dining out http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4423/all en-US Best Money Tips: 15 Best Apps for Savings on Dining Out http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-15-best-apps-for-savings-on-dining-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-15-best-apps-for-savings-on-dining-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_dining_out_000041684306.jpg" alt="Woman using best apps for savings on dining out" 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 a list of the best apps for saving money when you&rsquo;re dining out, how to clean everything in your kitchen, and memberships that will actually save you money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savingfreak.com/restaurants-apps-to-save-money-on-dining-out/">15 Best Apps to Save Money on Dining Out</a> &mdash; ScoutMob and Black Board Eats are like Groupon combined with FourSquare &mdash; which means savings for you! [SavingFreak]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Clean-Everything-Your-Kitchen-37078517">How to Clean Absolutely Everything in Your Kitchen</a> &mdash; The burnt residue on your pots and pans doesn't stand a chance against this solution of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/6-memberships-that-will-actually-save-you-money-2016/">6 Memberships That Will Actually Save You Money in 2016</a> &mdash; You'll save more money by making coffee at home, of course, but you can still save money on food and drinks at your favorite coffee shop by joining their membership club. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0112/Five-ways-you-can-avoid-cell-phone-termination-fees">Five ways you can avoid cell phone termination fees</a> &mdash; If your cell phone company has changed the terms of the contract, you have a right to end the agreement, no termination fee necessary. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalbuzz.com/articles/business-finance/simple-tips-to-reach-your-financial-goals/">Simple Tips To Reach Your Financial Goals</a> &mdash; Do your due diligence. If you have a financial advisor, ask them questions about how to implement your goals. Or, talk to your bank about new savings or investment opportunities. [Frugal Buzz]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2016/01/4-simple-productivity-hacks-always-wake-productive.html">4 Simple Productivity Hacks to Always Wake Up Productive</a> &mdash; Set a morning routine to help you start the day off right. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/create-art-wall-like-decorator/">How to Create an Art Wall Like a Decorator!</a> &mdash; Start by measuring the area of wall that you'll be decorating. Then, set your art and photos on the floor and move things around until you have a layout that you like. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2016/01/14/tips-for-dealing-with-dings-chips-and-holes-in-otherwise-perfect-walls/">Tips for Dealing with Dings, Chips and Holes in Otherwise Perfect Walls</a> &mdash; The printer paper method can be used to fill a small hole in your wall. All you need is a piece of plain printer paper, 400-grit sandpaper, and some clear Elmer&rsquo;s glue. [Frugal Village]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/housing/3-reasons-renting-might-be-the-right-move-for-you/">3 Reasons Renting Might Be the Right Move for You</a> &mdash; Renting gives you the flexibility to move without worrying about selling a house when you want to live somewhere else. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-stop-coddling-your-kids">How to Stop Coddling Your Kids</a> &mdash; If your child gets into a dispute with another child, stand back and see if they can resolve the conflict on their own. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p>&nbsp;</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-15-best-apps-for-savings-on-dining-out">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-11"> <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-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/11-ways-to-shop-for-food-cheaply-without-a-tedious-grocery-list">Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy</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/11-great-apps-for-book-lovers">11 Great Apps for Book Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink apps best money tips dining out Tue, 19 Jan 2016 20:00:04 +0000 Amy Lu 1638730 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Dine Out for Less http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-dine-out-for-less <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-dine-out-for-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_dining_out_000046736046.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to dine out for less" 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 some great articles on ways to dine out for less, revamping your home office to improve productivity, and how to make vacation magic last.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/10-ways-to-eat-out-for-less/">10 Ways to Eat Out for Less</a> &mdash; Go somewhere else for dessert. It'll likely be cheaper and you won't have to tip for that part of the meal. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.genuinecuriosity.com/genuinecuriosity/2015/7/7/revamp-your-home-office-to-improve-productivity">Revamp Your Home Office to Improve Productivity</a> &mdash; Organize your home office so it actually functions as an office: large monitor, bookshelves, and a file cabinet for your paperwork. [Genuine Curiosity]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/10-ways-you-can-make-the-vacation-magic-last/">10 Ways You Can Make The Vacation Magic Last</a> &mdash; Were there any activities or routines that you especially liked from your vacation, like daily siestas or teatime? Continue the habit when you come home. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Decode-Laundry-Labels-37492642">Here's How to Decode Your Favorite Article of Clothing</a> &mdash; Learn what the symbols on the care tag mean. Proper cleaning means your clothes will last longer! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thriftcore.com/2015/07/my-herb-allies-herbs-you-need-to-try.html">Herbs You Need to Try for Healing, Taste, Nutrition, and Much More</a> &mdash; Arnica, turmeric, cayenne, and cramp bark are great for pain relief. [Thrift Core]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/lifestyle/working/10-trending-freelance-jobs-great-pay-flexible-hours/59396">10 Trending Freelance Jobs with Great Pay and Flexible Hours</a> &mdash; Medical transcriptionists earn around $16/hr on average. Generally, all you need is a computer and the ability to type quickly (and maybe some training). [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugaltoad.com/travelandleisure/how-to-protect-yourself-when-traveling">How to Protect Yourself When Traveling</a> &mdash; Contact your health insurance provider to find out exactly how your claim will be handled if you need to see a doctor during a trip. [The Frugal Toad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/windfall-what-to-do-with-a-large-amount-of-unexpected-money/">Windfall: What to Do with a Large Amount of Unexpected Money</a> &mdash; A good idea would be to pay off any high-interest loans and credit cards and work your way down to other debts. Just make sure to set aside an emergency fund, just in case. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/bad-resume-advice">Bad Resume Advice To Avoid</a> &mdash; It's important to use keywords, but don't overstuff your resume with them. Try to use them naturally! [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/it-s-wedding-season-are-your-kids-prepared">It&rsquo;s Wedding Season. Are Your Kids Prepared?</a> &mdash; Bring some quiet activities, like crayons and books, to help your kids get through the ceremony and reception toasts. [Parenting Squad]</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-dine-out-for-less">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-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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/11-ways-to-shop-for-food-cheaply-without-a-tedious-grocery-list">Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/what-you-dont-know-about-sushi">What You Don&#039;t Know About Sushi</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips dining out Fri, 24 Jul 2015 19:00:11 +0000 Amy Lu 1501830 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Tricks for Enjoying Fine Dining on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000043399268_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="man woman restaurant" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's nothing quite like a luxurious meal that's carefully made, served to you under romantic lighting, and placed onto a fresh white tablecloth. Sadly, the price can be prohibitive for many of us, and instead we end up spending our night with takeout and a bottle of $5 wine (not that there's anything wrong what that!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-swanky-sauces-to-glamorize-dinner?ref=seealso" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.38;">8 Swanky Sauces to Glamorize Dinner</a>)</p> <p>The good news is that armed with a few tips, you can enjoy fine dining without emptying out your savings. As always, a good place to start is the Internet: Pick a few restaurants you are interested in and look up their websites, reviews, and local publications. There you can find some valuable information, like a sample of prices, what meals they serve, what kind of dishes they offer, and if they have any special deals. Keep an eye out for coupons on deal sites and seasonal events like Restaurant Week. And be sure take a look at the following seven hacks for an enjoyable dining experience without the bummer ending.</p> <h2>1. Go for Lunch</h2> <p>Many fine dining establishments are also open for lunch, and while some just serve a smaller menu of the dishes they serve for dinner at the same price, others offer some real deals.</p> <p>Bouley, a well-known and well-loved restaurant in New York City, is known for their tasting menus. Their dinner version is six courses and costs a cool $185, while their five-course lunch version is $55. It may not have all of the same flourishes, but you are still eating a fancy pants tasting menu at Bouley without having to take out a second mortgage.</p> <p>Blackbird, a celebrated spot in Chicago, offers a lunch prix fixe that is $25 for three courses, which is cheaper than most of their single dinner entrees. They also offer a complete lunch menu that runs half the price of their dinner menu. Check out your restaurant of choice's menus and compare lunch and dinner to see if they offer midday bargains.</p> <h2>2. Go on a Weeknight</h2> <p>Not surprisingly, Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest times at all restaurants, let alone the really nice ones. Some establishments offer discounts or special (cheaper) menus on weekdays, especially Monday through Wednesday &mdash; Tuesday is statistically the least busy day for restaurants. Call or check a restaurant's website to find out if they offer weekday deals. City publications also like to do articles about such deals, like this round-up of <a href="http://www.timeout.com/los-angeles/restaurants/cheap-eats-in-la-the-best-restaurant-weekly-specials">Weekday Dinner Deals in LA</a>.</p> <p>Little Dom's, a popular Italian spot in Los Angeles that frequently serves celebrities, offers a $15 three-course family-style dinner on Monday nights along with drink specials. Just an entree can run up to $30 on a normal night, making a Monday night reservation a no-brainer.