini Parmesan.

Recipe: Vegetable Enchilada Casserole. The recipe calls for both whole wheat spaghetti and zucchini noodles, but you can skip the spaghetti if you want to go fully low-carb. Recipe: Burst Tomato and Zucchini Spaghetti With Avocado Sauce.

Recipe: Amazing Slow Cooker Turkey Tacos. Recipe: P. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps. A super-straightforward weeknight dinner that you can serve with grilled chicken if you want some added protein. Recipe: Orzo With Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers.

Introducing your new favorite pasta sauce, made with nothing more than egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, and fresh lemon.

Recipe: Pappardelle Al Limone. This recipe calls for tofu, broccoli, and sweet potato, but you can always swap in whatever protein and veggies you like best. Recipe: 5-Ingredient Thai Green Curry.

Orzo, sliced sausage, bell pepper, heavy cream, and a handful of spices are all there is to this Cajun-inspired skillet. Recipe: Sausage and Creamy Cajun Orzo Skillet. Grab some chicken broth, rotisserie chicken, canned diced tomatoes, ranch dressing, and canned fiesta corn mix to make this heartwarming chicken soup with a Mexican flair.

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Chicken Tortilla Soup. Have toast for dinner, but make it fancy with this mixture of artichoke hearts, spinach white beans, and basil mashed into a creamy and savory spread. Recipe: White Bean and Artichoke Basil Toasts. Don't let the ingredient list overwhelm you.

All you really need to make these fajitas are portobello mushrooms, peppers, onion, and tortillas. Swap the avocado sauce for store-bought guacamole or diced avocado and you've got a delicious meal. Recipe: Portobello and Poblano Fajitas. Recipe: Spicy Lentil Nachos With 3-Cheese Sauce.

Black beans in chocolate muffins might sound odd, but they get super creamy and batterlike — and it absolutely works. Recipe: Flourless Black Bean Brownie Muffins. You can also use coconut curry as a marinade for your meats.

Here, the chicken marinates for two hours in a mixture of coconut milk, soy sauce, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and fish sauce.

Recipe: Chicken Satay With Peanut Sauce. Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato, Kale, and White Bean Skillet. Recipe: Grilled Cheese and Cream of Tomato Soup. Recipe: Baked Eggs in Marinara Sauce.

And fair warning that you'll want to put the latter on just about everything. Recipe: Mujadarra. Recipe: Simple Black Bean Soup.

Recipe: Big-Batch Minestrone. This article contains content previously curated by Hannah Loewentheil, Jesse Szewczyk, Marie Telling, Melissa Jameson, and Ailbhe Malone. It was compiled by Lavanya Narayanan. Easy recipes and cooking hacks right to your inbox. Opens in a new window Opens an external site in a new window Opens an external site.

Share via facebook Share via pinterest Share via email Share via sms. Most of these meals are priced similarly. Even by buying a burger, fry and drink from the dollar menu, I find the prices, quantity and quality of the food choices below to be a better value.

My Top 4 Favorite Cheap Restaurants. Photo Credit: Bev Sykes. Olive Garden. If you pair this with milk and cereal for breakfast, and have leftovers those meals are huge! for lunch, filling in with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and yogurt if you run out of leftovers , this makes for a pretty cheap week.

They come in microwavable containers and they can be refrigerated at home and eaten within two days according to Darryl, our local Wegmans deli guy who is worth his weight in gold. We used this option for the insanity that followed our last baby when I came down with an infection and was bed ridden even more so for a few days.

You can pick up 4 meals at a time, and eat them for dinner for two days. You can pick up a container of lunch meat or peanut butter and jelly and bread for sandwiches with baby carrots and chips at Lunch, and milk and cereal for breakfast. Photo Credit: Pat Durkin. The key to subway is to just go for the sandwich and skip the drink and chips.

Get a foot long sub, so you can eat the second half for lunch the next day. Drink water at home and pair it with anything found in your house: yogurt, chips, ice cream, raisins and peanuts, or anything you can find. Hint: You can order online and just walk in and pick it up with no wait.

Add cereal, bananas and milk for breakfast. Just need a quick meal out at a cheap restaurant? Try these ideas…. Little Caesars. Perfect to take to a soccer game and eat in the stands rather than taking everyone to the drive thru.

Just load up on fruit and veggies after the game. Photo Credit: Janine. We can usually get 3 meals out of one pizza. When we do order pizza which is extremely rare because I married a man that makes pizza from scratch better than a NYC food truck , this is where we head to.

Perfect for a super frugal date night out. If you have potty trained children, they also have 30 minutes of childcare available in a really fun space with climbing equipment and ball pits.

Send the kids to play, go find a comfy couch to test out while you recharge and then have a quick lunch. Perfect for a quick lunch on errands day. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I am ALL about going out to eat for avoiding insanity! I wish we had a Wegmans close by again… I love that grocery store!!! Happy to share Aspen!

I just told my husband last night that proximity to a Wegmans would be a huge factor in deciding where we move to. However, dining out is one thing we really enjoy. But, we never go without a coupon or a deal. It really does make it as cheap as eating at home.

Especially if you can control your portions and bring leftovers home. We usually save eating out for when life gets in the way, since dining out with a 2 year old and a newborn is soooo not fun. But writing this post made me so hungry for Olive Garden, that we ended up there the day I finished this.

I realize this is well-meant… but are you suggesting that a human being can survive for a week on nothing but Olive Garden and PBJs? Technically yes. People can survive on much, much worse. Whether or not you would want to is totally up to you. The main reason we eat out so much?

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