Tag Archives: Frugal Friday

Frugal Friday: Boston and Beyond

29 Jul

Happy Frugal Friday! Hope everyone is ready for the weekend and that it’s starting to cool down wherever you are. The weatherman said that in South Florida the heat index today will be 110 degrees so this girl is all about staying inside in the A/C. My parents said something about going to see a movie this afternoon at one of the $2 theaters so they are embracing Frugal Friday as well!

When I went to Boston, Stephanie took me to this awesome used bookstore she frequents. I love used bookstores but this one also had cd’s, dvd’s, magazines, records and other goodies. I soon got the lay of the land and found that they had racks in the front featuring best sellers, chick lit, cookbooks, etc. Along with that are rows upon rows of books, all organized  by genre. It was very easy to navigate through with very reasonable prices.

Not only did I get a couple of books (Devil in the Junior League was read on the way back to DC and a fun, quick read), I also snagged some books on cd, which I still call books on tape. I like to think people know what I’m talking about when I saw books on tape so hopefully that’s the case.

I listened to Something Blue on the way down to Florida and it really did help time go by quickly. I read the book years ago and knew the premise of it but forgot certain parts of it. Plus, after seeing Something Borrowed a couple of months ago, it was fun to continue the story from Darcy’s point of view plus now I can totally see Kate Hudson as Darcy. Every though I prefer the books to movies, I am hoping that they come out with Something Blue as a movie. I am waiting to listen to the Lovely Bones on another long trip. I read the book and it was a little too depressing for me but given the way the book reads, I think the book on tape will be really interesting. I got both of these for under $8. If anyone of you book on tape people would like “Something Blue” let me know and I will be happy to pay it forward and send to you!

While at the Lululemon store in Boston, I went up to the cash register to ask how much their red bags are. I’ve never bought anything there before but I see their bags everywhere and dig them because they are a) red, my favorite color b) I love the quotes on them, just looking at them makes me smile. Besides me Coach purses, I don’t think I can say that about any bags I own. The sales associate told me that they don’t sell them, that they are the bags they put purchases in. I must have looked pretty down while saying “Oh” because the sales associate took one then slid me it on the DL and that definitely turned my frown upside down!

I got to the train station a bit early on Monday and was bored after a half hour, the people watching gods were not being good to me. I found out where the closest CVS was and took a walk over there to stock up on snacks, drinks and more. Stephanie gave me this coupon for $3 off HerbaShine hair color and it must have been in the stars for me to buy it because it was on sale for $7 at CVS.

Pair that up with a $.50 extrabucks coupon and I got hair coloring, swedish fish, Gatorade and a sandwich for $11, not too shabby. But then I thought about my purchase and how sketchy I looked buying hair dye when about to get on a train. That’s like straight out of a movie when a chick kills someone then moves somewhere random like South Dakota to start anew. No worries though, Stephanie is still alive and I am too afraid of prison to do that anyways. I’ve never seen a CVS carry sandwiches like that and they had a pretty decent variety like a club, chicken caesar and buffalo chicken, which I got.

 

I later enjoyed on the train along with some pita chips that I bought at Trader Joe’s that weekend. A great, portable meal for about $5.50 as opposed to just a sandwich on the train for $7 or $8. The buffalo chicken was surprisingly tasty, a lot better than I expected from a drug store.

When I stopped in Charlotte for a night, my friend and I went to Target to look for dresses. Naturally, this meant that I would buy a crap ton more than a dress, including three pairs of shoes for under $30 (one of them not pictured because I have too much stuff and can’t find them at the moment)

While making my way down to South Florida, I saw this sign for free coffee if the restroom wasn’t spotless at Dunkin Donuts. I thought I was going to walk away with a free coffee since it was a DD located within a gas station but no dice, the restroom was completely spotless

I stopped at a friends house the first night I was back in FL and she has an avocado tree in her backyard that is growing avocados left and right. But they aren’t the avocados that I’m used to, like the Haas ones from California, they are Florida avocados and I’ve never heard of that even after growing up in Florida.She gave me a bag of them to take home but said I would have to wait awhile for them to be ready to eat.

As you can see, they are much bigger than the Haas ones and the skin is smoother as well. I sliced one open yesterday but it still wasn’t ready-boo.