</p> <h2>3. Eat at the Bar</h2> <p>Restaurants don't just put a bar in their upscale dining rooms so that the liquor and bartender have someplace to hang out &mdash; it also adds seating without taking up as much room as tables. To reward you for sitting elbow to elbow with your stranger neighbors, many places offer bar specials, happy hours, or even an entire menu only available at the bar.</p> <p>Spago is Wolfgang Puck's restaurant in Beverly Hills and is highly regarded by eaters and critics alike. The bill can easily surpass $100-200 per person even at lunch, but luckily they have a bar with it's own &quot;bar bites&quot; menu. Go during happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. and order a drink and some &quot;bites&quot; and relish in the fact that you're sitting in Spago without maxing out your credit card. Call your local fine dining spots and see if they have similar deals. Be sure to mention that you want to eat at the bar when making your reservation.</p> <h2>4. BYOB</h2> <p>While some fine dining spots are pushing their 15-page wine lists, others are becoming more open-minded. A surprising number of restaurants are offering BYOB now, even if they offer wine.</p> <p>Goosefoot, largely hailed as one of the best restaurants in Chicago, permits BYOB with just a $10 corkage fee. The food will still cost you a pretty penny, but you'll save big bucks on your drinks while eating top-notch food. Look for articles about BYOB spots in your city, or call and ask about a restaurant's policy. Then do a little math and compare their drink prices with bringing your own plus the corkage fee. The numbers are often in your favor!</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy $50 Leftovers</h2> <p>Finally time to order? Take a look around. What are people ordering? How big are the portions for appetizers and entrees? How much food are they ordering? Pay attention to the details and it will help prevent over-ordering and a $50 leftover situation. Make a plan with your fellow diners and share dishes so that everyone can try more things without over-ordering.</p> <h2>6. Hold That Drink Order</h2> <p>All wait staff is trained to ask for your drink order immediately, or even offer you a drink while you wait for a table. While there is nothing wrong with this policy, since you might be thirsty or might actually want a drink, they also do it in hopes that you'll order more drinks as the night goes on. Start early and you can easily be a drink in before you even order your food. Alcohol charges can add up quickly, so hold that drink order until you order food and enjoy your wine with the meal. Or, if you're a digestif fan, wait for dessert. If you don't want to give up that pre-dinner drink, pregame at home or at a lower-priced bar. It can also help to make a drink limit for yourself at the beginning of the night and stick to it.</p> <h2>7. Skip the Extras</h2> <p>Or, to really save money, don't order drinks at all. Drink orders can easily double your bill since alcohol typically has the&nbsp;<a href="http://deadspin.com/why-the-hell-does-your-drink-cost-so-much-1454231900">highest mark-up</a> at restaurants. You came for the food anyway, right? Plus, more alcohol equals more spending in more ways than one: a tipsy diner is more likely to order whatever they please and be surprised at their credit card bill later. If the restaurant isn't known for their desserts, then skip that, too, and grab some of your favorite ice cream on the way home instead. It will extend your fun night and save you an extra $10-$20.</p> <p><em>How do you enjoy fine dining for less?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dining out Fine Dining restaurants Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1304189 at http://www.wisebread.com The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-woman-restaurant-beach-Dollarphotoclub_67762409.jpg" alt="young woman restaurant" title="young woman restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco continue to dazzle and delight foodies, many cities are in the midst of a culinary renaissance that is not to be missed, and often at far lower prices than these more expensive traditional foodie towns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-of-americas-awesomest-cheap-cities?ref=seealso">10 of America's Awesomest Cheap Cities</a>)</p> <p>Artisanal food, locavore, and farm-to-table movements are spreading like wildfire to every corner of the U.S. So here are seven U.S. cities that will make your taste buds and tummy happy without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>1. Orlando, Florida</h2> <p>Wait, what? Isn't Central Florida home to strip malls and fast food establishments galore? Well, yes, it is. But it's also got a burgeoning food scene that's getting national attention. <a href="https://www.eastendmkt.com/">East End Market</a> is an artisan market occupied by local food entrepreneurs in the newly revitalized Mills 50 District. <a href="http://www.caskandlarder.com/">Cask &amp; Larder</a> and <a href="http://txokoskitchen.com/">Txokos Basque Kitchen</a> have garnered James Beard Award nominations, and Iron Chef Morimoto will open a flagship operation of his widely-acclaimed sushi restaurant in the new Disney Springs. If you're a frugal foodie, Orlando is a place that should be on your &quot;to visit&quot; list.</p> <h2>2. Grand Rapids, Michigan</h2> <p>Grand Rapids is a scenic and charming city situated on the Grand River. The <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/about-grand-rapids/colleges-universities/secchia-institute-for-culinary-education/">Secchia Institute for Culinary Education</a> at Grand Rapids Community College is one of the country's top culinary schools, so it's no wonder that the food scene here is hopping. For the latest in food trends, head to <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/things-to-do/shopping/downtown-market/">Downtown Market Grand Rapids</a>. Only two years old, it offers a full year indoor market full of artisan food businesses as well as a huge outdoor summer market and culinary events of all shapes and sizes.</p> <p>Craft breweries are a big deal in this city and include gems such as Founder's Brewing, <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/HopCat/5636/0/0/">HopCat</a>, <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/Grand-Rapids-Brewing-Company/5720/0/0/">Grand Rapids Brewing Company</a>, and <a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/listings/The-B-O-B-/2004/0/0/">The B.O.B</a>.</p> <p>The fertile soil of Western Michigan creates one of the finest growing regions in the country. For this reason it's home to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.experiencegr.com/restaurants/farm-to-fork/">numerous farm-to-table restaurants</a> that make dinner a difficult, and delicious, choice.</p> <h2>3. Madison, Wisconsin</h2> <p>Love farmer's markets? Then you need to check out Madison. With a young and highly educated population, the <a href="https://madisonfarmersmarket.com/">Saturday Farmers' Market in Madison</a> is one of the largest in the country with 200+ farmers selling their freshest crops and food products. Additionally, there is also the Dane County Farmers' Market, Eastside Farmers' Market, Northside Farmers' Market, and South Madison Farmers' Market. And you thought all they made in Wisconsin was cheese!</p> <h2>4. Boise, Idaho</h2> <p>People in Boise are known for their friendliness and easygoing ways. The food scene reflects that with its many casual and welcoming dining options. <a href="http://cafevicino.com/">Cafe Vicinio</a> serves up delectable Italian eats. Winemaking is making a big splash in Boise thanks to local businesses like <a href="http://boise.coop/wineshop/">Boise Co-op Wine Shop</a>. With the third largest Basque population (outside of Spain and Argentina), Basque cuisine is thriving. <a href="http://www.bargernika.com/">Bar Gernika</a> is a wonderful stop situated right in an area known as Basque Block.</p> <h2>5. Cincinnati, Ohio</h2> <p>Cincinnati chili is one of my favorite varieties of chili, but this city is now known for much more than that when it comes to culinary innovation. The pulled pork at <a href="http://elisbarbeque.com/">Eli's</a>, the finest French croissants and quiches at <a href="http://jrtable.com/french-crust-cafe/">French Crust Cafe</a>, and the authentic Indian food available in every neighborhood across the city prove that Cincinnati has diversity and imagination in its many bustling kitchens.</p> <h2>6. Reno, Nevada</h2> <p>Nevada has another city besides Las Vegas? It sure does! Convenient to Lake Tahoe, Reno showcases its unique culinary scene through its many and varied farmers' markets, local eateries, and cafes. There are so many to mention and visit that it's best to just <a href="http://www.ediblerenotahoe.com/2012-01-27-04-24-16/eat-local-guide">check out this link</a> to see what's on offer that speaks to your taste buds.</p> <h2>7. New Orleans, Louisiana</h2> <p>You'd really have to work hard to eat badly in New Orleans. This city is just as famous for its food as it is for its music, mystery, and revelry. A beignet and a chicory coffee at <a href="http://www.cafedumonde.com/">Cafe Du Monde</a> is the best way to start any morning. Then it's a seafood, gumbo, and Cajun paradise around every corner. You can eat well for very little money in New Orleans though it offers a huge variety of price options to fit every budget: the fried chicken stand at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/brothers-food-mart-new-orleans-4">Brothers Food Mart</a>, mid-range <a href="http://boucherie-nola.com/">Boucherie</a>, and fancy <a href="http://www.restaurantaugust.com/">Restaurant August</a> are some of the most popular food meccas in a city that reveres and celebrates cuisine with wild abandon.</p> <p><em>Have you found culinary gems for a small price tag in your city? Please share your recommendations 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/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-practice-math-when-you-leave-a-tip">Do You Practice Math When You Leave a Tip?</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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Food and Drink Cheap Food dining out foodie restaurants Tue, 10 Feb 2015 10:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1286591 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Cut Your Restaurant Spending in Half http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-cut-your-restaurant-spending-in-half <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-cut-your-restaurant-spending-in-half" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-ordering-waitress-cafe-Dollarphotoclub_62019429.jpg" alt="woman ordering waitress" title="woman ordering waitress" 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 some great articles on how to cut your restaurant spending in half, ways to save on gym memberships, and jobs that allow you to travel.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/2015/01/25-tips-to-slash-your-restaurant-spending-in-half">25 Tips to Slash Your Restaurant Spending in Half</a> &mdash; Ask for a to-go box at the beginning of your meal and set aside half your meal for the next lunch or dinner. [The Centsible Life]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.phroogal.com/7-ways-save-gym-membership/">7 Ways to Save on Gym Membership</a> &mdash; Timing is important! Go in later in the month, when quotas need to be met; the membership salesmen may be more flexible when it comes to fees and discounts. [Phroogal Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Jobs-Require-Travel-3204508">13 Jobs to Satisfy Your Wanderlust</a> &mdash; Recruiters spend a lot of time on the road as they travel to campuses across the country, looking for new talents for their company or athletic team. