Fast Food http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2658/all en-US Here's How Much More You're Paying for These 6 Convenience Buys http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_drinking_coffee_484171745.jpg" alt="Woman paying more for convenience buys" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes it makes sense to trade money in exchange for saving time. I could buy wheat, mill it into flour myself, and make my own bread for less than the price of a loaf of bread at the store. This would save me a little money, but it would could cost me a lot of time. Convenience is sometimes worth paying the extra money.</p> <p>Most of the things we buy could be considered &quot;convenience items&quot; to some extent. Why buy jelly when you could buy fruit and make your own for less? Because buying jelly is a lot more convenient than the hard work and time it would take to make it yourself.</p> <p>But at some point, the value obtained from buying convenience items diminishes. One grocery store actually sold pre-peeled oranges at $5.99 per pound, which works out to about $3 per orange. Would you pay around $2.50 extra to buy an orange that is already peeled? You'll need to decide for yourself how much you are willing to pay for convenience.</p> <p>Here are some convenience buys that may not be worth the extra money.</p> <h2>1. Bottled Water</h2> <p>You can fill your own bottle with water at home for less than one cent, but buying a bottle of water costs over $1 &mdash; 100 times more! Most bottled water is sourced from city drinking water supplies, so it is often no better than your own tap water from home.</p> <p><strong>The cost of convenience</strong>: 10,000% extra</p> <h2>2. Vending Machine Items</h2> <p>You can get all kinds of convenient single serving items at a vending machine: candy bars, granola bars, cookies, packs of gum. Most of these items could be obtained for half the price at a grocery store or discount store. Instead of feeding your money to the vending machine, buy snack items in bulk on sale at the grocery or discount store and pocket the savings. Just be sure to pace yourself so you don't consume your snack supply too fast!</p> <p><strong>The cost of convenience</strong>: 100% extra</p> <h2>3. Prepared Fruits and Vegetables</h2> <p>Grocery stores offer convenient containers of prepared fruit and vegetables starting at about $5 per pound. These item are washed, peeled, sliced, and ready-to-eat. But how much is this convenience costing you?</p> <p>Let's take a container of pre-sliced carrots and celery as an example. This prepared item costs $5 per pound, while whole carrots and celery stalks cost about $1 per pound. Paying $4 extra for something I could do myself in a few minutes does not seem like a good value to me. I have started keeping a bowl of carrots and celery in the refrigerator that I prepare myself for healthy and economical snacks.</p> <p><strong>The cost of convenience</strong>: 400% extra</p> <h2>4. Convenient Coffee</h2> <p>Lots of people pick up their morning coffee at a coffee shop, fast food place, or convenience store. I used to do this too until I realized I could make better coffee at home for less than half the cost. Now, I grind whole coffee beans just before brewing, and use a thermal travel mug to take coffee on my commute. The total cost is about 60 cents for a 16 oz mug. I find that making my own coffee takes only a few minutes and is more convenient than driving somewhere and waiting in line to pick it up anyway.</p> <p>Some people use single-serve pods in convenient coffee brewing machines instead of handling coffee grounds or beans, but these pods cost at least twice as much to brew the same amount of coffee.</p> <p><strong>The cost of convenience</strong>: 230% extra</p> <h2>5. Single Serve Beverages</h2> <p>It is shocking how much more expensive it is to buy milk and soda in smaller bottles. At my grocery store, milk costs $3.49 per gallon. The same milk costs $1.39 for a 16 oz. bottle. The cost per gallon for the milk in the smaller bottle works out to $11.12 gallon!</p> <p>A two liter bottle of soda often sells for about $2, while a 20 oz. bottle of the exact same soda sells for $1.89. You would have to buy $6.29 of soda in 20 oz. bottles to get two liters of soda.</p> <p>The best way to avoid paying a lot more for the convenience of a smaller serving size is to buy the large size and use your own cups or containers to make individual servings.</p> <p><strong>The cost of convenience</strong>: 220% extra</p> <h2>6. Hot Sandwiches</h2> <p>When you are tired and hungry, it is almost impossible to resist immediate access to a hot sandwich. That is why ready-to-eat hot food items are so popular at convenience stores and fast food drive through windows. But as usual, convenience comes at a cost. At around $4, a ready-to-eat hot sandwich costs about twice as much as homemade.</p> <p>Try to bring some transportable snacks such as apples, bananas, or a granola bar with you to help you make it home without picking up a hot sandwich on the way.</p> <p><strong>The cost of convenience</strong>: 100% extra</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-much-more-youre-paying-for-these-6-convenience-buys">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work">7 Starbucks Savings Hacks That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-descalers">The 5 Best Descalers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffeemakers">The 5 Best Coffeemakers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-coffee-grinders">The 5 Best Coffee Grinders</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bottled water coffee convenience buys Fast Food pre-cut vegetables vending machines Tue, 03 Jan 2017 11:00:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1865737 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Restaurant Secret Menu Items That'll Actually Save you Money http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-secret-menu-items-thatll-actually-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-restaurant-secret-menu-items-thatll-actually-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_68368369_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="order these secret menu items to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed">secret menus at restaurants</a> and fast food joint is not a new concept. Items that might not be on the regular menu, but yet are ordered by savvy eaters who are &quot;in the know.&quot; Could be just a small twist on a popular item, or better yet, it could be a secret menu item that'll actually save you some money, or give you more food for your greenbacks. Here are nine such items that you just might need to add to your fast food vernacular.</p> <h2>1. Poor Man's Big Mac at McDonald's</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/mcdouble.html">McDouble</a>, also known as the &quot;poor man's Big Mac,&quot; is a must-order for the frugal minded dining at McDonald's. To make it happen, you need to order a McDouble, which is a burger with two beef patties and a slice of cheese in the middle. Next, politely ask them to hold the pickles and ketchup, and add lettuce, onion, and secret sauce to your burger. The result is essentially a Big Mac for about $1.39, compared to $3.99 for an actual Big Mac. The only thing missing is the bun stuck in the middle, but who really needs that anyway, right?</p> <h2>2. Order Meat &quot;Half &amp; Half&quot; at Chipotle</h2> <p>If you want to get a bigger burrito at Chipotle, consider asking for half chicken and half steak. Or whatever meat combo you like. By doing this, you'll inevitably get more protein in your wrap. The idea here is that the burrito artist behind the counter tries to get a half scoop of each but more often than not, you get over a half-scoop of each. I've personally seen this phenomena happen, and while not scientific, it's a great way to get more chow without paying extra.</p> <h2>3. Order Both Bean-Types at Chipotle</h2> <p>Similar to the above meat example, if you want an even bigger burrito at Chipotle, order both pinto and black beans. Apparently, you'll typically end up with 92% more beans and a 16% bigger burrito overall. Want even more food? Do the same thing with rice and order both white and brown and you'll get 93% more rice on average.</p> <h2>4. Grande Americano in a Tall Cup at Starbucks</h2> <p>If you're looking for the cheapest caffeine fix available at Starbucks, and you only want a &quot;Tall&quot; sized drink, try this hack. Order a &quot;Grande&quot;<a href="http://www.starbucks.com/coffee/espresso/americano-beverages"> Americano</a>, but ask for it in a &quot;Tall&quot; sized cup. You'll get three shots of espresso, instead of two that comes with a &quot;Tall,&quot; and you'll be charged less than if you ordered a &quot;Tall with an extra shot.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Iced Coffee With &quot;Half-Ice&quot; at Starbucks</h2> <p>Have you ever noticed how much ice Starbucks baristas add to your iced coffee drinks? By the time they're done adding ice, there is barely any room for your actual drink. Heck, they've even&nbsp;<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2016/05/02/starbucks-faces-5m-lawsuit-over-amount-ice-in-its-iced-beverages/">recently been sued</a> over this issue. To fight against this, try asking for &quot;half-ice&quot; when placing your next order. Most baristas will happily reduce the amount of frozen water added to your drink leaving you more coffee goodness.</p> <h2>6. Cheap Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks</h2> <p>A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.starbucks.com/menu/drinks/tea/chai-latte">Chai Latte</a> at Starbucks will cost you about $4 for the Grande size. But if you simply order the same sized Chai Tea for about $2 &mdash; which is just hot water and a Tazo tea bag &mdash; you can create your own latte. To make it happen, you can either add the milk yourself, or better yet, most baristas will give you some steamed milk for free, up to one and half inches, to be exact.</p> <h2>7. Don't Buy Bottled Water From Starbucks</h2> <p>Whenever I see someone buying a bottle of water at Starbucks, I have to shake my head and fight the temptation to inform them they're wasting money. This is because the ice water they'll give you for free is triple-filtered and tastes great.</p> <h2>8. Order the &quot;Old Cut&quot; at Subway</h2> <p>Consider ordering an&nbsp;<a href="http://hackthemenu.com/subway/secret-menu/old-cut/">Old Cut sub at Subway</a> and get more toppings for free. This cut refers to how the sandwich artist slices the bread. Back in the day, they would cut a small notch, or v-cut, from the top of the bread and re-add it after the sandwich was made. This is known as the &quot;Old Cut&quot; and many Subway employees will still cut the bread for you this way. While this cut won't get you more meat and cheese, you can absolutely get more toppings as they won't fall off the side of the sub. Order the &quot;Old Cut&quot; and pile the toppings high.</p> <h2>9. &quot;Extra Everything&quot; at In-N-Out Burger</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to live in a state that has an In-N-Out Burger location, this menu hack is for you. Consider politely ordering your next burger &quot;Extra Everything&quot; and they'll happily load your burger with extra lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and onions. I've actually seen a diner do this and order a free package of spread (used as salad dressing) and create a small side salad with all the extra veggies.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-secret-menu-items-thatll-actually-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-eating-out-cheaply">Tips For Eating Out Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink Fast Food Food menu items restaurant hacks restaurants secret menu items Fri, 04 Nov 2016 10:30:09 +0000 Kyle James 1826530 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_food_18186835.jpg" alt="Woman using meal planning sites to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Meal planning is a necessity to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-30-ways-to-save-money-on-groceries">save money on groceries</a>, and avoid the fast food drive-thru. However, if you are anything like me, the idea of sitting down each week to plan your meals does not sound exciting. These six meal planning sites take the time and guesswork out of making grocery lists and deciding what to make each week.</p> <h2>1. 5 Dinners 1 Hour</h2> <p>I am a big fan of <a href="http://5dinners1hour.com/">5 Dinners 1 Hour</a>. The site offers a variety of plans, including classic, clean eating, paleo, and gluten-free. With this site, the meals are already planned out for you, and the goal is to assemble five dinners in one hour at the start of your week. Each month is a new menu, and you can reuse past menus, as well.