I have been doing excellent with not eating out that much. I only ate twice this week and one of them was with a Groupon I had for Wings n Ale in Coral Springs

When I bought the Groupon, I thought the name sounded very familiar and when we pulled up, I realized that I had been there before. I was surprised to see it still in business because it’s in a random strip mall in the corner and if you blinked, you would probably miss it. The inside was very small with about eight or nine tables and you seat yourself. They have a small bar area and only two servers working that night. It was packed and our server mentioned that everyone who has been there in there was because of Groupon. One of the many reasons I love Groupon is because it helps support local businesses so I was happy to see that it was hopping!

Since I tried their wings before, I ordered the blackened mahi sandwich and it was superb. The fish was freah and blackened perfectly with a hint of spice. Plus I kinda dig that the mahi filet is square and served on a round bun-just like Wendy’s hamburgers!

 

Do you do a lot of shopping while traveling or try to save your money on other things?

Have you ever had a Florida avocado?

Do you have a good avocado recipe? I’m looking to do something besides guacamole!

 

 

Frugal Friday: Saving money when without home

15 Jul

Happy Frugal Friday! I am about to hit the hay because I have to wake up early for another traveling adventure. This time?

(source)

Boston!

I haven’t been there since I was 11 years old and can’t wait to experience it as an adult. I’m taking the train up there so I’m sure that will be an experience itself and am intrigued by the whole train business. I haven’t been on am Amtrak train since I was in fifth grade when we went up to DC for the safety patrol field trip. I can’t wait to people watch but don’t think there will be as many skeezers on it than a bus. Stayed tuned for tons of pics and blogger meetup details!

As many of you know, I’m still living the vagabond lifestyle and much to my surprise, I haven’t been spending a lot of money. We’ve been eating out but not as much as I thought we were going to. If not eating out, I’ve been having leftovers at home (AKA Neyals house) or eating meals at home. Neyal likes to go out to eat but she is all about saving money and calories as well so we have been doing one meal at home and then go out for one each day if we don’t eat both meals at home.

Leftover chicken verde stew

Ropa Vieja made in the crockpot

Neyal’s garden is sick. But in a good way! She has a ton of vegetables growing right there in her backyard which saves her money on produce, especially in the summertime. Right now she has tons of peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, parsley and more.

Check out these zucchinis!

Matilda took a liking to the big zucchini right away

I stopped by Trader Joe’s the other day after reading about Stephanie’s love for Joe.

I tried the tortellini bowl for lunch the other day and it was wonderful! It is pretty much the same as Amy’s Pesto Bowl. I usually have to add protein or some kind of space to kick up a frozen meal but this didn’t need anything additional.

 

When we went to the thrift store the other day, they had a ridiculous music selection. Not just cd’s, they also has cassette tapes, records and I saw an eight track! They cd’s were only $1 each so I grabbed some for all the road trips ahead of me. Apparently  I was trying to go back to my college days.

And yes, I did buy the Baha Men cd. One can never get enough Who Let The Dogs Out. Plus, there could be other hidden gems on there!

We went to 7-11 on 7-11 for a free 7.11 oz slurpee.

I’ve collected a bunch of reusable shopping bags at different events throughout the years. Instead of using them for shopping only, I use them day to day as well.

My Vitamin Water bag doubles as both a gym bag and a beach bag for me . It smells really interesting.

And my Food Lion bag used to be used for grocery shopping but now it’s used strictly for groceries. I cleaned out my cupboards when I left my apartment in Charlotte and the remainder was snack foods so why not take it on the road with me?

Instead of going out for fro yo, we made spinach ice cream the other night. I’ve made spinach smoothies but never spinach ice cream so I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. Neyal got the recipe from Costco magazine, I couldn’t find it anywhere online but I found this recipe for it which uses the same ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We followed the directions to a T but it still came out more like a smoothie than ice cream. It was good though,thanks to the agave nectar.

Totally not Frugal Friday related but has anyone else heard about the new Style Network show Big Rich Texas???

It’s supposed to be like Real Housewives but only saucier and cattier—can’t wait!

How have you saved money this week?

Do you grow your own vegetables or herbs?

Did you get your free Slurpee on 7/11?

Frugal Friday: A coupon a day

1 Jul

So, I used to have this little feature called Frugal Friday. I would post every Friday about the deals I found along with some tips but then it kinda slowed down. With all the traveling and packing I’ve been doing, I’ve been a little behind on posting. But not because I’ve stopped saving money,  I’ve actually been saving money in a big way. Mostly because I’m going through every coupon I have available to me and using them before I leave. No way I am letting my Groupons, Living Social and other deals go to waste!

*Bath & Body Works.