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/01/21/8-toxic-beliefs-most-people-think-are-normal/">8 Toxic Beliefs Most People Think Are Normal</a> &mdash; Don't hang on to the idea that there's a perfect something for you &mdash; perfection does not exist. Accept the imperfections in your life and it may just evolve into something better than you expected. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.allstate.com/6-affordable-ways-update-improve-car/">6 Affordable Ways to Update and Improve Your Car</a> &mdash; Hide the wear and tear on your car by using touch-up paint on shallow scratches. [The Allstate Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/01/21/4-simple-tips-for-investing-better.aspx">4 Simple Tips for Investing Better</a> &mdash; Learning is the best investment. You achieve success by continuously learning and improving yourself &mdash; and the best way to do it is by reading. [The Motley Fool]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savingadvice.com/articles/2015/01/21/1032325_25-worst-passwords-2014.html">25 Worst Passwords That Leave You Open to Being Hacked and Identity Theft</a> &mdash; Unsurprisingly, &quot;123456&quot; tops the list of worst passwords of 2014. For a better password, use letters, numbers, and symbols; avoid common keyboard patterns, common words, and publicly available info like your address or phone number. [SavingAdvice]</p> <p><a href="http://wealthyturtle.com/how-to-avoid-feeling-isolated-and-lonely-when-working-from-home/">How to Avoid Feeling Isolated and Lonely When Working From Home</a> &mdash; Who says you have to work from home all the time? Change up the scene and work from a coffee shop once or twice a week. [Wealthy Turtle]</p> <p><a href="http://www.consumerismcommentary.com/positive-posse/">How Your Positive Posse Is Destroying You</a> &mdash; If you only surround yourself with &quot;yes-men&quot;, you'll never get the constructive criticism you need for change and growth. [Consumerism Commentary]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-superbowl-games-for-kids">5 Superbowl Games for Kids</a> &mdash; Have fun playing Quarterback Says, a variation of the classic game Simon Says. [Parenting Squad]</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-cut-your-restaurant-spending-in-half">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-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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/11-ways-to-shop-for-food-cheaply-without-a-tedious-grocery-list">Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/what-you-dont-know-about-sushi">What You Don&#039;t Know About Sushi</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips dining out Wed, 28 Jan 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1283849 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Painless Ways to Split the Check http://www.wisebread.com/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-smartphone-restuarant-177838052.jpg" alt="friends smartphone resturant" title="friends smartphone resturant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2014, also known as the year we all ought to rid ourselves of the long, awkward shuffle of money and pencil-drawn arithmetic that happens each time the bill comes after a nice dinner out with friends. Why? Because there's an app for that &mdash; actually, there are six of 'em &mdash; and you've already proven you need it. Plus waitresses across the globe are tired of splitting the bill between three cards and a crumpled up fistfull of cash. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-should-pay-for-the-first-date?ref=seealso">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top six apps made to relieve the burden of shared expenses. (Note: If you're the type to try and dodge paying for the guacamole everyone tasted, there's not an app out there that'll help you with that.)</p> <h2>1. Splitwise</h2> <p>This free web and mobile app helps friend <a href="https://www.splitwise.com/">settle up everything from shared vacation expenses to the electric bill</a>. It's an organizer that allows large groups of people to collectively break down all types of expenses and see what they owe. All data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed and shared from anywhere. The app also offers users mediation tools including a fairness calculator to help settle disputes.</p> <h2>2. Divvy</h2> <p>Divvy is a quick and easy three-step debt settler app for iPhone users. It works like this: Snap a photo of the bill with your phone, drag each item to the name of the person who ordered it, and <a href="http://www.divvythatup.com/">see how much everyone owes</a>. Bonus: You can check that you've been charged the correct amount for each item before itemizing the order. Divvy is 99 cents in the App Store.</p> <h2>3. Cover</h2> <p>Some of the top restaurants in New York and San Francisco are now allowing customers to pay with Cover, a free bill-paying app that allows groups of people large and small to split and pay the check <a href="http://www.paywithcover.com/">without ever having to flag down the waiter</a>. Never again will you be stuck waiting for the bill. Simply tell your waiter that you'll be paying with Cover when you sit down to dine at any of the <a href="http://www.paywithcover.com/cover-restaurants/">113 restaurants that support the app</a>. Cover is free, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and works best if everyone at the table is signed up.</p> <h2>4. Billr</h2> <p>Groups of up to 16 people can use this app to <a href="http://billr.me/">sort and split the bill, plus add gratuity</a>. All you have to do plug in the price of each dish. You can then show each person their individualized bill on your phone screen or send out a text message that lists the breakdown of everybody's debts. Billr is $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.</p> <h2>5. Advanced Bill Splitter</h2> <p>This Android-friendly app is free and performs much like its Apple supported counterpart Billr. Simply plug in everyone's order, including split items like that bottle of Malbec, and the app will spit out <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.rejinderi.billsplitter">personalized meal totals for each diner</a>. Much easier than breaking out the calculator.</p> <h2>6. Receipt Ninja</h2> <p>Perfect for road trips and weekend getaways with friends, Receipt Ninja lets you track and break down shared expenses on multiple receipts. It's a great way to <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.serene.receiptninja&amp;hl=en">divvy up gas, tolls, lunch, and hotel charges all in one fell swoop</a>. You can also export the data in spreadsheet form straight to Excel. And it's supported by both Apple and Android mobile devices. There's a free version, but if you want to avoid those annoying ads you'll need to cough up $2.99 in the App Store.</p> <p><em>How do you settle up at the end of the evening? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</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/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</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/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping dining out friends and money restaurant check restaurants splitting the bill Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1210859 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-reading-menu-122565575-small.jpg" alt="man reading menu" title="man reading menu" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans love to dine out. We spend an average of <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/09/25/lunchtime-americans-spend-nearly-1k-annually-eating-out-for-lunch/">$1,000 annually</a> just on going to lunch. In total, we each spend about $2700 annually in restaurants and on take-out.</p> <p>And where I live (New York City), it's that much worse. So I decided to do a price comparison to discover the restaurant menu items that serve up the biggest cost difference from homemade versions. As a reference, I used the menus of my local, reasonably priced diners and mom-and-pop restaurants. If you eat out at more expensive restaurants, the price difference will be even more extreme. Here's what I found.</p> <h2>1. Pasta</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pasta%20dish.jpg" /></p> <p>Nothing could be simpler to prepare at home than pasta. Whether you buy dry or fresh pasta or make your own (as I recently started doing), pasta is generally a ripoff at most restaurants. My local Italian place serves its simplest and least expensive pasta dish for $10. I can make the exact same simple dish at home for less than $1.</p> <h2>2. Salad</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/salad%20dish.jpg" /></p> <p>Whether you buy your produce at the grocery store, farmer's market, your local CSA, corner produce vendor, or grow your own, a simple veggie salad is a dish you should avoid at restaurants, especially during the summer months when local fresh vegetables are plentiful. I tallied up what it costs to make a simple salad at home with ingredients from my grocery store, and it costs less than $2 for all of the ingredients. My local diner charges $9 for the same salad.</p> <h2>3. Wine</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/wine%20bottles.jpg" /></p> <p>Wine is my drink of choice. A reasonably priced local wine bar in my neighborhood has wines at $8 by the glass and $34 by the bottle (a bargain compared to a lot of New York City restaurants). My local wine store, however, has these same bottles for $14 each. A bottle easily serves four good-sized glasses of vino.</p> <h2>4. Coffee and Tea</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/coffee%20cup.jpg" /></p> <p>We are a country of coffee lovers. As many as <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/04/09/coffee-mania/2069335/">83% of Americans drink coffee</a> and in total we consume 587 million cups of joe per year. Excluding Starbucks, local coffee shops, and the artisanal coffee retailers that tend to charge high per cup prices, I toddled over to my local diner to browse their coffee and tea selection. They cost a minimum of $1.55 per cup. Not bad, especially with free refills. Then I broke down what it costs to brew my favorite gourmet coffee and tea at home and found it only costs $0.25 for the coffee and $0.15 for the tea. Grab your travel mug and home brew your morning fix.</p> <h2>5. Juice and Sodas</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/soda%20cup.jpg" /></p> <p>These are items best bought at the grocery store. Juice is $3.50 per glass at my diner. Soda is $2.50 per glass. I recently bought 64 ounce bottles of each through Freshdirect for $2.50. Doing the math, a glass of either at home costs me $0.31. At the restaurant, stick with good ol' free tap water.</p> <h2>6. Dessert</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pie%20slice.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Given my sweet tooth, I'm always tempted by the dessert case. My frugal ways help me to steer clear of ordering, however. A slice of pie, conservatively, runs about $5 per at my local diner. I can buy an entire 8-slice organic, fresh-baked pie at my Whole Foods for $10. If I bake that same pie myself, the cost for the whole pie is about the cost of a single slice at the diner.</p> <h2>7. Simple Sandwiches</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/grilled%20cheese.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>When it's lunch time and I'm out and about in the city, I often crave the simplest sandwich. Grilled cheese, ham and swiss, and a classic BLT are some of my go-to options. Then I look at the menu of some of my regular cafe stops and at their least expensive, these sandwiches ring up at $6 each. That same sandwich costs less than $1 to make at home. Grabbing a simple lunch on-the-go for the sake of convenience and time certainly comes at a cost!