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How To Save Money When Eating Out With Your Family

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We are a family of 7 and enjoy eating out, but our budget doesn’t! I have come up with a few ideas that might help you (and me) save a little money, while still having the opportunity to get out, save the dishes and eat!

How To Save Money When Eating Out With Your Family

Follow the ‘Family Night’

Lots of restaurants, like Dennys, Boston Pizza, Montantas, Old Country Buffet, etc, have ‘Family Nights’ They are typically during the weekdays, but sometimes on Saturday and Sundays too. They usually offer FREE kids meals with a paid adults, or $0.99 kids meals. This can save about $10-$15 depending on where you go. Typically it is only good for as many adults as you have in your party. So not all of my kids will eat for free if just my hubby and I take them. This is a good time to treat grandma and grandpa out, for all the hard work they do! (byproduct: more kids meals are free and there are a couple extra sets of hands for holding babies).

Use Coupons

I don’t know about where you are, but we have the Entertainment book here. There are lots of 2-for-1 coupons for various restaurants. They are typically not the larger chain restaurants, but  family run establishments. This can save you up to $25+. If you go in group, you can gather more coupons, to get multiple meals free. Be sure to read the coupons, as there is usually a cap on how many you can use (2-3 at most places). (byproduct: support smaller, family run establishments and try out new places).

Some kids menus are amazing (I like the Olive Garden one personally), but others are kind of ‘gimmicky’. They also may not fill up older children, or be way too much food for the little guys. If your son will only eat a baked potatoe, and won’t touch the burger, just order a side, skip the $$, and the wasted food. (byproduct: getting kids used to not always having the kids meals may help you in the future. Flexibility is good.)

Share Meals

MANY restaurants have HUGE adult portions. Why not share an adult meal with your preschooler, or have two older kids share one adult size meal, instead of 2 kids meals? (usually cheaper, but not always). One thing we often do is order an appetizer to share and order a main meal to share with 2-4 people. Be sure to do some quick math to ensure you really are saving money. (byproduct: you might actually eat a more appropriate portion size, if this is a concern of yours).

Skip The Drinks

Is is just me, or has the cost of a pop at a restaurant gone up incredibly over the past decade? Typically a pop is around $3. Sometimes the kids have one included, but if you are skipping the kid’s menu, be sure to watch the drinks. For a family of 5, that’s $15 you can save, simply by drinking water! (byproduct: I certainly don’t want to get stuck on calories, but obviously pop is not the most healthy option).

Don’t Be Afraid To Complain

I hesitate putting this on the list, because I don’t think it should be relied on as a way to save money, but I do want to remind our readers of their options. Honestly, I have been to restaurants that I regretted eating at. The food was cold, it came with the wrong toppings, was made incorrectly or at different times from the rest of your family. You have a right to tell the server, and maybe even the manager, that you were not satisfied, why and how it will affect your eating out in the future. Restaurants will usually compensate you for your inconvenience in hopes of earning a second chance at your business. (byproduct: restaurants, especially smaller businesses, can learn from your experiences and work on improving for future customers. If you leave unhappy and don’t help them improve, they may have lost a customer, and losing customers is not a good way to have a successful business).

Do The Surveys

Tying in to the previous point, restaurants WANT FEEDBACK. Many people are not comfortable giving negative feedback in person, so many restaurants have implemented surveys at the bottom (or back) of the receipt. The other day at McDonalds with my son (I know, I know), I saw a man get a full sandwich for free, simply because he went online and did a survey about his previous meal. Savings will vary, many will give a appetizer, and some will enter you in a draw for a gift card. (byproduct, help the business improve for the future).

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Cooking Recipes

Raspberry Cranberry Jello Salad

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My sister made a Raspberry Cranberry Jello Salad for Thanksgiving that I thought would be perfect for Christmas because of the beautiful dark red or burgundy color.

After I received the recipe, I was also impressed with how easy it is to make.

It only takes 3 ingredients!

My sister put it in a circular mold that she had sprayed with cooking spray.

We still had a hard time having it slide out of the mold, so we slid a knife around the upper edge to loosen it from the mold and then let it sit in warm water for probably about 30 seconds.

I was nervous that it was too long in the water, but when we turned it upside down, it slid out perfectly.