</p> <p>This meal plan is very organized. The printable shopping list is convenient, and each meal has a designated letter, so if you don't want a certain meal, you will easily know which items to cross off the shopping list. It takes me about two hours to shop and complete meal prep, but of course this is with two little ones nearby.</p> <p>Most of the meals have been delicious, while others were bland. However, it has been convenient to have all of the week's dinners in the fridge and ready to go at the start of the week. Some meals are marked as freezable, so I always double up on those so I can build up my freezer stash without much more effort on my part.</p> <h2>2. Plan to Eat</h2> <p><a href="https://www.plantoeat.com/">Plan to Eat</a> cuts the time it takes to establish a grocery list and meal plan. You integrate your favorite recipes either by hand, by file, or through your favorite online recipes. The site will take a meal your find via search or link and transform it into a shopping list and meal plan.</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend?ref=seealso">Save Time and Money With Batch Cooking</a>)</p> <p>Plan to Eat also allows you to plan every meal &mdash; not just dinner. This is helpful for those who want to know what exactly they will need throughout the week for groceries. Another nifty thing about this site is that you can keep a freezer inventory on the side, and plan <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-easy-to-freeze-meals">meals from the freezer</a>.</p> <h2>3. Once a Month Meals</h2> <p>I love making a batch of freezer meals, because it means only cleaning up one big mess per month. <a href="https://onceamonthmeals.com/">Once a Month Meals</a> used to be free when I started using the site many years ago. They now charge a subscription fee, but they have also updated their site to include multiple menu plans and better technology to incorporate and change your monthly meal planning.</p> <p>The site does a great job of adding variety and organizing everything needed to assemble meals, but it is a huge undertaking. When I have done this site's plans in the past, it has taken me a whole day to shop and assemble meals.</p> <h2>4. Dinner Daily</h2> <p><a href="https://thedinnerdaily.com/">Dinner Daily</a> plans come with five select dinners each week, along with a shopping list and links to printable coupons to save money on that week's grocery haul. Most of the meals selected take 20-35 minutes to make, which is great when you are short on time. Dinner Daily has quite a few plans, but no specialty-diet plans, such as paleo, gluten-free, or dairy-free.</p> <h2>5. eMeals</h2> <p><a href="https://emeals.com/">eMeals</a> has the biggest variety of menu types and is recommended by finance guru, Dave Ramsey. The site offers plans from paleo, slow cooking, diabetic-friendly, low carb, vegetarian, and more. You are not stuck with one menu type, and you can change based on your preference. I appreciate that the plans come in two formats: family-size or servings for two. Even though we are a family of four, the two littles don't eat enough to count, so it's nice not to waste food.</p> <h2>6. The Fresh 20</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thefresh20.com/">The Fresh 20</a> is a unique meal planning site that creates plans based off 20 ingredients per week (plus pantry staples). The goal of this site is to help reduce food waste and help others eat healthier. However, this site does not allow you to change plans and does not have as much flexibility and customization as the other sites listed.</p> <p>All of the meal plans come with menu samples or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-psychology-of-free-and-its-power-over-you">free trials</a>, so be sure to try a few out to see what works best for you. The best meal planning site is one that you'll actually use.</p> <p><em>Which meal planning sites have you tried? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-brown-bagging-it-better-than-buying-lunch">15 Ways to Make Brown Bagging It Better Than Buying Lunch</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-booze-teaches-us-about-money">What Booze Teaches Us About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-dinner-no-meal-planning-required">8 Ways to Save on Dinner — No Meal Planning Required</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink eat better eat healthy Fast Food healthy eating meal planning meal planning sites saving money Tue, 13 Sep 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1791532 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chick_fil_a_20495862.jpg" alt="Learning ways to score free food at Chick-fil-A" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before they put a Chick-fil-A in my neighborhood, my taste buds and waistline didn't know what they were missing. Now that I have a Chick-fil-A nearby, it is hard to resist the delicious food, but even more so the amazing customer service.</p> <p>As much as I love Chick-fil-A, I do not love that it costs almost $30 to feed my family of four. So I have rounded up the best tips to get discounted and free food at Chick-fil-A. No need to send me a thank-you note &mdash; a Chick-fil-A gift card will do just fine.</p> <h2>1. Use the Calendar Card Once a Month</h2> <p>At the end of each year, Chick-fil-A sells calendars for the upcoming year. These calendars have promo cards attached to them. Each month, they offer one free food item. These cards come with six mystery offers (usually for a full-price salad or sandwich) and six disclosed offers, which are usually for a large drink or fry.</p> <p>I did not find out about these counter cards until last month. However, I was still able to hop onto eBay and purchase two calendars and cards for $15.99. Despite only having them for two months and missing January through April's offers, I've already redeemed $20 worth of food and drinks.</p> <p>You are only able to have one card per customer, and to use one card per order. But, you are able to get a card for every member of your family! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed?ref=seealso">14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed</a>)</p> <h2>2. Download and Use the New Chick-fil-A One App</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A just released their new app, <a href="https://one.chick-fil-a.com/">One</a>, which allows you to earn points through your mobile phone. Also, if you download and sign up for the app before June 11, 2016, you will get a free sandwich. Not only will you be rewarded right away, but the app is very similar to Starbucks' rewards program. Scan your app every time you order Chick-fil-A, and you will earn credit toward free food. Also like the Starbucks' app, you can order ahead and pay with the Chick-fil-A app.</p> <h2>3. Dress Up for Cow Appreciation Day</h2> <p>This is one of the most well-known ways to get a free Chick-fil-A meal. Chick-fil-A holds a cow appreciation day each year in July. Individuals that dress partially like a cow will get a free entree. Those who don a full cow outfit will get a free meal. It is speculated that cow appreciation day 2016 will happen on July 8th.</p> <h2>4. Check Your Local Chick-fil-A Social Media</h2> <p>Check in with your local Chick-fil-A to know what special offers are going on. For example, many locations gave away free food to active and retired military during Memorial Day. Currently, my Chick-fil-A is giving away a free breakfast item every Wednesday morning in June, whereas the<a href="https://www.facebook.com/CFAWilloughby/"> Willoughby, Ohio Chick-fil-A</a> gave out free breakfast every Friday morning in May. Be sure to follow your local Chick-fil-A's social media accounts to be in the know, rather than the general Chick-fil-A accounts.</p> <h2>5. Buy a School Fundraiser Card</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A is also a big contributor to local schools and charities. Many times, they will contribute a free drink or another small freebie to fundraiser cards. For my area, Chick-fil-A offers a free frosted coffee with any purchase with the use of the school fundraiser card. I did pay $10 for this card, which also has many other local deals on it, but even if I just used it at Chick-fil-A, the card would have paid for itself in three trips.</p> <h2>6. Ask About Senior Discounts</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A's are individually owned and operated, but many locations have a senior discount for individuals 55 and older. Typical offers are a free drink or coffee, or a 10% discount. Check with your local restaurant to confirm.</p> <p>Not only is Chick-fil-A generous with their free food offers, they are one of the top restaurants that contributes to local communities. Take a closer look at Chick-fil-A, and you will see that they contribute quite a bit of money to local schools, charities, scholarships, and more. So while I will enjoy my free Chick-fil-A food, I will also gladly give them my &quot;dining out&quot; budget over another restaurant.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite thing to order from Chick-fil-A?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets">10 Ways to Get Free (or Almost Free) Airline Tickets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-cooking-apps-to-make-mealtimes-manageable">The 8 Best Cooking Apps to Make Mealtimes Manageable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink apps Chick-fil-a discounts Fast Food free food freebies promotions Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1733680 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Starbucks Savings Hacks That Actually Work http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_barista_coffee_000059553918.jpg" alt="Woman learning Starbucks savings hacks that actually work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Frugal folks like us tend to have a love-hate relationship with Starbucks. We love the tasty goodness of their beverages, but hate the high cost of something we can often do at home for pennies on the dollar. But I'm here to tell you that Starbucks doesn't have to be expensive if you can incorporate some clever money-saving hacks into your coffee routine.</p> <p>The best thing about these tips is they won't make you look cheap, and more importantly, they won't make the barista hate you.</p> <h2>1. Order a Tall in a Grande Cup</h2> <p>When ordering a regular cup of brewed <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-starbucks-drinks-you-can-easily-make-yourself" target="_blank">coffee at Starbucks</a>, and not a $5 milkshake, consider ordering a Tall coffee in a Grande cup. Not only will the barista happily oblige, but once they're done filling your cup, you'll often end up with close to a Grande serving size of coffee. Then you can add your milk or cream and end up with practically a full cup for less money. This obviously works for other sizes, too. For example, you could order a Grande coffee and ask for it in a Venti cup.</p> <p>So if you like to add cream or milk to your coffee, this is a great hack as you'll never have to make room for it by dumping out some coffee into the garbage can. Because no matter how much &quot;room&quot; you ask for, it never seems to be enough as Starbucks coffee is quite strong and many like it with a good amount of the white stuff.</p> <h2>2. Score Free Refills</h2> <p>A great hack that'll score you more coffee for less is to take advantage of<a href="http://customerservice.starbucks.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1882"> Starbuck's free refill policy</a>. To make it happen, simply sign up for their<a href="https://www.starbucks.com/card/rewards"> Rewards Program</a> and get free in-store refills on hot or cold brewed coffee or tea. Be warned, once you leave the Starbucks location, you can't come back in later and get your refill. I started taking advantage of their free refills last year and instead of drinking it, I'd refrigerate the second free cup for later. Then when I needed a pick-me-up in the afternoon, I'd use it make a tasty iced beverage.</p> <h2>3. Ask for &quot;Half Ice&quot;</h2> <p>The next time you order an iced beverage, consider asking for &quot;half ice.&quot; If you've ever seen a barista add ice to your cup, you know just how much frozen water they put in there. So by politely asking for less ice, you'll often end up with the next size beverage for free. While you might not always get half as much ice, must employees that I've seen will definitely add a little less to your cup.</p> <h2>4. Get Your Caffeine Fix With a &quot;Short&quot;</h2> <p>Most loyal Starbucks enthusiasts know the main cup sizes to be Tall, Grande, Venti, and Trenta. But are you aware that there is a fifth size called a &quot;Short?&quot; It's smaller (8 oz.) and cheaper than the 12 oz. Tall and an excellent way to get your caffeine fix on the cheap. For example, a Short cappuccino has the same amount of espresso as the Tall size. So if a caffeine pick-me-up is your main objective, ordering a Short is the cheapest route to go.