</p> <h2>8. Egg Dishes</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/egg%20toast.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Eggs are a staple in my fridge and for $2.50 a dozen at the grocery store, they're one of the most nutritious bargains, too, at about $0.20 per egg. At my diner, an egg with a few potatoes and a couple pieces of toast will cost you $5. You don't even need your calculator to realize eggs are best consumed at home.</p> <h2>9. Baked Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="339" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/muffin%20dish.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>I used to tell myself I was no good at baking. Turns out I just needed to realize that baking and cooking require a different focus. While in cooking you can fudge measurements of ingredients, in baking you can't. Precision counts. Once I realized that, I started baking regularly. No need to spend $2 to $3 per muffin at my local bakery anymore. I can quickly whip up a batch of 12 for that price. I just put them in a ziploc bag and pop them in the freezer to warm up throughout the week.</p> <h2>10. Pizza</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/pizza%20dish.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>For a long time I believed pizza was worth buying because pizzerias deliver that chewy crust I crave. Then a friend told me that a $10 pizza stone would transform my homemade pizzas into works of art. Now I whip up homemade pizzas, with all the toppings I love, for a dime a slice. Even my local $2 slice joint can't compete with the cost-savings of my pizza stone.</p> <p><em>What's over-priced at your local eatery? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/the-7-best-cities-for-frugal-foodies">The 7 Best Cities for Frugal Foodies</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget">7 Tricks for Enjoying Fine Dining on a Budget</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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dining out expensive food restaurants Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 1197727 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More http://www.wisebread.com/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/good-resturant-service-135702380-small.jpg" alt="good restaurant service" title="good restaurant service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Columbus, Ohio, my favorite spot was a little place called The Blue Danube, familiarly known as &quot;The Dube.&quot; In addition to the usual inexpensive bar fare, the menu there offered the <a href="http://imgur.com/fDIrmSR">Dube Dinner Deluxe</a> which paired a bottle of Dom Perignon with a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (made with Roquefort cheese) at a cost of $185.</p> <p>Though I always regarded the Dube Dinner Deluxe as more of a joke than anything else, I've since come to realize that including it on the menu was a savvy marketing strategy on the part of the bar's owners.</p> <p>Due to a cognitive bias known as <a href="http://moneyning.com/money-beliefs/how-anchoring-in-behavioral-economics-explains-your-irrational-money-choices/">anchoring</a>, diners are more likely to buy mid-priced items when the menu highlights a very expensive meal. Just the existence of a high-priced item is enough to make the other prices on the menu seem reasonable in comparison. &quot;Menu engineers&quot; (and yes, that's a real profession) actually describe these very high priced items as &quot;<a href="http://youtu.be/aZ_G2gQr8Uw">decoys</a>,&quot; since they're only there to soften the sticker shock of other offerings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-overpriced-restaurant-items-that-waste-your-money?ref=seealso">13 Overpriced Restaurant Items</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, restaurants have a pretty good handle on behavioral psychology &mdash; which is why you often end up leaving with a fuller belly and a lighter wallet than you intended. Here are 12 of the sneakiest tricks that restaurants use to get you spend more.</p> <h2>Menu Presentation</h2> <p>A well-designed menu is the single greatest asset for a restaurant's bottom line, as it can help to steer customers to the items the restaurant most wants to sell. That's why you'll find nearly all restaurants have many or all of the following features on their menus.</p> <h3>1. Visual Highlights</h3> <p>If you have ever wondered why some menu items are placed in a text box or otherwise bolded, it's because the restaurant wants to draw your attention to the item. Often, the boxed-off menu item is something that is a major profit-maker for the restaurant &mdash; like chicken wings, for example. Wings cost the restaurant pennies, so the more they sell, the more they profit.</p> <p>In addition, menu designers recognize that most people's eyes are drawn to the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jan/21/menus-cunning-marketing-ploys?guni=Article:in%20body%20link">top right-hand corner</a>, so that is where the big money-maker dishes are often placed. You may have noticed this if you've ever searched in vain for a simple burger on a menu. Burgers and sandwiches and the like don't tend be super profitable in some restaurants, so they are often confined to &quot;menu Siberia,&quot; where you'll have to read through the pricier items before finding them.</p> <p>Finally, photographs of food tend to be powerful motivators, which is why restaurants will place photographs of only some of their menu items. The ones appearing in photographs are the most profitable dishes.</p> <p>Even in high-end restaurants, where photos on the menu are considered a little déclassé, you will often find line drawings or other visual representations of the big money makers.</p> <h3>2. Offering Two Portion Sizes</h3> <p>I often order salads when I dine out, and I have noticed that salads are usually offered in two sizes. This practice is called &quot;bracketing,&quot; and it's a no-win for the customer. Most customers will order the smaller/cheaper portion, thinking that the lower price is a better deal. But the menu does not specify how much smaller the cheaper portion will be, and in general the restaurant is actually hoping you'll buy the smaller size. If you do splurge on the larger salad, often the size difference will be made up in inexpensive lettuce.</p> <h3>3. Feeling Like Family</h3> <p>Diners tend to like seeing the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/dining/23menus.html?pagewanted=all">names of mothers, grandmothers, uncles, and other relatives</a> on their menus. That's why you'll see something listed as &quot;Bubbie's Chicken Soup&quot; or &quot;Uncle Doug's Famous Burgers&quot; rather than simply chicken noodle soup or &frac14; pound burgers.</p> <h3>4. Brand Name Recognition</h3> <p>Going along with that, menu designers have discovered that using <a href="http://www.foodpsychology.cornell.edu/pdf/pre-prints/descriptivemenulabels-2001.pdf">brand names helps boost sales</a>. For instance, T.G.I. Friday's offers Jack Daniel's sauce, and many restaurants make sure to specify that their juice is from Minute Maid. The name recognition is enough to help sell the food.</p> <h3>5. Descriptive Language</h3> <p>A study by Cornell University revealed that foods described in a more flowery or beautiful way were more appealing and popular with diners than the same items presented more plainly. For instance, the study would either label a dessert as &quot;New York Style Cheesecake with Godiva Chocolate Sauce&quot; or simply as &quot;Cheesecake.&quot; The results showed that diners chose the more descriptive menu items <a href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/summaries/sales_labels">27% more often</a> than the more plainly labeled items.</p> <p>Restaurants will often use this effect to highlight a profitable dish &mdash; while using much plainer description on a less profitable menu item placed nearby.</p> <h3>6. Price Shenanigans</h3> <p>One of the things you won't find in almost any menu, from a formal foodie haven down to Mom's Diner, is a dollar sign. Omitting the symbol from the price seems to be enough to spur diners to spend significantly more, according to another Cornell study.</p> <p>In addition, you'll notice something funny about the numbers on menus. You will rarely see any prices ending in a 9. For instance, a dessert will be listed as $4.95 <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing">rather than $4.99</a>. Apparently, numbers ending in 5 seem &quot;friendlier,&quot; while numbers ending with 9 connote value, but not necessarily quality.</p> <p>Many restaurants will leave off the cents entirely, listing their dishes as a clean and simple number. All of these gambits make prices abstract, which makes spending feel less threatening and painful.</p> <h3>7. Price Placement</h3> <p>Many menus will avoid listing prices in a column, since that will make it much simpler to compare prices between meals. Instead, many restaurants will bury each item's price beneath the description.</p> <p>Even if prices are listed across from the dishes, restaurants generally do not print leader dots between the dish name and the price. It's harder to scan across to the price without those dots, meaning you're more likely to focus on the dish.</p> <h2>Service</h2> <p>The menu is not the only way restaurants try to manipulate your spending. Your friendly server is also in on it.</p> <h3>8. Introducing Themselves by Name</h3> <p>When your server introduces himself as Todd and claims he'll be &quot;taking care of you this evening,&quot; he's not just being friendly. Studies have shown that <a href="http://drjaydill.com/PSY500/Garrity-Degelman_1990.pdf">restaurant tipping is higher when servers introduce themselves</a> because the interaction feels more personal.</p> <h3>9. Upselling</h3> <p>Servers are trained to ask you if you'd like to add to your meal during every step of the ordering process. For instance, when you order a cocktail, your server might offer you a choice of brands of liquor &mdash; letting you know that the restaurant carries both Bombay and Beefeaters gin, for instance. What the server does not tell you is that there is also a perfectly good and inexpensive gin that the bartender would have used had you not specified either Bombay or Beefeaters.</p> <h3>10. Listing Specials Verbally</h3> <p>In addition to upselling, servers are also trained to rattle off the day's specials &mdash; from the appetizers to the soups to the entrees to the desserts &mdash; off the top of their heads. This practice provides you with a mouth watering description of the foods that the restaurant is hoping to sell, but it does not give you the price point for each special. Many diners are too embarrassed to ask about the prices of specials, meaning they are surprised when the bill comes.</p> <h3>11. Beverage Timing</h3> <p>You've probably noticed that good servers get your beverage from the bar very quickly after you place your order. That's partially because if the timing is right, you'll run out of your drink either before your entrée arrives or in the middle of your meal &mdash; which will often mean you ask for a refill. If you're drinking a bottle of wine, you might find that your server is Johnny-on-the-spot with refills, since you might be persuaded to purchase another bottle if the first one is empty before your plate is.