I’m not a big fan of dining out. I’m a pretty good cook, so to me dining out usually means over paying for food that I could make better and cheaper myself. When we do go out to eat, it usually happens for one of three reasons:
- Convenience: Life is busy. Sometimes picking up something quick or having someone else do the cooking is worth the price.
- Social Event: Gathering with friends for some adult time in different surroundings.
- Celebration: For those anniversaries or birthdays where we consciously treat ourselves to a more expensive restaurant.
The main reason we limit dining out is cost, but how about those times when deals are offered that are just too good to pass up?
Last week my mother-in-law came to town to take our son out for a belated birthday dinner. As could have been predicted, he chose Olive Garden. In my opinion, The Olive Garden is the epitome of wasting money going out to eat. Taking our family of three there will generally produce a bill of over $50. Pasta is super cheap, and it boggles my mind how much profit they must get out of each meal.
I was pleased to see that they were having a special called Buy One Take One. You pick an entree from a list for $12.95 to eat at the restaurant, as well as another to take home with you. While at the restaurant we had our fill of bread sticks and salad such that we only ate about half of the entree. Each of us took advantage of the special, and for $12.95 we got:
- Salad, bread sticks and half the ordered entree for dinner
- Other half of ordered Entree + extra bread sticks taken home for lunch the next day.
- “Take One” for lunch the day after that
Three meals for $12.95 each, or $4.32 per meal. Not bad at all!
We went out to Red Lobster for dinner with some friends. They were running a special for dinner for 2 for which my wife and I each got a salad, an entree selected from a list, and an appetizer or desert to share for $25. Our meals, plus a drink for each of us and tip, landed us a bill of $40 for a couple hours of adult time with friends.
Given a choice, and enough time, I’d fire up my grill over eating out every time, but specials like these make going to a restaurant almost bearable.
What great restaurant specials have you taken advantage of?
Brought to you courtesy of Brock.
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