</p> <h2>5. Split and Save</h2> <p>If you've ever ordered a &quot;Venti&quot; anything from Starbucks, you already know what an enormous size it is. Heck, it's so big, you can use the empty cup as a gas can if you like. So if you're driving through a Starbucks with your spouse or friend, and you're both craving the same cold drink, just order a Venti and politely ask if they can split it for you. While they'll typically not divide it for you, they'll always give you an empty cup so you can do it yourself.</p> <p>Let's do the math on this hack. A Venti Cold size comes in a 24 oz. cup. So if you split it, you each get 12 oz., which is just a bit smaller than the 14 oz. Grande. A Venti iced coffee will cost you around $2.95 where the smaller Grande will cost you $2.45. So after you've added a little creamer, you've essentially gotten two Grande sizes for about $1.50 each by splitting a Venti.</p> <h2>6. Bring Your Own Cup</h2> <p>If you&nbsp;<a href="http://customerservice.starbucks.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2463">bring in your own cup</a> to any Starbucks, you'll get $0.10 off your beverage, any size. They'll do the same thing if you bring in a competitor's cup, except they'll replace it with one of their own. Definitely not a huge savings, but it will add up over time, plus you keep a bunch of cups from ending up in the landfill.</p> <h2>7. Drinking With Friends?</h2> <p>The next time you're meeting up with friends at your local Starbucks, consider ordering a French Press to share. It usually comes in a 32 or 45 oz. size and the coffee beans are ground, poured, and plunged before being delivered to your table. You can typically get 6-8 normal sized cups of coffee out of a single press. Aside from the delicious fresh taste, the cost makes it a very attractive choice if everyone is drinking coffee. Expect to only have to pay in the $3.50 to $5 range, depending on the size of the press and the particular Starbucks location.</p> <p><em>How do you save money at Starbucks? Or do you just stay home and brew your own?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping baristas coffee Fast Food free refills hacks saving money Starbucks Mon, 16 May 2016 09:30:18 +0000 Kyle James 1706849 at http://www.wisebread.com The High Cost of Cheap Food http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000040083502_Large.jpg" alt="cheap food has shockingly high costs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Compared to most Americans, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">I spend a lot of money on food</a>, almost $100 per month just for fresh produce. But even my grocery bill pales in comparison to what the rest of the world spends on basic nutrition.</p> <p>Americans spend <em>less </em>money as a percentage of income on food than people of any other country in the world. On average, only <a href="http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-prices-and-spending.aspx">6% of our household budget</a> goes to pay for food, compared to the French, who eat through 14% of their income, or the Kenyans, who spend 45% of each paycheck on groceries.</p> <p>But even though it seems like we may be saving money on food compared to the rest of the world, what is the real cost of cheap eats? Let's find out.</p> <h2>It Costs Tax Payers 20 Billion Dollars Per Year</h2> <p>Although fresh produce is out of the budget range of many Americans, the sick irony is that food, especially packaged food, is cheaper in the United States than pretty much anywhere else in the world. This is because the cost of crops like corn is kept artificially low by the government.</p> <p>Food in the United States wasn't always this cheap, though. In 1960 our <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/03/02/389578089/your-grandparents-spent-more-of-their-money-on-food-than-you-do">grandparents were spending about 17.5%</a> of their income on food. Then, in the 1970s, Earl Butz, Nixon's Secretary of Agriculture, re-engineered New Deal farm programs that were meant to stabilize the food supply, into a support system for the factory farming of corn and soy.</p> <p>Starting in 1971, crops like corn, soy, and wheat started getting heavily subsidized &mdash; to the tune of 20 billion dollars a year. What this means is that corn farmers can make more money from their government subsidy than they do by actually selling corn. Of course, since farmers have such a wonderful incentive to grow corn, they grow lots and lots of it.</p> <h2>We Pay for Cheap Food Twice</h2> <p>So how do farmers dispose of their artificially cheap product, paid for, in part, by taxpayer dollars? By selling it to food manufacturers as filler, preservatives, and binding agents. Surprise! All those mystery ingredients listed on food packages like citric acid, fructose, sorbitol, dextrose, lactic acid, MSG, malt, and diglycerides are all corn byproducts. And, each of these non-food ingredients contains calories.</p> <h2>We End Up Spending More Money on Health Care</h2> <p>Documentary films like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017JLWVPY/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B017JLWVPY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SRYAPRKLX6ILCMPD">Super Size Me</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VRZEYM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B002VRZEYM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ILATPAZ6BC255M5L">Food Inc.</a> have spotlighted the health consequences of cheap food, especially on America's poor. But obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are not the only health problems linked to fast food. A Harvard Medical School study also found that <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/think-fast-when-kids-want-fast-food-201301315846">children who eat fast food</a> three times a week had increased risks of asthma and eczema.</p> <p>U.S. farmers actually produce the equivalent of <a href="http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.htm">3,800 calories per person</a> per day. This is at least <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/usda_food_patterns/EstimatedCalorieNeedsPerDayTable.pdf">1,000 calories more per day</a> than is recommended for people who are moderately active. So is it any wonder that Americans are fat?</p> <h2>It Causes Poverty and Hunger</h2> <p>As a result of NAFTA, Mexico has been flooded with cheap, government subsidized corn from the United States. Mexico, which is the birthplace of corn, now imports a third of its corn from America.</p> <p>There are some huge problems with other nations becoming dependent on subsidized American crops. First, Mexican corn farmers who were unable to compete against the artificially low cost of imported U.S. corn were forced out of business. Obviously, when farmers lose their farms, they don't grow food to eat, they don't grow food to sell, and without work, they have no money to buy food. Millions of Mexican farmers lost their jobs due to cheap, imported food. Also, when poor countries become dependent on cheap imported foods, they risk a food crisis when there is a price spike on staple foods. This can lead to widespread hunger, which is what happened in Mexico with corn in 2007 and in the Philippines with rice in 2008.</p> <h2>The Environmental Cost Is Staggering</h2> <p>To quote FDR, &quot;A nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.&quot; Farming is difficult and expensive, so many farmers are forced to max out production or go out of business. This 'go big or go broke' behavior is not financially or environmentally sustainable. Monoculture farming, although extremely efficient, burns through resources like water and topsoil. Commercial agriculture is currently <a href="http://modernfarmer.com/2015/07/ogallala-aquifer-depletion/">draining groundwater</a> in the Midwest about eight times faster than rain is putting it back in. This could lead to a second Dust Bowl.</p> <h2>Animals Pay the Price</h2> <p>If you forced a dog to live in a small box for its entire life, you could be arrested for animal cruelty and your neighbors would treat you like a pariah. What most people don't want to think about is that this kind of torture is the typical experience of <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/feature/belly-beast-meat-factory-farms-animal-activists">factory-farmed chickens, pigs, and cows</a>. Some animals will only see daylight on the day that they are slaughtered. Animal cruelty is the price of cheap meat.</p> <h2>The Working Conditions Are Terrible</h2> <p>Animals aren't the only ones that subsidize low food prices with their bodies. Last year an investigation by The Guardian revealed that much of the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/jun/10/supermarket-prawns-thailand-produced-slave-labour">shrimp that the U.S. imports from Thailand</a> was the work product of slaves. But slave labor doesn't just happen in the Third World. Thousands of farm workers in the United States work in very poor conditions. More than 1,200 people have been rescued from <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/08/26/139972669/the-unsavory-story-of-industrially-grown-tomatoes">agricultural slavery rings in Florida</a> alone.</p> <h2>You Risk Sickness</h2> <p>While Chipotle is blaming its multistate <a href="http://www.eater.com/2016/2/5/10922434/chipotle-e-coli-beef-australia">E. Coli outbreak on Australian beef</a>, it's frankly shocking that this type of mass food poisoning doesn't happen more often.</p> <p>For starters, it is common practice in the United States to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/12/we-feed-cows-chicken-poop">feed cows chicken poop</a>. Also, in order to cut costs, some slaughterhouses have managed to speed up their kill lines by 50%. Not only does this massive increase in volume result in more <a href="http://foodsafety.news21.com/2011/safety/inspection/feces/">food contamination from fecal matter</a>, but also more animal abuse and human rights violations. Stool run-off from factory farming, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in agribusiness parlance, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1817674/">pollute the water table</a> and create <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/28/AR2010022803978.html?sid=ST2010030100323">dead zones</a> in oceans and rivers.</p> <h2>We're Funding the Zombie Apocalypse</h2> <p>One of modern life's existential horrors is the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria caused by antibiotic overuse. So, while parents are becoming more selective about dosing their kids for minor illnesses, these same moms and dads are unaware that livestock in the United States &mdash; because the animals are constantly sick from a diet of garbage and from standing in their own waste &mdash; is pumped full of antibiotics. In fact, the FDA has confirmed that <a href="http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/02/fda-confirms-80-percent-of-antibiotics-used-in-animal-ag/#.Vx-nJqMrKRt">animal agriculture consumes 80% of all antibiotics</a> used in America. While meat producers argue that they are not breeding superbugs along with their livestock, a team of researchers from the <a href="http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/04/14/cid.cir181.full.pdf">Translational Genomics Research Institute</a> discovered that one in four packages of meat and poultry in the United States contains multidrug resistant staph bacteria.</p> <h2>What Can One Person Do?</h2> <p>Ugh. All of this is terrible. Is it actually possible to eat responsibly without going broke or supporting human trafficking? Here are some things to consider.</p> <h3>1. Don't Waste Food</h3> <p>When food goes to waste, you not only waste money, you waste all the water, fertilizer, and labor that went into growing the food and transporting it to your plate. So, even if you don't know if your food is ethically produced, you don't have to be the weakest link.</p> <h3>2. Eat Healthy on a Budget</h3> <p>Eating a really <a href="http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/3/12/e004277.full?sid=820d6e1a-280e-47a6-b8c5-498bfa4657e3">healthy diet costs $1.50 more per day</a> than eating an unhealthy diet. And $550 per year is a steep cost for many people, but compared to diet-related health costs, this is chump change. Every effort to eat healthy is a reward to your body, so just do as much as you can afford.</p> <p>Luckily, even people on food assistance can eat healthy. Leanne Brown created <a href="https://8b862ca0073972f0472b704e2c0c21d0480f50d3.googledrive.com/host/0Bxd6wdCBD_2tdUdtM0d4WTJmclU/good-and-cheap.pdf">Good and Cheap</a>, a free online cookbook for people living on the SNAP budget of $4 per day for food. The book is beautifully photographed and the recipes are delicious. Brown's recipes encourage flexibility &mdash; because staying on budget means cooking with what's on sale and available. She has made it easy to substitute ingredients and still prepare yummy meals.