</p> <h3>12. The Midas Touch</h3> <p>Waitresses in particular are known for being very friendly and even lightly touching diners on the shoulder or hand. That's partially because studies have shown that both men and women tend to tip significantly more when their waitresses touch them in a friendly way. Researchers have dubbed this the <a href="http://psp.sagepub.com/content/10/4/512.abstract">Midas Touch</a>.</p> <p>This Midas Touch <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/work-matters/201005/women-have-the-midas-touch-not-men">does not extend to male servers</a>, however. Diners are more likely to see that kind of touch as creepy rather than friendly or nurturing when it comes from a waiter rather than a waitress.</p> <h2>Limiting Your Restaurant Spending</h2> <p>Unfortunately, the restaurants hold most of the cards when you decide to treat yourself to a meal out. Since you are there to enjoy yourself, it can be very difficult to attempt to counteract the psychological tricks since doing so will likely negatively affect your enjoyment.</p> <p>The best way to deal with these issues is to plan ahead. Bring cash so you cannot spend more than you brought. Check out the menu online and decide what you will order before you arrive. Make sure you ask questions of your server if you're not sure of prices or options. And plan to savor your food and drink, since it will help you be more satisfied and lessen the possibility of over-ordering and overeating.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any other tricks of the restaurant trade? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/7-tricks-for-enjoying-fine-dining-on-a-budget">7 Tricks for Enjoying Fine Dining on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping dining out psychology restaurants spending tricks Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1189022 at http://www.wisebread.com 40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-couple-restaurant-80408262-small.jpg" alt="senior couple restaurant" title="senior couple restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As we age, there are many benefits to look forward to, including retirement, time for travel and hobbies, wisdom, and the joy of being a grandparent. Sometimes, however, retirement means a decrease in income and spending. Many businesses recognize this fact and offer discounts to senior citizens. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts?ref=seealso">Big List of Senior Discounts</a>)</p> <p>Below is a list of 40 restaurants that may offer customers (some starting at age 55) a discount for their business.</p> <h2>Fast Food</h2> <p>Many fast food restaurants will offer a discount, which ranges from 5%-15% as well as a reduced price coffee or soft drink. Discounts may vary from location to location, be sure to ask before you order.</p> <h3>Arby's</h3> <p>10% discount for those over 55.</p> <h3>Burger King</h3> <p>10% discount for those 60 and older.</p> <h3>Captain D's</h3> <p>Discount on select days (usually Sundays and Wednesdays) for seniors 62 and older.</p> <h3>Carl's Jr.</h3> <p>10% discount on meal or drink.</p> <h3>Chick-fil-A</h3> <p>Free small drink or coffee plus a 10% discount for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Del Taco</h3> <p>10% discount or a free drink for customers 55 and over.</p> <h3>Hardees</h3> <p>Small drinks are 33 cents with the purchase of a meal for those 65 and older.</p> <h3>Jack in the Box</h3> <p>Seniors 55 and older can save 20%.</p> <h3>Kentucky Fried Chicken</h3> <p>Free small drink with the purchase of a meal for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Long John Silvers</h3> <p>Discounts vary by location for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>McDonald's</h3> <p>Discounted coffee and soft drink for customers over 55.</p> <h3>Popeye's</h3> <p>10% discount or a free drink for customers 55 and older.</p> <h3>Sonic</h3> <p>10% discount or a free drink for seniors 55 and over.</p> <h3>Subway</h3> <p>10% discount.</p> <h3>Taco Bell</h3> <p>A free drink for seniors or 5% off to seniors 65 and older.</p> <h3>Wendy's</h3> <p>10% discount on your purchase if you are over 55.</p> <h3>Whataburger</h3> <p>Offers a free drink or a 10% discount.</p> <h3>White Castle</h3> <p>10% discounts for customers 62 and over.</p> <h2>Casual Dining</h2> <p>Whether you are sitting down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these restaurants offer you discounts on your meal. Some offer a senior menu (which may have smaller portions as well as a lower price), but be sure to check on the value, if you are a big eater or want to take leftovers home, the regular menu may be a better value for your dollar.</p> <h3>Applebee's</h3> <p>10%-15% off on your meal if you are 55 or older.</p> <h3>Bob Evans</h3> <p>Senior Menu for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Boston Market</h3> <p>10% discount for seniors 65 and older.</p> <h3>Chili's Grill and Bar</h3> <p>10% discount for seniors 55 and older.</p> <h3>CiCi's Pizza</h3> <p>Seniors 60 and over receive a 10% discount.</p> <h3>Culver's</h3> <p>Customers 60 and older receive a 10% discount.</p> <h3>Denny's</h3> <p>Senior Menu for 55 and older, AARP members receive larger discounts.</p> <h3>Golden Corral</h3> <p>10% off to customers over 60.</p> <h3>Hometown Buffet/Ryan's/Country Buffet and Others</h3> <p>Sign up for a discount card and receive deals and coupons all year long.</p> <h3>IHOP</h3> <p>Senior Menu for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>O'Charley's Restaurant</h3> <p>10% off for customers 60 and over.</p> <h3>Papa John's</h3> <p>Save 25% if you are over 55 or an AARP member when you order online using the promo code &quot;AARP25&quot;.</p> <h3>Steak and Shake</h3> <p>Customers 55 and over can receive a 10% discount on Mondays and Tuesdays but locations vary, call ahead.</p> <h3>Waffle House</h3> <p>10% off your meal on Mondays for customers 60 and older.</p> <h2>Desserts and Treats</h2> <p>When you need a sweet treat or a great dessert, you can continue to score discounts at these great restaurants.</p> <h3>Ben &amp; Jerry's</h3> <p>10% discount for seniors 60 and over.</p> <h3>Dairy Queen</h3> <p>10% discount or free drink for those 55 and older.</p> <h3>Dunkin Donuts</h3> <p>Free donut with the purchase of a coffee.</p> <h3>Friendly's</h3> <p>Discounts are available for those 60 and older, inquire at each location for specifics.</p> <h3>Krispy Kreme</h3> <p>10% off for those customers 55 and older.</p> <h3>Mrs. Fields</h3> <p>10% discount for customers 60 and older.</p> <h3>TCBY</h3> <p>10% discount for customers 55 and older,</p> <h2>Additional Discounts and Tips</h2> <p>Ask at every restaurant you visit. Even those not on this and restaurants local to you may offer discounts. Also, if you happen to be an AARP member, you can <a href="http://discounts.aarp.org/dining/index/uSource/HCTN">save even more</a> by showing your membership card. They also offer discounts for buying gift cards to restaurants through a partnership with <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-5674461">Restaurant.com</a>. If you are a member of AARP, it might be worth checking out those deals before dining out.</p> <p>Many of these discounts could vary by location, it is best to give them a call before heading out and expecting a discount. Be sure to bring your identification to show your age, in case the restaurant requests to see proof before offering a discount.</p> <p>For even more discounts available to seniors, check out <a href="http://www.seniordiscounts.com/">SeniorDiscounts.com</a> or <a href="http://www.sciddy.com/">Sciddy.com</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite senior discounts? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">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/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more">12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More</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/are-you-eating-the-10-most-over-priced-restaurant-menu-items">Are You Eating the 10 Most Over-Priced Restaurant Menu Items?</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/25-things-to-never-pay-full-price-for">25 Things to Never Pay Full Price For</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-times-you-should-demand-a-discount">8 Times You Should Demand a Discount</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping dining out discounts restaurants senior discounts Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1153214 at http://www.wisebread.com Infographic: Always Know Who Should Pick Up the Check http://www.wisebread.com/infographic-always-know-who-should-pick-up-the-check <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/infographic-always-know-who-should-pick-up-the-check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant-bill-78745435-small.jpg" alt="restaurant bill" title="restaurant bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've just had a nice dinner, great conversation, and many laughs. The server has dropped off the check, and the last bites of dessert have been consumed. The age-old dilemma arises &mdash; who picks up the check? Here is a quick infographic guide that helps you figure it out. And keep reading below for more details!</p> <p><img width="605" height="1057" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/Who-picks-the-check.jpg" /></p> <p>Embed this infographic:<br /> <textarea style="width:590px;height:65px;">&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.wisebread.com/who-picks-up-the-check&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/Who-picks-the-check.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</textarea></p> <p>Tradition says that if you are on a date, then the man should pick up the check and pay. That tradition began years ago when men were working and women were not. Times have certainly changed, and women are making money as well as men. Women could, and &mdash; in some cases should &mdash; be picking up the check from time to time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-practice-math-when-you-leave-a-tip?ref=seealso">Do You Practice Math When You Tip?</a>)</p> <p>What do you do if you are out with friends, on a business lunch or dating someone of the same sex? Tradition doesn't always apply. Here are three situations that you may find yourself in and how to determine who should pick up the check.</p> <h2>Out With Friends</h2> <p>It might seem like this situation would be the easiest to solve. After all, these are your friends, and they should be the easiest to talk to about situations like this. However, there are times when dining out with friends can create a stressful situation. If you are with multiple friends but avoid drinks or only order a salad, it can be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paying-for-a-piece-of-the-pizza-techniques-for-splitting-the-bill">difficult to split the check evenly</a>. It's hard to speak up and tell a group of people whom you care for that you think they are being unfair by splitting things down the middle.</p> <p>In situations where there are only one or two friends dining out, the person who does the inviting should pick up the tab. At the very least, he or she should offer to cover the entire tab and be prepared to do so when making the invitation to get together.</p> <p>If dinner is with multiple friends, it might be best to to state at the beginning of the meal that you need to keep an eye on the budget and would anyone mind doing separate checks. Servers can very easily split checks now with just the tap of a few prompts on a screen, so separate checks are almost always easy to create.