Also make sure that you put it right on the plate where you want it before you tip it upside down as you will not be able to re position it.

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5 Tips to Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee at Home (#5 Is the Best)

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If you have the best coffee grinder for cold brew, then every season is cold brew season.

And every day is cold brew day. I’m sure you would agree with me.

When you can stay cool and satisfy your caffeine cravings without stepping foot outside, why not do that!

So here are 5 tips to make delicious cold brew coffee at home.

And let’s not forget about the money you’d be saving too! An exquisite cup of homemade brew, served with ice, might not be easy to prepare.

So a little help at such times can go a long way!

You can take my word for it. Words in the form of 5 Tips to Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee at Home!

But before that, let’s set the foundation right.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

More often than not, iced coffee is either brewed slowly in the refrigerator or cold brewed.

The result of both methods is a cup of cold, low-acid, and smooth coffee.

In short, a perfectly delicious brew! But many people like brewing it hot and quick. Using the coffee maker or French Press of course!

The best part about cold brew coffee is that it’s an ideal drink for summer.

Here are the cold brew coffee benefits I think you should know.

Although don’t forget to set limits regarding the consumption.

The coffee might be deliciously cold on a hot day.

But you can’t and shouldn’t drink too many cups.

Also, only coffee lovers know how expensive it is to support the cold brew habit.

Now there’s no denying that professional cold brew coffee offers an unparalleled taste.

5 Tips to Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Cold brewing appliances are one too many.

So you can easily buy such a device for preparing homemade cold brew.

But, to be honest, a fancy arrangement is not necessary.

Instead, you can do a lot with just a sieve, coffee, and water.

But if you want my honest opinion, here it is.

The French Press technique is the easiest. The method is very simple.

All you have to do is grind the coffee and add cold water. Then let the French Press sit overnight.

But there are always ways to up your cold brew game at home.

So to expose your taste buds to the exact flavor and taste, why not infuse these tips into the procedure too!

#1 Tweak the Water to Coffee Ratio

A strong brew is how it should be. Cause you might want to add milk or cream later.

You probably already know that the water to coffee ratio varies.

But you can stick to a ratio between 8:1 and 4:1. Feel free to tweak this ratio based on your personal tastes and preferences.

#2 Experiment with Different Types of Coffee

Trying different beans is no harm.

Most cold brew coffee recipes have you reach for the medium or dark roast.

But that doesn’t mean you cannot experiment with other kinds of coffees and roasts.

After all, it’s the only way to figure out what you like. Even if that’s the light roast!

However, keep in mind what you’re brewing. So you don’t forget what you’ve already tried.

#3 Experiment with the Grind

Do you know what’s the common denominator between cold and hot brew? It’s a well-balanced grind. And this brings the burr grinder into the picture.

Grinding your coffee fairly coarse is a norm for most people. But don’t hesitate to play around a little in this field.

There’s no harm in experimenting here. To achieve the taste your taste buds are waiting to appreciate.

Just keep this mind though. That when the grind is too fine, the taste becomes more sour and bitter.

#4 Filter the Cold Brew

Delicious cold brew coffee is silky smooth and dark.

So when using French Press, filter the brew just one more time.

Pour it through the device’s coffee filter. This makes sure that all the coffee ground sediments are eliminated.

#5 Add Coffee-Infused Ice Cubes

The thing about cold brew is that it’s cold already.

But you can always have it the colder way too. In that case, why not add some ice cubes!

However, wouldn’t that dilute your cup? Of course, it would. So how about adding some coffee-infused ice cubes instead?

When it comes to coffee, there’s always room for this kind of experimentation.

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Cooking Recipes

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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An easy Mini Pumpkin Pie recipe which is perfect for the holidays or anytime you want some (pumpkin) spice in your life.

With the holiday season around the corner, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes.

Pumpkin pie is a holiday tradition in our home, but I don’t wait to serve it just for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

No, I make it all year round.

I love it that much!

My favorite thing to do is to make mini pies, as the kids love them, and it’s an easy dessert for them to help make!

This recipe is very simple, and is very delicious.

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

What you will need:

  • 2 can Pumpkin puree (not the pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 each ground ginger & nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups of half & half
  • 24 – 36 mini tart shells

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