</p> <h3>3. Eat Less Meat</h3> <p>Livestock accounts for 18% of greenhouse gases. So one simple thing that everyone can do to slow down global warming is to eat less meat. Personally, my husband and I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">save a ton of money</a> by eating lower on the food chain. We are &quot;domestic vegetarians,&quot; who eat meatless, homemade meals during the week.</p> <h3>4. Drink Less Sugar</h3> <p>A recent study of school children in my neighborhood revealed that 40% of their calorie intake came from sugary beverages. (It should come as no surprise that childhood obesity is at epidemic levels in my area.) When this fact was brought to light, a number of families were able to make one healthy dietary change that also saves them hundreds of dollars every year: they started drinking tap water instead of soda.</p> <h3>5. Shop Seasonally</h3> <p>Buy in-season produce. If you see peaches at the grocery store in December, you can pretty much assume that fruit was grown outside of the country. You will pay extra for the shipping costs of your food, and the planet will pay the cost of the transport in the form of more pollution.</p> <p>Also, from a straight-up foodie standpoint, produce that must be transported is bred for shipping, not for flavor, which is why store-bought tomatoes are tasteless. In-season produce, which has been allowed to ripen on the plant or in the field, not only taste better than produce that was picked green, but is more nutritious.</p> <h3>6. Shop Locally</h3> <p>Support your local growers. It costs a lot of money to grow high quality food, sustainably. Even if you cannot afford to buy all your food locally, every little purchase counts, and all that money goes back to your own community. Also, it pays to ask around. I literally get tons of free backyard fruit donated to me every year by neighbors who can't eat through all their backyard produce and don't want it to go to waste. There are ways to find low cost food with a low carbon footprint pretty much everywhere. Just do what you can.</p> <p><em>Are you concerned about the impact of cheap food on the planet? What do you do to eat more responsibly?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-high-cost-of-cheap-food&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520High%2520Cost%2520of%2520Cheap%2520Food.jpg&amp;description=The%20High%20Cost%20of%20Cheap%20Food"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20High%20Cost%20of%20Cheap%20Food.jpg" alt="The High Cost of Cheap Food" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty budget meals Cheap Food dollar menus Fast Food food budget Health junk food Wed, 27 Apr 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1698447 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_eating_pizza_000021985984.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to stop the takeout meal cycle and save" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're trying to lean your budget or your waistline this year, eating too many meals out is a common offender. In fact, CNN recently reported that the average dinner at a non-chain restaurant comes in at a staggering&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/20/health/non-chain-restaurants-calories-fast-food/">1,200 calories</a>. While prices can range wildly depending on the eatery, the solution for better physical and financial health may be as simple as cooking more meals at home.</p> <p>My family decided to embark on a challenge and stop dining out last month. We survived and have a stack of cash to show for it. Yes! We estimate we saved around $75 (conservatively) each week by skipping takeout and getting better with our meal planning. About $50 of this money, probably more, came from shunning restaurants and $25 is what we shaved off each week's grocery bill, all while making enough food for hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners &mdash; seven days each week.</p> <p>Your results with this type of challenge will vary depending on how much you eat out, the cost of living in your area, and your creativity with using leftovers. Regardless, here are some tips that can help anyone to stop the takeout cycle today and save big. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now?ref=seealso">Try These 6 Money-Saving Challenges Now</a>)</p> <h2>Examine Your Habits</h2> <p>Get honest with yourself about your eating and restaurant habits. When we wrote it out, we realized we were grabbing takeout pizza on Friday night, scouting out brunch or lunch on Saturday or Sunday, and sneaking in at least another meal out every week. I say we were spending $50, but I'm sure the amount was closer to $75 at the rate we were going.</p> <p>Beyond that, we had a huge problem with food waste. I found myself tossing rotten fruits and veggies before our weekly grocery trip. We had expired cartons of yogurt nearly full and long-forgotten bags of whatever else going stale. The weirdest part? Our grocery bill was higher than ever. In better days, we tried to stick to around $80 to $100 for a family of three, but we were climbing at least $25 higher than that amount, all while feeling like we never had ideas for dinner. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer?ref=seealso">10 Fruits and Veggies That Stay Fresh a Month or Longer</a>)</p> <p>After facing the hard truth, it became crystal clear that we needed to put more effort into planning and preparing our meals to save money and create less waste.</p> <h2>Embrace the Plan</h2> <p>Meal planning has been the key to our success, and it hasn't taken much effort. Every week before shopping, I take stock of what we have in the fridge, freezer, and pantry. It sounds like a big job, but it probably takes five or 10 minutes. I figure out what meals we can make with those items first. Some of the ideas come from memory. Other times, I use sites like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.supercook.com/#/recipes">Supercook</a> to help with my creativity.</p> <p>Feeling intimidated? It helps to stick to basic breakfasts (oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, cereal, etc.), easy lunches (sandwiches, salads, and other things that can be made in bulk), and use tools like a slow cooker to make simmering satisfying dinners a breeze. We even do some&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">bulk cooking</a> to help when we're in a pinch. Example: I made a huge batch of freezer veggie burgers that we can grab on busy nights.</p> <h2>Shop Smart</h2> <p>After I account for all the leftover foods, I look up recipes or write down old favorites for the other nights in the week. What results is an awesomely organized grocery list. At the store, we only buy what we need, nothing additional. That's how food waste is made! And I'll tell you what, there's nothing more satisfying than ending the week with a near-empty fridge.</p> <p>We also found when we changed what day of the week we shop, we felt less compelled to grab takeout. For us, this meant heading to the store on Friday nights so our cabinets were packed with lots of exciting foods for the weekend. We had been shopping on Mondays, and with little in our reserves &mdash; that's when we'd venture out to takeout town. Now, making our meals and enjoying food together has even become one of our favorite sources of frugal entertainment.</p> <h2>Start Small</h2> <p>Does cooking absolutely everything at home sound too overwhelming? I admit, I have a high tolerance for being in the kitchen. If you don't &mdash; start small. You can get great results by replacing just one of your meals out each week. Maybe you can start by packing a lunch instead of buying out. Replacing your morning coffee and muffin habit with a homemade variety. Look for any and all opportunities and add on from there.</p> <p>If I had to choose just one, I would have started with our pizza takeout night. Making pizza at home doesn't take much skill. A plain pie at the place down the street costs around $14. To make dough ($1 for flour, yeast, and water) and top with sauce ($0.99 a jar) and cheese ($2.99 for a two-cup bag)? Well, that's more like $5 if you stick to the basics. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-make-restaurant-quality-pizza-at-home?ref=seealso">This Is How You Make Restaurant-Quality Pizza at Home</a>)</p> <h2>Resist Temptation</h2> <p>There were some tricky moments we encountered along the way. For example, our friends came down to visit and asked us if we wanted to buzz out to get some dinner with them randomly one afternoon. I felt paralyzed and slightly embarrassed, but I told them the truth: We'd love to get together, I shared, but we have some big budget goals this year, and eating out doesn't fit into the puzzle right now. Plus, we had already started cooking dinner.</p> <p>Guess what? It was no biggie. They came over to our place, we hung out for several hours, and they even told us our Crock-Pot dinner smelled amazing. For us, temptation usually comes when we're lazy about planning or when we get social pressure. We know this now. Your own triggers might be different. Be aware of them. Be honest about your goals. And get cooking.</p> <p><em>Did you break your takeout cyclc? What worked for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-easiest-food-budget-wins">The 9 Easiest Food Budget Wins</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-restaurant-menus-are-designed-to-make-you-spend-more">9 Ways Restaurant Menus Are Designed to Make You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-you-can-cut-grocery-expenses-today">13 Ways You Can Cut Grocery Expenses Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping eating out Fast Food food waste groceries meal planning restaurants Takeout Mon, 29 Feb 2016 11:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1659930 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Buy With Your Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_000077026409.jpg" alt="Woman learning things she should never buy with a credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a big temptation: Your pockets are empty, and you desperately need that morning coffee to get through that commute. But don't do it &mdash; don't take that credit card out of your pocket. If you can't pay for that latte with cash, skip it and drink from the free coffeepot at work.</p> <p>It's easy to pay for purchases with credit cards. Maybe too easy. But there are some items that you should <em>never</em> pay for with a credit card. Why? There are always better ways to pay for these items, whether they are small, everyday purchases or big-ticket buys.</p> <p>Here are five items for which you should never rely on plastic.</p> <h2>1. Medical Bills</h2> <p>Facing a big medical bill from your doctor? Don't use your credit card to pay for it. Instead, ask your medical provider to set up an installment payment plan for you. Most medical providers will do this, and the interest rates that they charge (if any) will be lower than the rates attached to your credit card.</p> <h2>2. Income Taxes</h2> <p>If you owe taxes, you <em>do </em>have the option of paying them with your credit card. Again, though, there's a better choice. If you owe thousands of dollars to the government, contact the IRS and ask for an installment plan.</p> <p>To be eligible for such a plan, you must owe less than $50,000 and be current on your income tax filings. You must also be able to pay what you owe within 72 months.</p> <p>This isn't free, of course. The IRS will charge you interest on the money you owe and a late payment penalty, usually at 0.5% a month. But even with these fees, you're better off financially than you would be if you turned to your credit card to pay your taxes.</p> <h2>3. Unsecure Online Purchases</h2> <p>The new EMV credit cards, embedded with a computer chip, are supposed to make in-person credit card transactions safer. But these cards don't offer much protection against online credit card fraud. So be careful when you use your card to make online purchases.</p> <p>And don't ever use your card on websites that aren't secured.</p> <p>Look for &quot;https&quot; at the beginning of a site's URL in your browser. If that's not present, and the site starts instead with &quot;http&quot; (with no &quot;s&quot; at the end), don't buy from it. Such websites aren't secure, and it's far easier for criminals to steal your credit card information from them.</p> <h2>4. Big Vacations</h2> <p>We all deserve a break from the working world. An exotic vacation can provide just that. But save the money for it first.</p> <p>It's easy to rack up thousands of dollars of credit card debt on a single trip if you charge hotels, gas, meals, and visits to museums and amusement parks. Don't fall into this trap: If you save for your vacation, and stick to a planned budget while you're traveling, you'll feel much more relaxed when you return.