</p> <p>If it's a standing arrangement where your friends get together every month, rotate who pays each time. It's common for people of all ages to do this with their social groups; some actually choose to flip a coin! Have everyone flip, and any odd person out pays the bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-playing-credit-card-roulette">How to Play &mdash; and Win! &mdash; Credit Card Roulette</a>)</p> <p>When all else fails, use an app like <a href="http://plates.splitwise.com/">Plates</a>, from <a href="https://www.splitwise.com/">Splitwise</a>.</p> <h2>Business-Related Dining</h2> <p>If you have invited a potential client or colleague out to lunch or dinner for the purpose of creating a working relationship with them, you should definitely be picking up the tab. However, if lunch has been requested by someone who wants your business or if you are dining with a boss, then it should be their bill to pay. There are <a href="http://www.inc.com/steve-tobak/business-etiquette-who-should-pick-up-the-check.html">other situations</a> where you should pick up the tab as well, for instance if you have come to a mutual agreement to go to lunch together to collaborate or brainstorm. Ultimately, if the check is sitting on the table and no one is going for it, be the one to grab it and offer to pay for the meal. You never know when that gesture wins you a better working relationship with someone.</p> <h2>Dating</h2> <p>Tradition no longer holds water here. While there are still many men who feel they should always pick up the check when dating, <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/23244363/#.U3wK3vldUhV">those numbers are decreasing</a>. More and more men are expecting women to pick up the check, and more women are demanding that they have the opportunity to do so. Women generally don't want to feel like they can't take care of themselves, so they are more likely to offer to split the bill, pay the tip, or pick up the check during the next date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-should-pay-for-the-first-date?ref=seealso">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <p>However, a good rule of thumb is that if you are the one initiating the date, then you should be the one to pick up the bill. This rule really fits in most situations, but especially with dating. It's never a good habit to ask someone out, plan the date, and then expect <em>them</em> to pick up the tab. No one wants to date &quot;that guy/girl.&quot;</p> <p>Regardless of the situation, if the person you are with has picked up the tab and you really want to see him or her again, end the meal with a comment like, &quot;Thanks for buying dinner tonight. Let's do this again so I can return the favor.&quot; Be sure to comment with something that lets him/her know you are grateful, capable, and willing to pay yourself (and maybe most importantly, interested in more time together).</p> <p><em>How do you divide up the check? Share your advice in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/infographic-always-know-who-should-pick-up-the-check">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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</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/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</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/curing-warts-removing-splinters-and-19-other-bizarre-uses-for-banana-peels">Curing Warts, Removing Splinters, and 19 Other Bizarre Uses for Banana Peels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips dining out dividing the check splitting the check tipping Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:00:03 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1142932 at http://www.wisebread.com Cut $100 or More From Your Food Bill Without Even Trying http://www.wisebread.com/cut-100-or-more-from-your-food-bill-without-even-trying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cut-100-or-more-from-your-food-bill-without-even-trying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/groceries-451557151.jpg" alt="man with groceries" title="man with groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've shared a lot of food budget tips here on Wise Bread, from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-great-coupon-debate">coupon clipping</a> to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list">getting organics on a budget</a> to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-at-restaurants-budgeting-tips-for-dining-out">finding restaurant discounts</a>. But what if you just don't want to put that much time and effort into money saving techniques? A single person can easily shave $100 off a monthly food budget without breaking a sweat by making some of these easy changes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-and-eat-better-with-a-7-step-food-budget">Use a 7-Step Food Budget to Save Money and Eat Better</a>)</p> <h2>1. Stop Throwing Away Food</h2> <p>Imagine bringing home a bunch of eight bananas, picking two off the bunch, and pitching them right into the trash. If you're like the average American, you do the equivalent every week, throwing away up to a quarter of all the food you buy. If you can cut food waste to just 5%, that's a 20% savings without ever having to study Advanced Coupon Theory.</p> <p>What's the secret to not throwing away food? Eating it before it goes bad. At our house, we achieve that by avoiding overfilling our fridge &mdash; things that get pushed to the back behind new purchases end up wasted. Another handy anti-waste device is the clear storage container. I use these <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005B8K5/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00005B8K5&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Pyrex containers</a>. Used yogurt containers are free, but if you're like me, you might ignore leftovers packaged in an opaque container and forget about them until they've transformed into a fuzzy gray mess ready for HazMat pickup.</p> <p>Finally, don't forget about your freezer. If you don't think you'll have time to finish the leftovers before they spoil, just stick 'em in a freezer bag and voila &mdash; you have a quick dinner for a future night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-freeze-foods-that-dont-freeze-well?ref=seealso">How to Freeze Foods That Don&rsquo;t Freeze Well</a>)</p> <h2>2. Downgrade Unplanned Dining</h2> <p>If you want to go out with friends to a restaurant for a nice occasion, that's one thing. But if you find yourself heading to restaurants just because you're out of groceries or are too tired to cook, that's an opportunity for savings.</p> <p>Instead of hitting a restaurant, pick up a pre-made salad, a rotisserie chicken, or other ready-to-eat entree. Grocery stores, in a nod to busy families, carry a lot of those things these days.</p> <h2>3. Lay in Emergency Supplies</h2> <p>Emergency preparedness isn't limited to clearing the shelves of the local grocery store when a hurricane or blizzard is due. A night when you don't have anything planned for dinner is emergency enough. Buy some extra boxes of pasta and jars of sauce (with meatballs in the freezer), cans of tuna, or anything else that would allow you to whip up a halfway decent meal even if your original plans fall through. If you're tempted to eat your emergency supplies right away, hide them in a cupboard you don't usually open &mdash; for me it's that one over the refrigerator.</p> <h2>4. Don't Overeat</h2> <p>The average <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Health/restaurant-meals-higher-calories-fast-food-studies-find/story?id=19170366">restaurant meal contains 1,128 calories</a>. That's great news!</p> <p>Why great, when so many Americans are struggling to control their weight? Because it means that the typical restaurant meal contains enough food for tomorrow's lunch in addition to tonight's dinner. Don't gobble it all up tonight, just because it's there. Get a doggie bag.</p> <h2>5. Pack Your Lunch</h2> <p>Wait a minute &mdash; you thought this list was going to be low effort, and here we are suggesting you put in a grueling five minutes spreading peanut butter on bread. Well, would it be worth it if I told you that every minute you spend packing your lunch could save you $1?</p> <p>A peanut butter and jelly sandwich costs about <a href="http://www.christonium.com/culinaryreview/How_Much_Does_a_Typical_Homemade_Sandwich_Cost">29 cents to make</a>. Add an <a href="http://www.ams.usda.gov/mnreports/fvwretail.pdf">apple for about 60 cents</a> and a 50-cent container of yogurt, and you have a nutritious lunch for less than $2, or $10 for five lunches a week. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-non-sandwich-work-lunches?ref=seealso">25 Non-Sandwich Work Lunches</a>)</p> <p>The average American worker spends more than <a href="http://www.accountingprincipals.com/Documents/downloads/workonomix_spending_habits.pdf">$36 on workday lunches out</a> per week. So 25 minutes a week of lunch packing could save you about $25, or a dollar a minute.</p> <p>Multiplied by four weeks in the average month, and you just saved your $100 a month &mdash; without touching the other two meals of the day.</p> <p>If you're a serial lunch forgetter, see if you can stash a few emergency lunch supplies in your desk or office refrigerator, so you don't end up going on unplanned lunch outings. My husband keeps a canister of oatmeal at work for those days &mdash; it ain't fancy, but it allows him to power through till dinner.</p> <h2>6. Cut Down on Junk Food</h2> <p>When people say that they can't afford to eat healthy, they tend to conveniently forget that unhealthy snack foods are among the priciest groceries in the store. A <a href="http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/data.exe/blsap/APU0000718311">16 oz. bag of potato chips costs about $4.50</a>, compared to an average cost of <a href="http://www.economagic.com/em-cgi/data.exe/blsap/APU0100712112">73 cents per pound of potatoes</a>.</p> <p>So if you skip those between-meal snacks, you're not only improving your health, but you're saving your appetite for much less-expensive meal time calories.</p> <h2>7. Drink Water</h2> <p>This goes for at home, but it goes double for at restaurants, where soda and other beverages can be crazy expensive compared to the food. American households spend an average of <a href="http://www.drinkwaterfirst.com/Save-Money.html">$850 per year on soft drinks</a>. So even if you could cut that in half, you'd be looking at spending $425 less, or a savings of $35 a month.</p> <h2>8. Buy the Store Brand</h2> <p>It doesn't take too much study of the prices on grocery store shelves to figure out that the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/october/shopping/store-brands-vs-name-brands/overview/index.htm">store brand is the cheapest</a> &mdash; Consumer Reports pegged the savings at 30%. In a 2010 taste test of store brands versus name brands, the magazine found that, &quot;Overall, national brands won seven of the 21 matchups and store brands won three. For the rest, the store brand and name brand were of similar quality.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Observe Meatless Monday</h2> <p>Vegetarian meals are usually cheaper, but I'm personally not willing to give up the savory deliciousness of hamburgers, roast chicken, or pulled pork for life. But for one day a week? That I can do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-by-going-mostly-meatless?ref=seealso">Save Money By Going Mostly Meatless</a>)</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.meatlessmonday.com/">Meatless Monday website</a> features lots of flesh-free recipes. They're not all budget recipes, of course, but in general I spend less on my vegetarian dishes than my carnivorous ones.