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June 2012

Cutting Out Eating Out Can Save You Hundreds

If you’re like most people, you enjoy having a nice meal out at a restaurant from time to time. The problem is, for many, eating out has become a much more regular occurrence. You can cut back on your expenses by finding discounts and coupons for restaurants that are offered on sites like CouponCravings.com. But even with additional savings, eating out regularly can really add up. An even better solution for saving money is to forgo the restaurant experience altogether, in favor of an evening at home.

OutofYourRut.com explains that a couple eating at a mid-priced restaurant can easily spend $40. Making this a weekly habit ends up being more than $2000 a year. Many couples and families go out more than once a week, which can double or even triple the expense. It’s much safer to stay home and cook your own meals. Here are a few tips that will save you money and keep eating at home as exciting as eating out.

Experiment with different dishes.  Like most people, you probably have a set group of meals that you rotate through every week. This can get boring if you’re not careful. Try introducing a couple new recipes each month. The keepers can be added to the weekly rotation.

Invite company for Friday night. Having friends over can break up the monotony of staying at home. Plus it’s a great reason to spend time catching up with old friends.

Keep a full pantry. According to OrganicConsumers.org keeping a stocked pantry is important. You need to have ingredients on hand in order to make meals and avoid a last minute decision to go out to eat. Buying in bulk can be a good way to maintain your supply and save money as well.

If you find yourself unavoidably drawn to a restaurant meal, there are ways you can cut the costs of eating out. FinancialExcellence.net gives several ideas for how to discount your dinner out. Here are a few of these ideas.

Share a meal. Most restaurants give you much more than a single serving of food. It will be good for your wallet, and your waistline to divide a meal with a friend or spouse.

Skip drinks and dessert. These items will increase your bill by a lot. If you really want them, consider stocking some ice cream and mixed drink fixings for when you return home from the restaurant.

Look for special promotional nights. Many restaurants have deals on certain nights of the week or during certain hours. If you have children, look for kids-eat-free specials.

Your best option for saving money on your food budget is to cut out your restaurant trips and make meals at home. This will likely save you hundreds of dollars. But if you do go to a restaurant, be smart about your choices and you can make the trip fairly inexpensive. Just remember not to make it a weekly habit.


Pepperoni and Cheese Crescent Roll Pizza Bites Recipe

Today, I'm happy to provide a delicious Pepperoni and Cheese Crescent Roll Pizza Bites recipe contributed by guest blogger, Brianna Collins. I'd like to take this opportunity to personally thank Brianna for taking time to supply this recipe to The Cheap Gourmet blog.

From Brianna...

As a college student, I am constantly searching for new and easy recipes to make. It's hard to fight the temptation to spend each meal in the drive thru or at happy hour with friends.

Upon browsing Pinterest I came across a picture of what looked like a crescent with pepperoni and cheese. I was instantly interested. While a commercial pizza oven would be amazing to have for any time you're craving some homemade pizza, we don't always have the luxury.

I worked on the recipe and came up with a delicious and extremely quick way to make these pizza rolls! Cheap and easy, this recipe is fun and tasty.

PEPPERONI AND CHEESE CRESCENT ROLL PIZZA BITES
Servings: 8 rolls

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Ingredients:

1 Bag of pepperonis
1 Can of refrigerated crescent rolls
2 Mozzarella string cheese
1 Can of marinara sauce
1 Bag of parmesan cheese
1 small bunch of parsley

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2.  Slowly warm marinara sauce on low heat.
3.  Unwrap the string cheese and cut each one into fourths.
4.  Unroll the crescent dough and lay out on sprayed baking sheet.
5.  Lay down around 3 pepperonis on the larger part of the crescent rolls.
6.  Place the fourth of string cheese on top of the pepperonis on each triangle crescent rolls.

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7.   Roll each triangle crescent up.
8.   Sprinkle parmesan and parsley on the top of the rolled crescent.
9.   Put in oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Take out of oven and let cool off.
11.  Place a spoonful of marinara sauce on each roll.

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AUTHOR BIO:  I'm a Texas Longhorn with an appetite for learning new things, experiencing the world around me, and communicating with all types of people. I plan on graduating in May of 2013 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism and a minor in Sociology. Get to know me more and view my work at www.b-collins.com. Follow me on twitter @BriannaCCollins


Give Dad a Beer of the Month Club Fathers Day Gift

Fathers Day is next Sunday and there's no better gift than a Beer of the Month Club subscription. I've ordered annual subscriptions from Clubs of America as a birthday and Christmas gift for my husband. He really enjoyed the microbrewed beers and was bummed when the subscription expired.

What's great about the Beer of the Month Club subscriptions at Clubs of America is you can choose from 1 to 12 months, or ongoing subscriptions. The cost is $42.95 per month and includes 12 bottles of freshly brewed craft beer.

In case you're wondering that breaks down to $3.58 per bottle. Not a bad price for unique and rare microbrew beer. Best of all, every shipment includes the finest domestic varieties from all over the United States.

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Each month, your dad will receive three bottles each of four varieties freshly brewed in small batches for Clubs of America members. Recent selections have included IPA and Turbo Dog Lager from Abita Brewery in Louisiana and White Ale and Oatmeal Stout from Millstream Brewery in Iowa. My husband's all-time favorite was the Snake River Zonker Stout.

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Club members also receive Beer Expeditions; a monthly newsletter that explores handcrafted beer. Better yet, shipping is free and beer is backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

If your dad isn't a beer man, Clubs of America also offers wine, cigars, coffee, pizza, fruit, chocolate, and flowers. Of course, many of these are also very appealing to moms and make a fantastic Mothers Day gift.

It's super easy to order Beer of the Month Club as a Fathers Day Gift.

Just click here, select the membership length, month to start, and delivery schedule and you're all set.

 

Disclosure: The Cheap Gourmet blog earns revenue as an affiliate for Clubs of America when our visitors make a purchase. This income lets us continue to operate this blog and provide information and resources at no cost. Thank you for shopping with our carefully selected merchant partners.