</p> <p>If you don't, opening that huge credit card bill will make you yearn for yet another vacation.</p> <h2>5. College Tuition</h2> <p>Worried about paying for your college tuition? Join the crowd. But don't rely on your credit cards to help foot the bill.</p> <p>The interest rates on student loans are typically lower than those attached to credit cards. Many schools will even charge you an additional fee when you pay your tuition with a credit card.</p> <p>If you're worried about paying for your college education, meet with your school's' financial aid office. In addition to helping you find low-interest-rate student loans, the staffers there should be able to help you hunt for scholarships or grants that could reduce your tuition burden.</p> <p><em>What do you refuse to purchase with a credit card?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520You%2520Should%2520Never%2520Buy%2520With%2520Your%2520Credit%2520Card_1.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Buy%20With%20Your%20Credit%20Card"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Things%20You%20Should%20Never%20Buy%20With%20Your%20Credit%20Card_1.jpg" alt="5 Things You Should Never Buy With Your Credit Card" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">The Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card with this Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-credit-card-transactions-that-dont-earn-rewards">4 Credit Card Transactions That Don&#039;t Earn Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-too-much-money-for-a-college-fund-is-a-bad-idea">Why Saving Too Much Money for a College Fund Is a Bad Idea</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-turn-credit-card-rewards-into-real-wealth">5 Ways to Turn Credit Card Rewards Into Real Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Fast Food medical bills online shopping small expenses taxes travel tuition Tue, 23 Feb 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Dan Rafter 1658859 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Quit Fast Food http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-quit-fast-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-quit-fast-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fast_food_000023537421.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to quit fast food forever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on how to never eat fast food again, saving on holiday shopping, and items you&rsquo;ll probably forget to pack for holiday travel.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-never-eat-fast-food-again-in-6-easy-steps">How to Never Eat Fast Food Again in 6 Easy Steps</a> &mdash; Plan ahead so you won't need to resort to fast food. Pack healthy snacks or have other food choices in mind when you know you'll be out and about. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/gift-ideas/">How to Save on Holiday Shopping (Without Being a Scrooge)</a> &mdash; Tune in to Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST for a discussion on frugal gifting this holiday season. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/What-Should-I-Pack-Holidays-39193485#photo-39193485">13 Items You're Probably Forgetting to Pack For the Holidays</a> &mdash; A comfy neck pillow is a must for long car rides and flights. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/1220/A-new-Apple-Watch-is-coming.-Should-you-buy-a-deal-now-or-wait">A new Apple Watch is coming. Should you buy a deal now or wait?</a> &mdash; Odds are the price of the older version of the Apple Watch will drop in the coming months. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://shopperstrategy.com/2015/12/21/10-tips-to-help-you-have-a-wonderful-new-years-eve-on-a-budget/">10 Tips to Help You Have a Wonderful New Year&rsquo;s Eve on a Budget</a> &mdash; Ask your guests to bring their favorite foods and drinks. [Shopper Strategy]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/how-to-save-money/make-holiday-gifts-look-amazing-cheap/65410">How to Make Your Holiday Gifts Look Amazing on the Cheap</a> &mdash; Dress up your gifts with inexpensive garlands from the dollar store. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2015/12/21/9-gifts-that-keep-on-giving-all-year-long/">9 Gifts That Keep On Giving All Year Long</a> &mdash; A subscription for a streaming service will allow your giftee to watch their favorite shows all year long. [Forbes]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/year-end-health-moves-for-better-financial-fitness/">Year-End Health Moves for Better Financial Fitness</a> &mdash; If you're eligible to open a Health Savings Account, do so and start contributing today. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/5-simple-tactics-never-let-people-intimidate/">5 Simple Tactics to Never Let People Intimidate You Again</a> &mdash; Nourish your self-confidence by learning to say &quot;no&quot;. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/7-simple-things-to-turn-a-bad-day-around">7 Simple Things To Turn a Bad Day Around</a> &mdash; Immerse yourself in a hobby. Doing something you enjoy can make you feel better in no time! [Change Your Thoughts]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-quit-fast-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed">14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work">7 Starbucks Savings Hacks That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips Fast Food Tue, 22 Dec 2015 20:00:03 +0000 Amy Lu 1625190 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Restaurant Apps Hurt Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-restaurant-apps-hurt-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-restaurant-apps-hurt-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_coffee_smartphone_000060399452.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways restaurant apps hurt her wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Craving a Chipotle chorizo burrito but not in the mood to wait behind an entire softball team of customers, or suffer through a noisy phone call just to place an order? Why not order your burrito through an app on your smartphone, pay for it on the same device, and then pick up your already-made dinner at your nearest Chipotle?</p> <p>With the Chipotle app &mdash; available for both Android and iPhone devices &mdash; you can do all of this. And that might actually be a problem. Depending on your willpower, mobile apps make it too easy to overspend on everything from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-foods-scientifically-proven-to-make-you-happier">Starbucks coffee</a> to Chick-fil-A sandwiches.</p> <p>Restaurant apps let you pay for your order through a credit card or gift card that you've already linked to the app. That's convenient, and it removes a lot of the hassle from ordering a take-out meal. But when you order a meal through your phone, without even having to take your credit card out of your wallet, it's easy to forget that you're still spending real money. Here are five ways restaurant apps can make you spend way more than you think you'll save.</p> <h2>1. Upselling and Tempting</h2> <p>Restaurant apps often remember your favorite meals and flash them on the screen when you log onto the app. Other apps will suggest side items that you can order &mdash; like fries or a soft drink &mdash; that you might not have ordered without the extra prompt.</p> <p>For example, Wendy's offers a surprisingly sophisticated app. Through it you can set up a My Wendy's account that you can fill with funds from a Wendy's gift card or one of your credit cards. You can then use the app to find your nearest Wendy's, order a round of Frosty desserts, and pay for your eats without having to slip a bill or credit card to a cashier. The app generates a six-digit code that you show to a cashier to claim your meal.</p> <h3>Be Smarter Than the App</h3> <p>Plan your order and your meal budget ahead of time so you can avoid falling for the tasty impulse buys they offer you throughout the checkout process.</p> <h2>2. Bribing Through Loyalty Programs</h2> <p>Many restaurant apps keep you coming back for more by letting you build up points every time you order through them. Build up enough points and you might earn a free coffee or sandwich. That's fine, too, unless the points encourage you to spend more in take out under the mistaken belief that you're actually saving money by doing so.</p> <h3>Be Smarter Than the App</h3> <p>Unless this is a restaurant you know you'll eat at frequently (like if your office is right next door), then you probably won't be able to cash in on the loyalty rewards, anyway.</p> <h2>3. Offering Tipping Points</h2> <p>The Starbucks app for iPhone and Android is particularly adept at separating consumers from their money. You can order your favorite coffees through this app and pick them up at your nearest Starbucks &mdash; which you can find through the app &mdash; without having to wait in line. You can also use the app to tip your barista digitally and earn rewards points that you can cash in the next time &mdash; and there will be a next time &mdash; you order a drink through the app. And of course, the app isn't shy about advertising specials, which are often related to your most recent purchases.</p> <h3>Be Smarter Than the App</h3> <p>Encouraging customers to tip the restaurant staff is brilliant, because they definitely deserve it. However, there's no need to go overboard just to score a few rewards points. Tip often, but within reason, and not for what YOU will get out of it.</p> <h2>4. Sending Deals and Discounts</h2> <p>Many restaurant apps will send you targeted deals featuring your favorite menu items. These &quot;deals&quot; might encourage you to order a meal you otherwise might have skipped.</p> <p>McDonald's might not be anyone's idea of a cutting-edge chain. But the venerable hamburger place does have its own mobile app. And it's particularly good at sending its users frequent deals on sandwiches, drinks, and sides. You'll even get a free sandwich just for downloading the app. And when you get that free sandwich, the odds are high that you'll spend additional cash on soft drinks, fries, or maybe even an apple pie.</p> <h3>Be Smarter Than the App</h3> <p>&quot;For just three cents more, you can get a soda the size of a toddler!&quot; This is an exaggeration of course, but do you ever actually need that discounted sugary beverage or fast food dessert? If you want to treat yourself occasionally, that's one thing, but resist the temptation to treat yourself every time. Because all of those caloric choices are doing more harm to your body than good, anyway.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Delivering to Your Car</h2> <p>With the Wendy's and Chick-fil-A apps, you can pay for your order through your app, check in with your phone or tablet once you get to the restaurant, and pick up your food. Some restaurants will even bring your food to your car once you arrive. The apps also store your most common orders, displaying this information when you log in. It's a good way to remind you to reorder that fried chicken sandwich.</p> <h3>Be Smarter Than the App</h3> <p>If you're in a hurry to get home or pick up the kids, this perk is extremely convenient. But if you just ordered a fried chicken sandwich, side of fries, and a large soda, and aren't really in a hurry to get anywhere, maybe that short trip from the car to the cash register is a minor inconvenience you need in your life.</p> <p>The lesson here? Download a restaurant app if you want a convenient way to order out. But be careful not to blow your take-out budget when these apps make it too easy to order from your favorite restaurants.</p> <p><em>Do you use these or any other restaurant ordering app?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-restaurant-apps-hurt-your-wallet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year">How to Save an Extra $1,094.86 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Drinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">How Water Can Save You $977 a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-split-food-expenses-with-a-significant-other">How to Split Food Expenses With a Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink chipotle discount apps Fast Food restaurant apps Take-out Wed, 11 Nov 2015 15:15:18 +0000 Dan Rafter 1606586 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Most Lucrative Restaurant Franchises http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-lucrative-restaurant-franchises <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-most-lucrative-restaurant-franchises" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chipotle_restaurant_000017676444.jpg" alt="Chipotle is one of the most lucrative restaurant chains" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>McDonald's tops the list as the nation's number one fast food chain in terms of volume, followed by Subway, Burger King, and Wendy's. But as consumers continue to reach for healthier alternatives, there's a new type of restaurant joining the spotlight. They are called fast-casual dining restaurants, and their rapid growth and seemingly overnight popularity have would-be investors wondering how they can get in on the action.