</p> <h2>10. Join Costco or Another Wholesale Club</h2> <p>Many items are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">cheaper per ounce at Costco</a> than at regular stores &mdash; but you only really realize a savings if you can use everything you buy there. Costco is also a good place to get healthy frozen entrees if these help you resist fast-food windows.</p> <p><em>How do you save money on food? Please share your tips in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cut-100-or-more-from-your-food-bill-without-even-trying">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-4"> <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/11-ways-to-shop-for-food-cheaply-without-a-tedious-grocery-list">Grocery Shopping for the Cheap and Lazy</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-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery 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/save-money-and-eat-better-with-a-7-step-food-budget">Save Money and Eat Better With a 7-Step Food Budget</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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</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-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink dining out food budget food spending groceries Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:24:33 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1124303 at http://www.wisebread.com Ask the Readers: How Often Do You Dine Out? http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-often-do-you-dine-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ask-the-readers-how-often-do-you-dine-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/restaurant-5162879-small.jpg" alt="waitress with chips" title="waitress with chips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="170" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's Note: Congratulations to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-often-do-you-dine-out#comment-694462">Michelle</a>, Tabathia, and Laura for winning this week's contest!</em></p> <p>Many people enjoy dining out, especially if time, groceries, and cooking skills are lacking. However, the cost of restaurant meals &mdash; or even just take-out &mdash; can add up if it's a regular part of your life.</p> <p><strong>How often do you dine out?</strong> Are there certain occasions where you definitely would (or wouldn't) eat at a restaurant? What do you do to lower the costs when you dine out?</p> <p>Tell us how often you dine out and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</p> <h2>Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards</h2> <p>We're doing three giveaways &mdash; here's how you can win!</p> <h3>Mandatory Entry:</h3> <ul> <li>Post your answer in the comments below. One commenter will win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!</li> </ul> <h3>For extra entries:</h3> <ul> <li>You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Also, our Facebook fans can get an extra entry too! Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of the other two Amazon Gift Cards:</li> <p> <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/79857d50/" class="rafl" id="rc-79857d50">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a></p> <script src="//d12vno17mo87cx.cloudfront.net/embed/rafl/cptr.js"></script><p><strong>If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.</strong></p> <h4>Giveaway Rules:</h4> <ul> <li>Contest ends Monday, September 16th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after September 16th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.</li> <li>You can enter all three drawings &mdash; once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.</li> <li>This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.</li> <li>You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.</li> </ul> </ul> <p><strong>Good Luck!</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tell us how often you dine out and we&#039;ll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card! </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-how-often-do-you-dine-out">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-4"> <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/ask-the-readers-what-is-your-new-years-resolution">Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year&#039;s Resolution?</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/ask-the-readers-whats-the-biggest-item-in-your-budget">Ask the Readers: What&#039;s the Biggest Item in Your 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/ask-the-readers-should-kids-get-paid-for-doing-chores">Ask The Readers: Should Kids Get Paid For Doing Chores?</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/ask-the-readers-share-your-favorite-frugal-holiday-tradition">Ask the Readers: Share Your Favorite Frugal Holiday Tradition</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/ask-the-readers-would-you-relocate-for-the-perfect-job-chance-to-win">Ask the Readers: Would You Relocate for the Perfect Job? (Chance to win!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Giveaways Ask the Readers dining out Tue, 10 Sep 2013 14:07:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 981805 at http://www.wisebread.com Identify and Solve Your Spending Mysteries http://www.wisebread.com/identify-and-solve-your-spending-mysteries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/identify-and-solve-your-spending-mysteries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-3258918-small.jpg" alt="spending" title="spending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you feel like some of your hard-earned cash seems to vanish into thin air each month? I kept noticing a big chunk of my change seemed to be disappearing into a monthly black hole, despite what I thought was decent budgeting. So, I decided to clean up my act and set out to locate these hidden areas. Here are a few tips that I learned along the way that can help you nab your mystery spending, too. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-hidden-spending-habits-and-save">Find Your Hidden Spending Habits and Save</a>).</p> <h2>1. Unplanned Dining Splurges</h2> <p>Despite having a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget?wbref=readmore-2">dining budget</a>, I admit I was not keeping track of every single drink or ice cream that seemed like a small splurge at the time. While an occasional treat is well deserved, often I was being silly. For example, last week while waiting for our table, my husband and I ordered two glasses of not-so-good, lukewarm chardonnay for $21 including tip. When I go to the liquor store, I can buy two or even three suitable bottles for that price. Do the &quot;quick drink at the bar&quot; a few more times, and you can easily run up $100 a month and not really enjoy it.</p> <p>I noticed that other little treats were adding up, too. We always visited the ice cream shop after a dinner out or made a few unplanned, weekly fast food stops. Somehow, I was forgetting that the tab for such outings can easily run $15-$20 for four people.</p> <p><strong>Curbing the Treat Buying</strong></p> <p>Once I realized what was happening, I established a treat allowance per month. This consisted of setting aside a small, fixed amount in cash, bound in a rubber band. I could do what I wanted with my little roll of cash, but once it was gone, that was it for the month. This quickly stopped the previous over-spending and made me prioritize my buying and how badly I wanted something.</p> <p>Secondly, I found ways to spread out little splurges more. For drinks, it was as simple as holding off for a more economical bottle of wine at the table, or eating at home, followed by an affordable beer at the bar afterwards. For the ice cream shop visits and fast food stops, I made such trips into planned, special outings for my family. This meant not indulging after already out to dinner or because we were just driving by. Looking forward to these planned jaunts made everyone appreciate them more. Spreading treats into separate outings actually made us feel like we were going out more, too.</p> <h2>2. The Curse of the Last-Minute Gifter</h2> <p>I budgeted for big items, like Christmas and my daughter's birthday, but I was still shocked at my annual gift spend. Things like housewarming gifts, other children's birthday parties, and smaller-scale holidays were really adding up. Throw in a wedding or two, and you can easily go off the rails. I never stopped to think about just how many events we were attending and the types of gifts we bought. Additionally, I would often buy presents at the last minute, meaning I usually spent more out of convenience.</p> <p><strong>The Gift-Giving Fix</strong></p> <p>Once I realized that we were averaging 10 dinner parties, 5 kids' birthday parties, and a handful of holidays and special events per year, I made a better gift budget. Then, I saved a bundle by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">making some of my own gifts,</a> like painted flowerpots, or easier projects like repurposed jars filled with fresh flowers from my garden. Next, I stocked up on some attractive home goods, which I found at craft stores for $5 or less, using coupons or hitting seasonal sales. When out shopping, if I saw a good deal on a toy or baby clothes, I bought a few to have as inventory for upcoming events. In the last six months, we saved over $300 by doing this, and many of these gifts were more appreciated than the default bottle of wine.</p> <h2>3. Too Many Shows, Too Little Time</h2> <p>With the dizzying array of cable packages and providers, it is hard to know if you are really saving. I took a long, hard look and realized I had at least 10 movie channels I hadn't watched in the last 12 months. And, if you have young kids, chances are your days of surfing premium channels to watch &quot;Office Space&quot; undisturbed for the fortieth time are long gone. It was time to take inventory of what I really needed and cut down. My plan was also up for renewal, and when I viewed my account online, I saw a $20 per month increase for the same stuff I currently had. This was not good.</p> <p><strong>Making Cable Worth It Again</strong></p> <p>I already had a combined package for my phone, Internet, and cable, so I was pleasantly surprised more savings could be had. First, instead of settling for what you may see online and giving up any previous promotions, investing the 10 minutes to call your provider directly can pay off. I called expecting a fight, but before I could even plead my case, the representative said <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/thirteen-minutes-to-a-lower-cable-bill">there were special deals for those willing to renew</a> for two more years. I was immediately given a renewal plan that included faster Internet and all of my existing features for $10 less per month. Once that was done, I cut out two premium channel lineups we never use, which saved another $30 per month.</p> <p>The next time you are looking to tune up your budget, take a look at your non-essential spending and really think through where your money goes. My examples were very relevant for a family with a young child in the house, but everyone can attempt to cut down mystery spending. By identifying the common pitfalls and making some useful adjustments, you can save a bunch and still do the things you enjoy.</p> <p><em>Have you uncovered any hidden spending habits? What did you do to spot them and correct them?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/identify-and-solve-your-spending-mysteries">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/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</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/the-surprising-way-birth-order-decides-your-money-habits">The Surprising Way Birth Order Decides Your Money Habits</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-spend-almost-nothing-on-gifts-this-year">10 Gift Ideas That Cost Almost Nothing</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/bridging-the-gap-from-dining-out-to-eating-in">Bridging The Gap From Dining Out To Eating In</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/what-s-your-budget-personality">What’s Your Budget Personality?