When I was in Commerce, GA last weekend, our hotel was located right next to the Tanger Outlet shops. I drove through there and didn’t see any stores that stood out to me and then I saw Bath and Body Works. I don’t need to accumulate stuff since I’m trying to get rid of items for the move but I saw their semi annual sale going on with 75% off and I knew I had to clean house.

I stocked up on lotions, body wash, hand soap, sanitizer and body spray. I was surprised to see they had Coco Cabana which used to be the scent I wore in college! Oh memories of summer time, ladies night free drinks and pizza at 2am!

Nine items for $21? Don’t mind if I do! I would be a fool to pass on a deal like this.

*Pedicure @ Nails of America

I bought a Groupon awhile ago for a pedicure but forgot that it was up in Mooresville, about 25 minutes north of Charlotte. I tend to stay in my neighborhood and in the Uptown area so going somewhere that far meant it was going to be a day trip for me. I stopped at a friends place in the area, got my pedicure and ran some errands. Always read the fine print with Groupons since this one had to be used with an appointment.

I always get pink or red on my toes and wanted to mix it up. I went with “Orange You Glad It’s Summer” by OPI

*Chick Fil A

I snagged a Free Chicken Mini coupon awhile back at Bark for Cancer. I completely forgot about it until I found it while cleaning the other week.

I got a soda along with that and brought my computer since they have free wifi. Never would I have thought Chick Fil A would offer wifi but they do and it’s quick. What makes it even better is that the employees will come up to your table and get refills on your drink for you. This may be better than Starbucks since there was only one other table in the place! Keep an eye out for businesses that have signs offering free wifi, this was better to go to for the the quiet and lack of people there factors.

*Café Monte

French stuff intimidates me—Chanel, Bastille Day, their food, wine, accents and the list goes on. 
Ask me what french food is and I will be either reply fries or croissants since it all seems too fancy schmancy for me.  As I vowed not to buy any more Grupons, I saw this one for Café Monte and toyed with the idea of getting it for a few hours. I decided to suck I up and buy it. I’ve heard about this place from many people in the past five years and wanted to see if it lived up to the hype.

My friend went on Monday morning right when they opened and there was only one other table in the restaurant. I absolutely loved the pale yellow walls but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting black and white walls in cramped quarters so seeing it’s spacious inside adorned with mirrors, images of France and natural light.

Even though there was only one other table in there, the service was lagging. Our server would come over and barely check back on us. This is not ideal when it’s morning and I’m having coffee since anyone who knows me knows I don’t do just one cup of coffee. To save some sough (and calories) we split the Eggs Benedict. They even brought out the half portions for us already split.

Quite tasty. They had other breakfast items such as the standard eggs, sausage, toast along with Belgian waffles, crepes and quiche. I wouldn’t go back because most of the breakfast items were $10 or more and that’s just too high for my wallet at this time. If I am going to drop some money on a meal, I would rather spend it on lunch or dinner. Add the whole service kind of sucking thing and yeah, I would rather go somewhere else. But then again, I think it comes down to

*Dunkin Donuts

America runs on Dunkin and so do I! I always go through my junk mail since they send out pages of coupons in the mail. The only downside to it is that they are only specific in the region you’re in so you can’t use them if you’re traveling.

What deals have you found this week? Do you have outlet malls in your area and if so, do you shop at them?

Frugal Friday-Fill ‘Er Up

17 Jun

Happy frugal friday! With it practically being summer, I think all of us have seen the insane gas prices out there. I remember when I was in high school and could score gas for $.96/gallon. Then it slowly crept it’s way above the $1 mark and when I would drive from FL to WV, I would get excited about going to Georgia since their gas seemed to be under $1 still. I would kill for gas to be that cheap. Here are some tips to save money on gas this summer:

*See if your grocery store has a fuel program

Bi-Lo has their FuelPerks program which gives you $.05 off a gallon of gas for every $50 you spend. It doesn’t sound like a lot but this definitely adds up after awhile plus they run special promotions like Buy $10 worth of Pedigree dog products and get $.10 off of gas. The points don’t expire for months and they have select gas stations where you can redeem your FuelPerks. I looked at my Bi-Lo fuelperks savings and saw that I had $.15 off a gallon of gas and some of that was expiring soon, so it was time to fill up!

I looked up what gas stations I could go to redeem and saw there were some in South Carolina. The border is about ten minutes away and their gas tends to be $.20 cheaper by the gallon so I waited until I was below a quarter of a tank to get the most bang for my buck!

I was starting to get a little nervous since I never let my gas get this low but soon enough, I was at the BP in Fort Mill, SC and it was time to break out my Bi-Lo BonusCard!