</p> <p>Below, we've listed some of the nation's fastest-growing (and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-deliciously-profitable-food-and-beverage-stocks">most profitable</a>) fast-casual chains. Consider these five lucrative franchise and investment options.</p> <h2>1. Chipotle [NYSE: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=CMG">CMG</a>]</h2> <h3>$4.11 Billion Total Revenue</h3> <p>Unfortunately, the lucrative Mexican grill does not franchise. All of its 1200 stores are company owned. But, you can still invest by loading up on shares of the company's stock, currently trading on the NYSE at roughly $730 per share.</p> <h2>2. Panera [NASDAQ: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=PNRA">PNRA</a>]</h2> <h3>$2.53 Billion Total Revenue</h3> <p>Panera Bread Co., formerly Au Bon Pain Co., has a regional franchise model that requires investors to open at least 15 stores in a designated territory over a six-year period. Interested investors must also demonstrate a track record of success operating multi-unit restaurants. The company lists its <a href="https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/company/franchise-overview.html">franchise criteria</a> online:</p> <ul> <li>Average unit volume: $2.1 million</li> <li>Franchise costs and fees: $942,000&ndash;$1.6 million</li> <li>Initial investment: $35,000</li> </ul> <h2>3. Buffalo Wild Wings [NASDAQ: <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=BWLD">BWLD</a>]</h2> <h3>$1.52 Billion Total Revenue</h3> <p>To open your very own Buffalo Wild Wings, all you need is to meet the capital requirements and an area development commitment of at least two stores. International franchise opportunities are also available for the Mexico, Middle East, and Philippines. The company offers more insight about its <a href="https://www.franchisehelp.com/franchises/buffalo-wild-wings/">franchise program</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Average unit volume: $3.28 million</li> <li>Franchise costs and fees: $800,000&ndash;$2.4 million</li> <li>Initial investment: $40,000</li> </ul> <h2>4. Noodles &amp; Company [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/ndls">NDLS</a>]</h2> <h3>$403.74 Million Total Revenue</h3> <p>Noodles &amp; Company is seeking franchise operators for regional opportunities available in most parts of the United States, with the exception of some northern regions. With a commitment to opening three to five restaurants in your region over a five-year period, you could be on your way to becoming a fundamental part of the Noodles &amp; Company brand.</p> <ul> <li>Average unit volume: $1 million+</li> <li>Franchise costs and fees: $483,733&ndash;$1.2 million</li> <li>Initial investment: $35,000</li> </ul> <h2>5. El Pollo Loco [NASDAQ: <a href="http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/loco">LOCO</a>]</h2> <h3>$344.86 Million Total Revenue</h3> <p>Single unit <a href="https://www.elpolloloco.com/franchising/">franchise opportunities</a> are available throughout the Southwest with particular emphasis on other major cities, including Denver, Colorado and Portland, Oregon.</p> <ul> <li>Average unit volume: $1.8 million</li> <li>Franchise cost and fees: $502,000&ndash;$1.1 million</li> <li>Initial investment: $40,000</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you ever considered signing up to run a restaurant franchise? Which?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-lucrative-restaurant-franchises">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-eating-out-cheaply">Tips For Eating Out Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paying-for-a-piece-of-the-pizza-techniques-for-splitting-the-bill">Paying for a Piece of the Pizza: Techniques for Splitting the Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-secret-menu-items-thatll-actually-save-you-money">9 Restaurant Secret Menu Items That&#039;ll Actually Save you Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-fast-food-items-say-fast-food-employees">“Avoid These Fast Food Items,” Say Fast Food Employees</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Food and Drink fast casual Fast Food franchises investing restaurants Fri, 23 Oct 2015 15:20:12 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1593881 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons to Stop Buying Gas Station Food http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-stop-buying-gas-station-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-to-stop-buying-gas-station-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gas_station_000002993597.jpg" alt="Family deciding if they should buy food at a gas station" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have a craving for a breakfast burrito and your local gas station sits just a half-block away. Should you turn your wheel and head over?</p> <p>No!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-save-money-on-gas">Gas station</a> food is often loaded with calories and fat. The prices aren't as cheap as you think. And that gas station convenience store might not be the cleanest place in town. Not convinced? Then check out these 10 reasons why buying food or drinks at your local gas station's convenience store is a big mistake.</p> <h2>1. You're Wasting Money That You're Saving at the Pump</h2> <p>Gas prices are falling. On May 4, a gallon of regular gas cost an average of $2.62 around the country, according to AAA's <a href="http://www.fuelgaugereport.com">Fuel Gauge Report</a>. That's down from an average of $3.67 a gallon during the first week of May last year. Don't waste the money you're not pumping into your car. Skip the snacks and drive away.</p> <h2>2. We're Already Spending Too Much Inside Gas Stations</h2> <p>According to Convenience Store News, &quot;C-stores&quot; recently enjoyed <a href="http://www.csnews.com/industry-news-and-trends/corporate-store-operations/2014-was-historic-sales-year-us-c-store-industry">record in-store sales</a> &mdash; sales of items other than gas, basically. In 2014, in-store sales hit $214.9 billion. Think of how much you spent last year inside your local gas station. Now think of what else you could have done with that money.</p> <h2>3. You'll Start Your Day Off on the Wrong Foot</h2> <p>Say you should only consume from 1,600 to 1,800 calories a day. If you start your day with a chicken and cheese biscuit at your local Speedway, you'll consume 500 calories &mdash; and 29 grams of fat &mdash; for breakfast. If you opt for the sausage, bacon, scrambled egg, and cheese croissant, you'll scarf down 590 calories and 39 grams of fat. And it's all downhill from there.</p> <h2>4. What You Think Is Healthy Might Not Be</h2> <p>You'd think a wrap would be a healthier alternative to a hamburger or hotdog, but this isn't always the case. The chicken pepper jack wrap offered by FiveStar gas stations, for example, contains 764 calories and 37 grams of fat.</p> <h2>5. Getting Creative Can Get You in Trouble</h2> <p>The Sheetz gas station chain offers what it calls a walking taco &mdash; basically a taco in a bag that's easy to eat when you're, well, walking around. You can build your own walking taco at Sheetz, and that's where you can get into trouble. If you're adventurous enough to build a walking taco that includes Doritos, grilled chicken strips, Mexican black beans and rice, and something called boom-boom sauce, you will have created a treat with 760 calories and 38 grams of fat.</p> <h2>6. Coffee Will Kill You</h2> <p>Coffee drinks can be especially hard on your waistline at your local gas station. A medium mocha drink at Sheetz with 2% reduced-fat milk and chocolate mocha sauce clocks in at 660 calories and eight grams of fat. That's a lot of calories to drink.</p> <h2>7. Even Non-Coffee Drinks Can Hurt</h2> <p>A 22-ounce Coca-Cola Classic fountain drink at Speedway comes with 183 calories. That might not seem like a lot, but drink three of these &mdash; which isn't an unusually high number for many &mdash; and you've consumed 549 calories. That's about one third of the 1,800 calories that many people aim for, and those calories don't include a bite of real food.</p> <p>The Slurpee offered by 7-11 comes with about 99 calories for a 12-ounce serving. That might not seem like a lot, either, but Calorie King says that you'd have to walk for 27 minutes or jog for 11 to <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-beverages-fanta-slurpee-pina-colada-or-wild-cherry_f-ZmlkPTE5MDk5MQ.html">burn off those 99 calories</a>. And, again, you're not really eating any <em>food </em>for those calories.</p> <h2>8. Gas Station Food Isn't Always That Cheap</h2> <p>You might think you're spending pocket change at the gas station. But consider this example: You can buy a 20-ounce plastic bottle of Diet Pepsi at your local gas station convenience store for as high as $1.89 a bottle. Why not just buy a two-liter bottle of diet pop instead? You can find generic two-liter bottles for as low as 79 cents at some chain grocery stores. (And don't complain about the taste: Close your eyes and you can barely tell the difference between generic diet pop and the big two.)</p> <h2>9. You Don't Know How Long Food Has Been Sitting Out</h2> <p>Ever picked up a candy bar at your local gas station only to find dust on the package? Who knows how long that treat has been sitting on the shelf waiting for someone like you to pick it up? It's true, too, that you don't know how long your food has been sitting around before you order it at a typical fast-food or fast-casual restaurant. The same holds true at your local grocery store. But when there's dust on your Snickers bar? It's time to move on.</p> <h2>10. Gas Stations Aren't Always Clean</h2> <p>Many gas station owners keep their convenience stores clean. Many others, though, do not. Check out the bathroom; if you don't want to be in there, you probably don't want to buy anything to eat from the rest of the store, either. If the inside of the bathroom is gross, it's a safe bet that the inside of the Slurpee machine is gross, too.</p> <p><em>Do you splurge on gas station and convenience store snacks? What's your favorite?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-to-stop-buying-gas-station-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-should-always-buy-girl-scout-cookies">7 Reasons You Should Always Buy Girl Scout Cookies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work">7 Starbucks Savings Hacks That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-the-takeout-meal-cycle-and-save">How to Stop the Takeout Meal Cycle and Save</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping convenience stores Fast Food gas stations snacks Fri, 15 May 2015 15:00:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 1417848 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Foods Science Says Are Actually Making You Dumber http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-science-says-are-actually-making-you-dumber <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-foods-science-says-are-actually-making-you-dumber" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-eating-fast-food-Dollarphotoclub_26702022.jpg" alt="man eating fast food" title="man eating fast food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everything you eat is good for you. Most of us know that by now. What you may not know, though, is that the food you eat can not only affect your cardiovascular health, your weight, and your insulin sensitivity, but it can also affect how well your brain works.</p> <p>We've all heard of the super foods &mdash; the foods that make your body and brain work better. Consider this, then, a list of the <i>opposite</i>&nbsp;of superfoods, or maybe the superfood villains. In addition to all of the other bad things these foods can do to your body, they also inhibit your brain function.</p> <h2>1. High Fructose Corn Syrup</h2> <p>If you eat a high fructose diet, you will eventually diminish how your mind stores and retrieves information. In as little as six weeks, rats fed a high fructose diet were <a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/245531.php">not learning or remembering</a> as well as their counterparts who consumed less fructose.</p> <p>These days, high fructose corn syrup is in quite a bit of the food we eat every day. Almost anything sweetened contains it, but you find it especially in foods like cookies, doughnuts, soda, and candy. It also hides out in items like ketchup, BBQ sauce, and salad dressing, where you might not think to look.