In our quest to cut our budget and live a bit more frugally, one of the ways we have cut back, besides of course our grocery bill, is to reduce our take out food spending. We have planned a weekly menu to help keep the daily meals easier. This helps to prevent the last minute, oh my gosh, what am I going to make for dinner… turns into, hello…I’d like to place an order for pick up scenario.
Besides the big grocery bill I used to have, ordering take out was another big chunk of our budget. Well, actually it wasn’t a budget. There was no budget for take out. In fact there was no budget for anything. And, that is one of the areas that used to cause a problem for us. Spending money on places that we really did not have the money for. That we just haphazardly charged without looking back. But when the bills came in and we were not ready for them, well that was the problem.
Ah, but I have learned. And, I have learned the hard way. So, we very rarely order takeout. And we almost never do it without planning for it. But, we do plan to eat out once a week. That is important to me. It’s family time, couple time, relaxing time. It’s I need it time. And I don’t want to give it up.
So, we budget for it. We have money in our budget for eating out. No, it’s not a big budget. But, it’s money we have set aside to eat out. And, that is why I am always jumping on great restaurant deals. Like the one from TGI Fridays and now this one from Macaroni Grill.
Right now, when you buy a $20 Macaroni Grill gift card you get a $5.00 gift card for free. The great thing when you have a gift card deal like this, is you can still use your coupons. So, you can double dip on your discounts. Sweet! I am heading over there this weekend to purchase a few of them.
This deal is going on through 9/30/10 and there is no limit. You can check out more info here.
So, tell us, do you have a restaurant budget? How do you find the best deals while enjoying a meal out?