Regular gas was $3.45 which is about $.24 cheaper than Charlotte.

I swiped my Bi-Lo card and  filled the tank up to the max to cash in on my FuelPerks.

I hate to spend $34 to fill up my car but I live in a city where I have to drive to get around so if I’m going to fill up, I’m going to try to do so for the least amount possible!

*Walk

If you’re able to, walk to businesses in your area like the grocery store, drug store, restaurants, bars, coffee shops. etc. Not only is this good for your gas tank and wallet, it’s terrific for your health!

I saw this coupon for Einsteins Bagels the other day and decided to walk there instead of driving.

And they ended up giving me a regular bagel, boo Einsteins. Oh well, a coffee and bagel for $2.99 was a decent deal.

*Run all your errands in one trip

I do this to save money on  gas instead of making a trip, coming home, then going out again. This saves money on gas and saves you a lot of time!

*Use A/C only on the highways

I never thought about this but it does make sense. I  don’t like A/C in the car but use it in the summer months for vanity reasons alone. I am not one who deals well with greasy skin and frizzy hair. From Wikihow “At lower speeds, open the windows. This increased the drag and reduces fuel efficiency, but not as much as the AC at low speeds (35-40 mph). Even better, at any speed, turn on the vent when it is cool outside or open windows just a few inches. The air con – when used a lot – is known to use up about 8% of the fuel you put into your car.”

*Ride your public transportation!

I never thought I would be a bus gal but I was for three years. I started riding the bus back in 2007 when gas prices were on the up and up. I moved 20 miles from work and drove an SUV and was not patient with traffic or wasting money on gas just to go to work. My employer at the time has a discount plan with Charlotte Area Transportation where you could get weekly and monthly passes on the cheap. I did this and saved a ton of money (not to mention got in some good people watching time)

*Buy a gas efficient car

I drove an SUV for 10 years but it was eating away at my checking account due to upkeep and gas. I got about 20 miles to the gallon and it was a gas guzzler with a capital G. I traded in my car with the Cash For Clunkers program two summers again and got a more fuel efficient car, a Toyota Corolla. Now, I only fill up every few weeks as opposed to every week when I had an SUV. I like my new car but still kinda miss riding high in my SUV.

*Drive at a more consistent speed

*Replace your air filter

*Decrease your speed when driving on the highway

Oi, I have a problem with this. I have a huge leadfoot and tend to go a good 10-15 miles about the speed limit when traveling. This definitely needs to stop, especially since I am without job and really not in a hurry to be anywhere From Drive Smarter Challenge: “Speeding costs! Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Each five miles per hour over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas.”

What are your tips for saving money on gas?

Frugal Friday: It’s June?

10 Jun

Happy Frugal Friday! Um, I don’t even want to start the conversation on how it’s June already so we just won’t. I just need to ask-seriously- where has this year gone??

A couple of months ago, I was perusing Groupon for the deal of the day. I started to look around at other cities to see what they were offering as well. Indianapolis’ sounded interesting—$8 worth of Mexican food for $4 at Bajio Mexican Grill . I am all about the Mexican food but cheap Mexican food, si papi!

 

I had some free time last weekend so drove over and ordered the Pineapple Shrimp Salad.

Bajio was just like Qdoba or anything other Mexican fast food restaurant. I loved the number of add ins and when it came out, it was gorgeous. Looks tasty right? Wrong. There was too much juice from the black beans and the salsa so what should’ve been a salad turned into cold Mexican soup. No bueno. It would have been fine if there wasn’t so much juice, add to the fact that the lettuce was shredded lettuce as opposed to bigger pieces, I wasn’t a huge fan.

Tip: If you know you’re traveling to another city and  know what part of town you will be staying in or have a card with you, check out Groupon or other discount sites in advance. It’s a great, cheap way to check out local cuisine!

My sister told me about a Sparkling Ice Water they sell at Kroger for $.99/bottle. She said it tastes better than Crystal Light all while being calorie free. I went to the local Kroger and stocked up, they had a number of flavors and even though I didn’t have a Kroger savings card because we don’t have Kroger here, found out that I could use my Bi-Lo supermarket card since they are affiliates.

I also bought some snacks for the road since I wanted to get back on track with getting my fruits, veggies and produce in my life.

Tip: If you’re in need of food or drink while on vacation, go to the grocery store instead of the convenience store or eating out every meal. You will save tons of money and possibly discover new products like I did!