</p> <p>If you <em>do</em> eat a lot of sugar (or you have in the past), try <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/need-your-brain-this-food-can-make-you-dumber/">taking an Omega-3 supplement</a> every day. The study also shows that this mitigates at least some of the problems that fructose can cause in the brain.</p> <h2>2. Trans Fats</h2> <p>Trans fats are actually linked to <a href="http://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/trans-fats-linked-to-brain-shrinkage/">having a physically smaller brain</a>. And less brain matter equals lower intelligence and lower overall functioning. Yikes!</p> <p>You can find trans fats in a lot of things, though more recently regulations have gone into effect requiring manufacturers to limit them. Still, it's worth checking the boxes on your crackers and pastries (common trans fat carriers) before you buy them. Fried foods and some margarines can also have higher levels of trans fats than you &mdash; and your brain &mdash; might prefer.</p> <h2>3. Fast Food</h2> <p>Studies show that consuming a lot of fast food seems to make kids less intelligent. A study in Australia examined children's diets when they were small &mdash; six months, 15 months, and two years &mdash; and then examined the children themselves again at age eight. Those who ate a lot of fast food when they were small had up to <a href="http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/study-warns-kids-who-eat-fast-food-have-lower-iqs/">two fewer IQ points</a> than the others, even several years later.</p> <p>Okay, so two IQ points may not sound like a lot, but it's significant considering how many of us eat fast food regularly. Do we really want to be part of a trend towards lower IQs almost across the board? Probably not. So make the effort to take your lunch, buy a salad, and only eat fast food when you really can't get anything else.</p> <h2>4. Salt</h2> <p>We've long known that salt can contribute to all sorts of physical ailments, especially hypertension and other vascular problems, but now it seems like eating a lot of salt can&nbsp;<a href="http://healthland.time.com/2011/08/29/want-to-stay-sharp-skip-the-salt-but-not-the-workout/#ixzz1WQjJHiYt">lead to dementia</a> when we get older.</p> <p>Scientists suspect that the vascular effects of salt are tied closely to this dementia risk. After all, the brain must have blood flowing to, through, and away from it to work well. If that isn't happening, then it definitely won't function as well.</p> <p>Fortunately, exercise, while it might not counteract the effects of salt entirely, can help keep the cardiovascular system in better shape. This means that a diet high in salt may not affect exercisers as much as non-exercisers.</p> <h2>5. Tofu</h2> <p>This is probably an unexpected addition to this list, because most people associate eating tofu with good health. In fact, especially in older adults, tofu can actually make you more&nbsp;<a href="http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/114061.php">likely to develop dementia</a> or experience other types of memory loss. While you have to eat quite a bit of tofu for it to have this effect, it is something to think about before you make your next vegetarian stir fry.</p> <p>It's also important to note that other soy products seem to have this same problem. So if you're over 68, or you just want to be careful, avoid them all to give yourself a better chance at avoiding memory problems later.</p> <h2>6. Processed Foods</h2> <p>Several of the other foods we've discussed here fall into this category, too. Basically, the further something gets from its natural state before you eat it, the more processed it is. Fortunately, these foods are relatively easy to identify and avoid. Which is good, because people who eat a lot of processed foods don't perform as well on <a href="http://providencepersonaltrainingandfitness.com/processed-foods-make-you-fat-stupid-and-depressed/">memory and reasoning tests</a>.</p> <p>Given the wide ranges of processed food available and the items we've discussed above, it's easy to see a lot of reasons why this is true. But the reasons don't really matter, for all practical purposes. It's enough to simply know that these foods can hurt your brain.</p> <p><em>Do you eat any of these foods? Can you feel them affecting you cognitively?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-science-says-are-actually-making-you-dumber">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-these-6-online-meal-planners">Save Money and Eat Better With These 6 Online Meal Planners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed">14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-starbucks-savings-hacks-that-actually-work">7 Starbucks Savings Hacks That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink bad food brain food Fast Food poor diet Mon, 19 Jan 2015 18:02:00 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1281404 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/eating-3996150-small.jpg" alt="woman eating burger" title="woman eating burger" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Find yourself ordering the same-ol'-same-ol' every time you hit the drive-thru? Next time, go rogue and shake up your junk-food routine by asking for items from your favorite joints' secret menus, the contents of which are revealed right here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">Secrets Restaurants Don't Want You to Know</a>)</p> <p>Since these menus are technically a secret, you may experience a few confused faces when placing your order (especially from new employees), but rest assured that these concoctions are totally possible, so don't give up so easily. If you have to, bring this list (compiled with help from the site <a href="http://www.ranker.com">Ranker</a>) with you and educate the friendly folks behind the counter. In the meantime, happy grubbing, fast-food sleuths.</p> <h2>1. In-N-Out Burger</h2> <p>In-N-Out is arguably the ringleader of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/in-n-out-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">secret-menu</a> phenomenon &mdash; thanks to its Animal Style burger (a mustard-smothered grilled-beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, and extra spread) that made headlines a few years ago &mdash; but this isn't the only off-menu item you can order at the primarily West Coast chain. Pair your Animal Style burger with Animal Style Fries (cheese, pickles, grilled onions, and spread), then wash it down with a Neapolitan Shake &mdash; a combination of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. If you're cutting carbs, ask for a Protein Style burger, which is wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of stuffed between a bun. See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-ultimate-in-n-out-secret-menu">Best Money Tips: The Ultimate In-N-Out Secret Menu</a>)</p> <h2>2. Starbucks</h2> <p>Start your day off a different way with items from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/starbucks-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">Starbucks' secret menu</a>, which includes the Zebra Mocha (a blend of white-chocolate and chocolate mocha), the Pumpkin Chocolate Latte (the pumpkin spice latte with chocolate syrup), Cake Batter Frappuccino (a vanilla frappuccino with vanilla bean and almond flavoring), and the Nutella (a Cafe Misto blended with chocolate and hazelnut syrups and caramel sauce).</p> <h2>3. Chipotle</h2> <p>When your passion for gigantic burritos starts to wane, switch to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/chipotle-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items?format=SLIDESHOW&amp;page=2">Chipotle's secret menu</a>, which includes: nachos (a no-brainer, really) that feature a bed of tortilla chips covered in melted cheese and your choice of toppings; quesadillas made from a burrito shell folded in half; and the brilliant Quesorito, a burrito/quesadilla hybrid with crunch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-confessions-of-employees">Secret Confessions of Employees</a>)</p> <h2>4. Five Guys Burgers &amp; Fries</h2> <p>After you scoop up a handful of peanuts, place an order from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/five-guys-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">Five Guys' secret menu</a>, the star of which is deliciously melted cheese. Cheeseheads can get their fix via cheese fries and grilled cheeses, the latter of which you can dress up with toppings like bacon, mushrooms, and onions.</p> <h2>5. Chick-fil-A</h2> <p>Chick-fil-A is already famous for its milkshakes, but these variations from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/chick-fil-a-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">secret menu</a> take the cake &mdash; one of them literally. At locations that serve blueberry cheesecake desserts, ask your server to throw a slice in the blender with your shake. Voila! &mdash; blueberry cheesecake milkshake. In addition to that amazement, you can suck down rootbeer floats; order chicken quesadillas (uh huh!); and if your kid doesn't like his kids' meal toy, he can trade it in for a free Ice Dream instead.</p> <h2>6. Burger King</h2> <p>If you're in the mood to commit dietary suicide,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/burger-king-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">Burger King's secret menu</a> may be your best bet. Fittingly, its Suicide Burger &mdash; featuring four beef patties with four slices of cheese topped with bacon and a special sauce &mdash; is available alongside the BK BLT (a BLT on a burger), the Rodeo Burger (a Whopper with onion rings and BBQ sauce on top), a ham and cheese sandwich, and half fries/half onion rings (for when you can't decide between the two).</p> <h2>7. McDonald's</h2> <p>Even with so many menu items already available, there are still&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/mcdonald_s-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">a few secrets up McDonald's sleeve</a>. The McKinley Mac, for instance, is basically a glorified Bic Mac that features Quarter Pounder patties, while the mammoth Monster Mac piles eight patties into a Big Mac. If you still have room for dessert, try a Pie McFlurry (you guessed it &mdash; your favorite McDonald's pie blended into a McFlurry) or a Coke float. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cracking-the-infamous-mcdonalds-monopoly-game">Cracking the McDonald's Monopoly Game</a>)</p> <h2>8. Taco Bell</h2> <p>You don't have to make a run for the border to nosh on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/taco-bell-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">Taco Bell's secret menu</a>, which features the sometimes-on-the-regular-menu Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Chili Cheese Burrito, Enchirito (an enchilada/burrito hybrid), the Superman (a cheesy double-beef burrito with potatoes, sour cream, guacamole, and crispy tortilla strips), and the Hulk (a bean-and-cheese burrito with guacamole).</p> <h2>9. Jamba Juice</h2> <p>Even when you're trying to drink healthy, you can sneak in a bit of a candy fix with options from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/jamba-juice-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">Jamba Juice's secret menu</a>. Sweet favorites include the Pink Starburst (lemonade, soy milk, raspberry sherbet, frozen yogurt, and fresh strawberries), the White Gummi Bear (featuring a menagerie of fruits like pineapple, oranges, and mangoes), Skittles (with peach lemonade and lime sherbet as the stars), and the Sourpatch Kid (which will make your mouth pucker with lemonade blended with blueberries and lime, pineapple, raspberry, and orange sherbets).</p> <h2>10. Dairy Queen</h2> <p>Get creative with your ice cream selections by ordering from&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/dairy-queen-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">Dairy Queen's secret menu</a>, which includes decadent items like the Midnight Truffle Blizzard (full of dark cocoa fudge and truffle pieces), the Peanut Buster Parfait (a hot fudge sundae with crunchy peanuts), and the Lavender Blue Sundae (which adds marshmallow to DQ's original Blueberry Sundae).</p> <h2>11. Sonic</h2> <p>Sonic is known as America's drive-in for its vast array of traditional American junk food like hot dogs and tater tots, but its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/sonic-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">secret menu</a> delves deeper into our culture's love of deep-fried and greasy deliciousness. Unofficial finds include Frito Pie, a savory Southern nachos-esque dish that replaces tortilla chips with corn chips topped with chili and cheese; grilled ham and cheese; Purple Sprite, which combines Sprite, lemonade, Powerade, and cranberry juice; and Pickle-O's, once a menu item, but now only a relic that lives in secrecy.