Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eating out on a budget even while on vacation


(One of our super yummy burgers at Red Robin!)

I shared earlier that we were going to try to keep our out-to-eat expenses to a minimum this week while on vacation.  We brought along food to eat for breakfast and lunches (paid for with previous week's grocery money) and planned to just eat out for dinner and while traveling.  We had accumulated several gift cards and I had signed up for several e-clubs/birthday clubs at major restaurant chains so we had a few FREE desserts/FREE appetizers/$ off coupons to use as well.

Our weekly grocery budget is $40 and since we weren’t going to be home to do any grocery shopping we had all of that money to use.  We also budget about $40 a month for eating out so we had that money to use as well.  My goal was to try to stay at $60, but also not to be so strict with every penny that we didn’t enjoy eating out/vacation too.

Here’s our totals:

Wendy’spaid $4.07

Red Robin – used free burger coupon (birthday club), paid $17.00 (saved $9.29)

Chili’s – used free appetizer coupon (joining e-club), used gift card, and paid $3.00 for tip (saved $4.99)

Red Lobster – Used $5.00/2 entrees coupon (birthday club), paid $6.07 (saved $5.00)

Dairy Queen – used Buy One Get One Free blizzard coupon (birthday club), paid $4.45 (saved $3.99)

Red Robin – used $3.00 off purchase coupon (joining e-club), paid $23.76 (saved $3.00)

Chili’s – used free brownie sundae coupon, used balance of giftcard, paid $7.00 (saved $5.89)

Red Lobster – used $4.00/2 dinner entrees (from newspaper), used gift card, paid $4.50 tip (saved $4.00)

Chick-fil-a – used free large drink coupon (from calendar), paid $6.67 (saved $1.65)

Wendy’s – used free jr. frosty coupon, paid $3.87 (saved $0.99)

Total for week: Paid $80.39 out of pocket, saved $38.80 with coupons, paid $65.80 on gift cards.

We actually did have another gift card we could have used for Longhorn’s, but we couldn’t find one.  So if we want to eat out sometime this month we can just use it.  And we really enjoy eating at Red Robin and don’t have one near us so splurged and ate there again.  It was also quite a treat to get FREE appetizers and desserts which we don’t normally buy when we are out to eat.

Hope this is an encouragement to you that you can go on vacation or just eat out and still do it without breaking the bank with a little planning, preparation, and willingness to eat at the places you have coupons for! :)

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