 

On Memorial Day, we went to the local Salvation Army thrift store. They were having a huge sale with all of their clothes half off! I found some wonderful tops and skirts for super cheap.

All of this? $7 and some change. Can we say holla?  Where else can you find Nike and Adidas tops for under $.80? On another note, I don’t think I’ve ever had donuts for dinner but wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.

Tip: Retail stores have huge sales on holiday weekends but don’t forget your local thrift stores! They are usually packed to the gills with clothes and other items and have sales as well!

When I got back to Charlotte, I was looking through the circulars to see what was on sale. I saw Voskos Greek Yogurt on sale for $1. I’ve never tried that brand before but if I’m going to try something, it’s going to be when it’s on sale as opposed to regular price.

A possibility of winning a trip to Greece? Don’t mind if I do.

Tip: Some times you may not like the product you get on sale. I tried the honey flavor and wasn’t a fan at all. However, I refuse to let the other three go to waste. I like to throw greek yogurt in smoothies as a replacement for milk and for a little kick of protein.

Also while looking through the mail, I found this advertisement (with coupons!) for Einsteins’ Brothers

I don’t need a fresh baked treat but it’s good to know if I’m jonesing for one, I can get one for free at Einsteins in the afternoon with a drink purchase.

Tip: Don’t just throw out your mail, check out the advertisements. Often they are full of sales, discounts and coupons!

I went to Logan’s Roadhouse with my aunt and uncle last weekend in Indianapolis. When we sat down the server did their normal schpeal asking us if we’ve ever been there. I told them I’ve heard of Logan’s but never been to a Logan’s before. Before we were about to leave the manager came over and gave me this card for a free appetizer since it was my first visit since they hoped I would return. The best part is I can use it at any Logan’s location!

 

Tip: Sorry, I don’t have one this was total luck right here!

Do you shop for groceries while you’re out of town? Do you buy Groupons/ Living Social/ etc deals for cities you will be visiting?

Frugal Friday: On the road again

20 May

Happy Friday all! I am rolling back up to Charlotte today and not looking forward to the 11 hour drive. I am driving back from the west coast of Florida (recap coming soon!) and am excited for a new route to take but nervous since I’ve never come from this way. Maybe one of these days I will finally put out the money for a GPS? Until then, it’s Google Map directions all the way.

Am I the only person who still uses paper directions? Maybe I haven’t bought into the whole GPS thing is because I have a problem with authority and don’t like people telling me what to do?

Some tips for saving money while road tripping:

*Bring a lunch box with you. I like to bring one with one or two ice packs so I can bring drinks, yogurt and other perishable items

*Instead of buying snacks at gas stations, stock up before hand. I raided my parents cupboard before I drove to my sisters and snagged some trail mix, soda, fruit and granola bars.

Holy crap, my parents are hipsters and now organic!

*Check your local newspaper for deals. I found a coupon for a $19.99 Mani/Pedi comboo—unhead of!

So there was a catch with this deal.

The place was huge however it reeked of old people, Aqua Net and moth balls.

Seriously, this troll looking senior was off her rocker. She kept talking about how bunions ran in her family but she was blessed because she didn’t have any. From the look on her nail tech’s face, she was lying.

I was the youngest person in there so that boosted my ego for a few minutes until I sat down and figured out what the deal was with the cheap price. You can get a regular pedicure (the one with the $19.99 combo) or a spa pedicure. The spa pedicure is like a normal pedi–chair, hot water, bubbles and all. The regular? Not so much. Instead of going into one of the comfy chairs, they brought me a foot bath to soak my feet in. It’s all gravy b/c you would think that it would be plugged in so the water would be kept warm right? Negative. So my feet sat in the foot bath while the water quickly went cold. Nasty. WTF??
There was one lady who shelled out the extra $5 to get the spa pedicure and the other old ladies scowled at her since apparently, she was a big spender. I wish I would have followed her lead and spent the extra $5. At least I got my nails did and they looked good.

*Go to local thrift stores for new digs, books, knick knacks, etc. I went to a Habitat for Humanity thrift store on Thursday and found this Nine West purse for $1

Do I need another purse? Hell to the no but for as many purses that I have, I don’t have a plain black one. I think it’s $1 spent wisely.

*Itching to work out on vacation? Check out the gyms in the area you are going to visit. I belong to the YMCA and checked out the one in Florida and my membership allowed me to go 14 times at another branch outside of my metro area. I checked into LA Fitness which offers three day passes for free and Life Time Fitness offered a one day pass. I ended up not going to either one but Life Time Fitness was a bit pushy about me coming in. Homegirl slice is still emailing me and even offered to buy me lunch if I went in!