</p> <h2>12. Jack in the Box</h2> <p>Jack in the Box is one of the greatest fast-food chains that teases Northeast Coasters with its total lack of locations east of the Mississippi and above the Mason-Dixon Line, and then pours salt into our wounds with a <a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/jack-in-the-box-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">secret menu</a> of indulgent proportions. Items include the Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger and Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger (both discontinued limited-time offerings) and the mouthwatering Mint Oreo Cookie milkshake. Jack in the Box also allows you to supersize your meals with even more beef patties per sandwich if you'd like &mdash; for an extra charge of course.</p> <h2>13. White Castle</h2> <p>White Castle is so legendary that it served as the plot point for Harold and Kumar's first adventure together. After one of your own Harold and Kumar inspired adventures, swing into White Castle and order the boys' special request from the restaurant's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/white-castle-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">secret menu</a>, which comes with 30 sliders, 5 French fries, and four large diet Cokes &mdash; just for Harold. Kumar ordered the same, except he replaced diet Cokes for the Cherry ones. Hope you have a serious appetite, a few friends for sharing, and a defibrillator.</p> <h2>14. Shake Shack</h2> <p>Perhaps one of the most exciting secret menus on this entire list, Shake Shack solidifies its spot as one of the tastiest and most affordable fast burger joints with its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ranker.com/list/shake-shack-secret-menu-items/secret-menu-items">secret menu</a> that doesn't mess around. The Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger takes an ordinary sandwich and makes its extraordinary by topping it with ooey-gooey peanut butter, while the Shack-cago Burger transfers its Shack-cago Dog toppings (like cucumber, celery salt, and onion) to a burger. Wash it all down with a shandy &mdash; a beer and lemonade drink sure to provide just the right amount of refreshment when you need it.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other secret-menu items from America's favorite fast-food chains? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-fast-food-items-say-fast-food-employees">“Avoid These Fast Food Items,” Say Fast Food Employees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-256-big-macs-to-win-a-5-gift-card-0">Eat 256 Big Macs to Win a $5 Gift Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-health-food-worse-for-you-than-junk-food">Is &quot;Health Food&quot; Worse for You than Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-protein-water-scam-kellogs-special-k2o-can-do-anything">The Protein Water Scam: Kellog&#039;s Special K2O Can Do Anything!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Food and Drink Fast Food food hacks secret menus Sat, 07 Sep 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Mikey Rox 981706 at http://www.wisebread.com “Avoid These Fast Food Items,” Say Fast Food Employees http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-fast-food-items-say-fast-food-employees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/avoid-these-fast-food-items-say-fast-food-employees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3203854339_17b42f9b4a_z.jpg" alt="fast food employee" title="fast food employee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know fast food is not good for us. Most nutrition experts agree that it should be eaten &ldquo;rarely or never.&rdquo; But having said that, most of us will grab a meal from a fast food restaurant sometimes. I know I am guilty of grabbing &ldquo;junk food&rdquo; when I am in a rush or am too tired to cook something.</p> <p>So if you&rsquo;re someone who eats fast food, be it rarely or more often than you should, it doesn&rsquo;t hurt to know what to avoid. Here are the fast food items you should stay away from, and some general tips to keep you from getting serious junk food remorse. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">22 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda</a>)</p> <p><em>Note: These tips come from people who have worked in the fast food business, <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/?sort=new">via reddit</a>. I cannot verify their accuracy 100%, but I have only posted those tips that were repeated by several different individuals.</em></p> <h2>1. &ldquo;Unusual&rdquo; Pizza Toppings</h2> <p>If you go for the normal pizza toppings, like pepperoni, sausage, ham, pineapple, and the usual veggies, you should be fine. But when you start ordering pizzas with more <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59qf55">exotic toppings</a>, you risk getting some older produce on your pie. The reason is simple &mdash; regular toppings are used up quickly and replaced often. If they go off, they have plenty left in stock to replace them. However, the quirky items, like meatballs, green olives, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes, are in short supply. They could be sitting out longer, and they may well be older than other toppings when they&rsquo;re cooked.</p> <h2>2. Wendy&rsquo;s Chili</h2> <p>This one has been covered before in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-confessions-of-employees">an article I wrote on employee secrets</a>, but it still deserves a mention in this list. When you order <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59qfrc">Wendy&rsquo;s chili</a>, you might be getting old hamburgers that have been left around all day. They get boiled and mashed up, and chili mix is added.</p> <h2>3. Sweet Teas</h2> <p>It appears that fast food places like to put the sweet in sweet tea. Some places are <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59qcbw">adding around one pound of sugar</a> to a gallon of the stuff. However, it&rsquo;s worth noting that almost all of the soft drinks out there have a high sugar content, so you&rsquo;re better off sticking with water. And it&rsquo;s free.</p> <h2>4. Vegetarian and Vegan Items</h2> <p>In some of the bigger, busier fast food chains, ordering vegetarian and vegan items should come with a warning &mdash; &ldquo;<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59qoxd">this product may contain traces of meat</a>.&rdquo; The reason is laziness and poor hygiene standards. When it&rsquo;s rush hour, or when it&rsquo;s just way easier to do so, cooks will sometimes use the same cooking utensils for the vegetarian and vegan options as they do for meat products.</p> <h2>5. Anything Ending in &quot;Nugget&quot;</h2> <p><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59r5os">Chicken nuggets</a> are clearly the biggest culprit here, although no one is ruling out other kinds of meat. Basically, chicken nuggets are made from mechanically separated meat (MSM), which is created through a process that extracts every last piece of flesh, meat, and sinew from the bones of the animal. This is then ground into a gruesome paste that is then dyed, flavored, shaped, and put in a box for you to eat. You can read more <a href="http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/msm.asp">facts about this here</a>, as well as some of the statements about MSM that are not true.&nbsp;</p> <h2>6. &ldquo;Fresh&rdquo; Grilled Chicken</h2> <p>It may be a healthier option than fried chicken, but don&rsquo;t go thinking that you&rsquo;re getting something delicious and nutritious. It is common practice in many fast food restaurants, including McDonald&rsquo;s and Burger King, to <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59qoe6">squirt liquid margarine on the grill and the chicken</a>. And when it&rsquo;s sitting in the holding drawer, guess what&hellip;more liquid margarine goes on to keep it juicy.</p> <h2>7. Anything Close to Closing Time</h2> <p>You know how it is. You&rsquo;ve been out at a bar or club and feel hungry. Or you&rsquo;re working very late. But whatever the reason, sometimes you want to grab a bite before you go home, and the flickering light in the distance is like an oasis. It's a fast food joint, and it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59rgxw">just about to close</a>. They&rsquo;ll hook you up with a fresh burger or a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/29-alternative-pizza-sauce-ideas">great pizza</a>, right? Well, think again. Chances are the employees are tired and want to go home, and they don&rsquo;t really care about breaking out all the ingredients again to feed you. So they might give you whatever&rsquo;s left, possibly telling you they&rsquo;re &ldquo;out&rdquo; of certain items in order to guide you to the ones they&rsquo;ve got sitting under the heat lamps. If you must eat something that late, go to a grocery store and put together a sandwich with fresh ingredients. It&rsquo;s quick, cheap, and a much better option.</p> <h2>8. Outback&rsquo;s Bloomin&rsquo; Onion</h2> <p>Employees at Outback Steakhouse do say that everything there is delicious and cooked to order, although their Outback Special sirloin is usually a cheaper cut of meat and has a high profit margin. However, it seems their signature appetizer, the Bloomin&rsquo; Onion, hides a dark secret. Here&rsquo;s what one former employee, redditor <a href="http://www.reddit.com/user/hurrayforzac">Hurrayforzac</a>, had to say about it:</p> <blockquote><p>Every night, we drain and filter the French fry oil, and put in a chunk of new shortening. The old French fry oil gets filtered in this weird box on wheels and drained into the appetizer deep-vat fryer (shrimp, and I think mushrooms).</p> <p>The oil form the appetizer fryer is filtered in the box and then dumped into the 2nd appetizer fryer (for chicken tenders, etc.). The old oil form the 2nd appetizer fryer (the third fryer in the line) gets filtered and dumped into the fourth and final fryer, which is used exclusively for Bloomin' Onions.</p> <p>So basically the oil used to make the trademark appetizer at Outback is cooked in 4 day old, 4 times filtered shortening. the same oil used to make French fries, then coconut shrimp, then chicken tenders, all finally getting infused into the thick eggy batter that encases that husk of a vegetable. Don't eat those.</p> </blockquote> <h2>9. KFC&rsquo;s Shredded Chicken Snackers</h2> <p>When the fried or grilled chicken has been sat for too long in the heating bays, it cannot be sold to customers, but it can be repurposed. By taking the dry chicken and adding a sauce to it (honey BBQ or buffalo) it can be given a new life as a <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59tump">KFC Snacker</a>. Now, personally I don&rsquo;t mind the idea of finding ways to save food, especially with so many people going hungry. But if the idea of old, dry chicken being sold as &ldquo;fresh&rdquo; makes you angry, you should probably steer clear of this one.</p> <h2>10. Ice From the Soda Fountains</h2> <p>As I&rsquo;ve written in the past, you should <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-water-can-save-you-977-a-year">probably avoid soda if you want to save money</a> and your health. But for those who do indulge, or who like a cup of ice water, think twice about <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/w2sv3/fast_food_workers_of_reddit_what_is_the_one_menu/c59r8q8">getting it from the soda fountain</a>. It appears that many employees know just how difficult it is to clean inside of the ice machines. And because &ldquo;what the eye doesn&rsquo;t see, the chef gets away with&rdquo; is par for the course in many fast food restaurants, the inside of these machines are last on the priority list when it comes to cleaning.</p> <p><em>Those are the top 10 I found, but I&rsquo;d like to throw this one out to current (or former) fast food employees. Is there something you&rsquo;d add to the list?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-fast-food-items-say-fast-food-employees">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-256-big-macs-to-win-a-5-gift-card-0">Eat 256 Big Macs to Win a $5 Gift Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secret-fast-food-menus-revealed">14 Secret Fast Food Menus Revealed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-there-be-a-fat-tax-on-junk-food">Should There Be a &quot;Fat Tax&quot; on Junk Food?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-restaurants-dont-want-you-to-know">6 Secrets Restaurants Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-lucrative-restaurant-franchises">The 5 Most Lucrative Restaurant Franchises</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Food and Drink Fast Food junk food restaurants unhealthy dining Thu, 16 Aug 2012 09:48:43 +0000 Paul Michael 943018 at http://www.wisebread.com