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting cable bill dining out homemade gifts mystery spending spending habits Wed, 03 Jul 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 980278 at http://www.wisebread.com Who Should Pay for the First Date? http://www.wisebread.com/who-should-pay-for-the-first-date <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/who-should-pay-for-the-first-date" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/7400359838_4f1bb4dd4f_z.jpg" alt="couple" title="couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m married now, but when I was dating, I had anxiety over who should pay for the first date.</p> <p>For women, it&rsquo;s easy. I don&rsquo;t mean to be sexist, but the guy generally picks up the tab in most cases; you ladies have it made if you&rsquo;re dating decent men. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget" target="_blank">From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget</a>)</p> <p>I&rsquo;m gay, however, so when it&rsquo;s two dudes meeting for drinks, dinner, and activities, that old-fashioned line of machismo-masked-as-chivalry tends to get blurred.</p> <h2>My Simple Rule: The Asker Pays</h2> <p>In my case, I adopted the rule early on that whoever asked the other on the date is the one who should pay. That&rsquo;s not how it always went down, though. I dated a few stinkers (literally in one instance; more on that later) before I found my husband. But even today, I still use that rule when going on a date with my husband. If I ask him on the date, I&rsquo;ll pick up the tab. If he&rsquo;s inviting me out, I expect him to foot the bill.</p> <p>Then there&rsquo;s the grey area.</p> <p>If we&rsquo;re going out on a whim, with no specific plans in place, we go Dutch. I don&rsquo;t mind. Every now and then, on these impromptu dates, one of us will pick up the entire bill just because we want to &mdash; and because that&rsquo;s what married people do if they want married-people perks later in the night.</p> <h2>First Date Follies</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re not in a relationship though, dating isn&rsquo;t so easy &mdash; especially the first one &mdash; and it definitely isn&rsquo;t cheap.</p> <p>While I stand by my statement that you should fork over the dough if you initiated the first date, there are some exceptions. Let&rsquo;s take that stinker, for instance.</p> <p>I went out on a date once with a dude in whom I was interested, but the date quickly went downhill after dinner. On our way to a local bookstore to sit on the terrace with dessert and a few magazines, this guy let out a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reclaiming-etiquette-dining-basics-for-young-professionals" target="_blank">huge belch without excusing himself</a>. I brushed it off the first time, but then he did it again &mdash; again without excusing himself. That time I asked him if he was going to excuse himself to which replied that he would not and that he farts, too.</p> <p>Um, not on my time.</p> <p>At that point the date was over for me. Even though he asked me out and paid for the first half of the date, I decided to send him a message when we got to the bookstore by paying for my own dessert and magazines. I wasn&rsquo;t about to accept more of his charity if he planned to be rude and disgusting for the rest of the night.</p> <p>This example is where an exception to the rule of who pays applies. If you&rsquo;re not feeling the date, you have a responsibility to let that person know &mdash; and there&rsquo;s no better way to do that than by declining their offer to pay, or, on the other hand, requesting to split the bill if you&rsquo;re the one expected to pay.</p> <p>What I mean by the latter is if you&rsquo;re not hitting it off with the person with whom you&rsquo;re on a date for whatever reason, I don&rsquo;t think you should have to pay their portion. You likely won&rsquo;t see them after this, so there should be no embarrassment in asking them to go halfsies. At the very least, you won&rsquo;t have to worry about them calling you ever again.</p> <h2>A First Date Shouldn't Bust Anybody's Budget</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s worth noting that while first dates should be special, you should be wary of people who take advantage of the situation.</p> <p>Some people just want a free meal, and if you feel like you&rsquo;re getting the shaft it&rsquo;s totally OK to flip the script and make them pay up. The first indication of this little game is when he or she orders the most expensive item on the menu and premium cocktails. Conversely, if you&rsquo;ve been asked on the date, don&rsquo;t be that guy or girl. Order something sensible and reasonably priced so your date doesn&rsquo;t get the impression that you&rsquo;re attracted only to his or her wallet.</p> <p>Most importantly, be smart in planning the first date if you&rsquo;re the one paying. You shouldn&rsquo;t <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-cheapskates-guide-to-eating-out" target="_blank">make reservations at the fanciest place in town</a> if that&rsquo;s not in your budget. While it&rsquo;s tacky for the date to order the most expensive items on the menu, it&rsquo;s something for which you should be prepared; if you can&rsquo;t afford it, you shouldn&rsquo;t be eating there. Same goes for activities &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-cheap-dates">choose fun, budget-friendly activities in which to participate</a> so you can somewhat gauge how much this date will cost.</p> <p>The underlying perk in this strategy is that by setting a standard of budget dating in the beginning, your date won&rsquo;t get the wrong impression. He or she will expect low-cost outings from the get-go, which will make those more extravagant dates unexpected and appreciated down the road.</p> <p><em>Now it&rsquo;s your turn to weigh in. What do you think about my take on first dates? Do you agree or disagree? Do you have a bad-date story to share? 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/who-should-pay-for-the-first-date">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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</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/free-ways-to-celebrate-mothers-day">Free Ways to Celebrate Mother&#039;s Day</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/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</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/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget">From $5 to $30+, Date Ideas for Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle dating etiquette dining out first dates Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Mikey Rox 971561 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Alternatives to Dining Out http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-alternatives-to-dining-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-alternatives-to-dining-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2358279597_352ce8bf76_z-1.jpg" alt="Alternatives to Dining Out" title="Alternatives to Dining Out" 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 some fantastic articles on alternatives to dining out, tech tools to spring clean your life, and improving your credit score.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/frugal-foodie-6-alternatives-to-dining-out/">Frugal Foodie: 6 Alternatives to Dining Out</a> &mdash; Instead of dining out, consider going to a free tasting. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Organizing-Websites-Apps-16416596">6 Tech Tools To Spring Clean Your Life And Save Money</a> &mdash; Spring clean your life by using the Evernote app to declutter your notes and to-do list. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://thirtysixmonths.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Thirtysixmonthscom+%28thirtysixmonths.com%2Fblog%29">How to Improve Your credit score.</a> &mdash; Improve your credit score by not opening multiple lines of credit. [Thirty Six Months]</p> <p><a href="http://www.paidtwice.com/2012/04/29/turning-your-medical-costs-into-a-tax-deduction/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+IvePaidForThisTwiceAlready+%28I%27ve+Paid+For+This+Twice+Already...%29">Turning Your Medical Costs Into A Tax Deduction</a> &mdash; Did you know that if your medical expenses exceed 7.5% of your gross income, you can write them off as a tax deduction? [I've Paid For This Twice Already]</p> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/04/30/12-universal-skills-you-need-to-succeed/">12 Universal Skills You Need to Succeed at Anything</a> &mdash; If you have basic accounting and money management skills, you can succeed at anything! [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/2012/05/how-to-earn-extra-money-participating-in-online-juries?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePennyHoarder+%28The+Penny+Hoarder%29">How to Earn Extra Money Participating in Online Juries</a> &mdash; To earn extra money participating in online juries, check out eJury or Trial Juries. [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://learnfinancialeducation.com/what-to-do-when-you-are-laid-off-in-your-job/">What to Do when You are Laid Off in Your Job</a> &mdash; If you get laid off from your job, make sure you identify your profitable skills and start looking for a new job. [Financial Management Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.soundmoneymatters.com/deals-on-baby-stuff/">How to Find Deals on Baby Stuff</a> &mdash; Find deals on baby stuff by registering at Amazon. [Sound Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2012/04/30/less-stress-2/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ThePositivityblog-PutSomePersonalDevelopmentAndPositivityIntoYourLife+%28The+PositivityBlog+-+Put+some+personal+development+and+positivity+into+your+life%29">10 Small Habits of Less Stressed People</a> &mdash; To be less stressed, keep everything in its place. [The Positivigy Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/2012-summer-family-movie-preview">2012 Summer Family Movie Preview</a> &mdash; Consider taking your kids to the movies this summer to see Madagascar 3 or Ice Age 4. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/04/wise-bread-tweetchat-wbchat-3">Wise Bread Tweetchat (#WBChat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss our weekly #WBChat at 12pm PST! We will be giving away prizes!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-alternatives-to-dining-out">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-6"> <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/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</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/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils</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-credit-cards-for-dining-out">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</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-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</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/40-restaurants-that-offer-senior-discounts">40 Restaurants That Offer Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips dining out Food Thu, 03 May 2012 10:00:14 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 927461 at http://www.wisebread.com