*Rely on the kindness of strangers. Ok, maybe everyone shouldn’t do this. But if you know me, I am a social bird and a talker. I often chat it up with strangers when out and I was at a bar the other night and a guy overhead I was from out of town and bought me a free drink. Score. Bonus points if they buy you a mixed drink on $1 beer night!

*Go to the local supermarket or discount score to get goodies for the ride back. I went to Big Lots on Wednesday night and got the following for under $7:

Hello Bear Granola! I haven’t tried this brand yet but it’s been on my list of must try’s

Happy savings!

What’s the longest road trip you’re made?

Anyone have any fun road trips planned for the summer?

Frugal Friday Guest Post: Food Snob

13 May

Happy Frugal Friday! I have an extra special guest post today from Miss Monique from Food Snob.  I love Monique and I had the priviledge to hang out with her not once but twice last year when I visited NYC.  I am so happy I met her via the blogs since she is just all around fabulous and one of the blogs I have to check out every day! She is going to tell you all about her crafty ways to save money in the Big Apple!

I can’t exactly recall the moment when I discovered Ms. Shaka’s blog, but I know I became hooked immediately. I love her wit and cheery outlook on life. And who could resist a blog that has daily doses of cuteness with the adorable Lincoln? Seriously, who?

I met Tiffany last year in person and again a few months ago. We are two peas in the same pod. What’s not to love about this girl? When she asked me to guest blog, I was honored. Like, extremely and I sought out an opportunity to put a little bit of me and a little bit of her into one amazingly awesome blog post.

Her latest addition: Frugal Fridays, is turning into my favorite segment. I am, in no way, a bargainista. In the city that never sleeps (good ol’ NY, NY) saving isn’t as easy. But I have found ways of coping with the price tag that comes with dining out and having fun all while maintaining a breathable budget.

One thing that I have been doing as of late (and this is helpful to you single folk) is that prepare two new recipes per week and grocery shop ONLY for what I need to make those dishes. Sometimes, I purposely seek out recipes with 5 ingredients or fewer.

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For instance, these skinny chimichangas (http://www.iarethefoodsnob.com/2010/09/skinny-chimichangas.html) I made last year were healthy, cheap, and freezable! Don’t want to eat the same thing all week? Portion the meals into single servings in separate containers and freeze them. On those days you can’t find the energy to cook, pop one of those babies in the micro for a homemade meal. (this comes in handy after happy hours!)

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Another source which Tiffany is familiar with: Groupon! Deal Sites! I find many deals on great places to eat! I set a certain dollar amount in my mind and will not spend over that amount. When the deal comes along for that great hummus place I have been eyeing and is under my target I go for it. I recruit my best eater and we hit the restaurant together. And usually, as is the understanding my friends and I have, if I purchase the deal, the guest pays the difference. But this is not a recommended method with people you have just met or people that you aren’t very close to.

Lastly, I have discovered an amazing resource to feed my restaurant addiction. Restaurants.com. It’s a website that sells discount gift cards to restaurants. More times than not, the restaurants offering these gift cards are likely to be a little less than successful and use the gift certificates to reel in more patrons.

I found my local sushi joint on restaurants.com offering a $25 gift card for a mere $10. The catch is you have to spend $35 to get the deal and if done right, you can have a huge dinner for less than $20. On some days, I find promo codes that bring the price for the gift cards down to $1. ONE DOLLAR for $25 worth of sushi??? Yes please.DSC00912

I called my friend Bunz and told her about my deal and the next thing I knew, we were sitting in the quaint sushi joint and presenting our gift card. One word of advice: call ahead to ask if they still honor the gift cards. DSC00913

Since we were getting a great deal we decided to order the sushi love boat. It’s a $30 platter of sushi meant to be shared and even when I have Japanese I never order the boat because it’s a bit pricey. But there was no time like the present to try something new. DSC00915

Everything was amazing. And it was nice to try sushi that wasn’t salmon or tuna. The fish was fresh. Bunz, who only just recently started loving sushi, was equally impressed.

We rubbed our bellies and asked for the check. After the deduction our of $25 ($1) gift card, our total was a whopping $20 (we ordered an appetizer).

And if you break it down, split it in two, that’s $10 each for a sushi boat.

Not a bad deal! Not a bad deal at all.

I hope I haven’t bored any of you to death and hope that if you took anything away from this, that you know you CAN enjoy dining out on a dime!