Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dinner out for 4 for $20 in Bluffton!

Many financial advisers will tell you that in order to get out of debt and save money, you must cut back on the luxury spending. Suze Orman advises debt ridden folks to take a challenge of not eating out for a week, then after doing a week she challenges you to do it for a month. I whole heartily disagree with this logic. Upon taking on this challenge I had a binge where I am dying to get out and have dinner at a restaurant so we go out one night and pay absolutely no attention to our spending, and go on a BINGE! If your personality is anything like mine, "Going cold turkey," is not the way. Drastic changes are difficult and painful, whereas small changes over time can equal drastic ones in the long run. My advice is this: Make a list of what you consider to be your luxury spending items, these are items that are not considered to be a necessity such as Starbucks coffee and going out for meals in general. After your list is complete, rank the list by what you feel is most important to you or what you personally do not think you can live without. Here is my list:

1.  Going out to dinner w/family
2.  New clothes/toys for the girls (fun stuff not necessity items)
3.  Travel Spending
4.  Girls/Guys night out
5.  Date Night
6.  Going out to lunch
7.  Lowes spending for Ben
8.  Starbucks Nonfat Sugar-free Vanilla lattes
9.  Sodas and biscuits for Ben J
10.  New books for me

Once these items are ranked in order of importance, pick the top two of them and set a budget for your spending, since my top one is "Going out to dinner w/family", I have set a budget of $20/week. In an envelope, I put $20 that I took out of the ATM for us to have dinner, so the choice is ours, we can have a cheap meal once a week or a nicer meal out every other week. Either way I feel like I'm cutting back but not sacrificing completely. For me, this is my cake and eating it too. I am still sticking to a budget and trying to live within my means but not going crazy and putting any money on the credit card that we can't afford. In my other categories, I am cutting back almost completely to accommodate my dinners out. We have started packing our lunch daily, taking coffee in our stainless coffee mugs from home, and bought new water bottles to refill throughout the day to curb soda spending. If you want to do the $20 dinner challenge, here are some good ideas in the area where you can feed a family of 4 for $20 or less!

  • Romeo's Pizza
  • Monster Pizza
  • Fiesta Fresh
    • 2 Kids meals, 2 taco or enchilada combo plates w/ 2 adult drinks $19.30
    • Kids meals come with a drink
  • Jim n Nicks
    • Taco Tuesday (all tacos are $2.49 each, mex beers $1.49 each)
    • Family BBQ Dinner to go - $19.99 - 1 lb meat, 2 sides and 6 cheese biscuits
  • Moe's Southwest Grill
    • Kids Eat Free on Tuesdays w/adult purchase
    • Wednesdays - $5.00 for any burrito and drink
  • Chick-Fil-A
    • Kids eat free on Tuesdays w/adult purchase
  • IHOP
    • Kids eat free everyday from 4pm to 10pm w/ adult purchase
  • Jersey Mikes
    • Kids get a free mini sub, chips and drink from 3pm - 9pm on Wednesday w/reg sub purchase
  • Mi Tierra
    • Tuesdays - Kids meals are 99 cents w/ adult entrĂ©e purchase
    • One Taco or enchilada with rice and beans $5.25
  • Giuseppi's
    • You Call It Wednesday! EVERY WEDNESDAY - From 6-10pm....The time you call in your order is what you pay for a large 1-topping pizza! So if you call at 6:01 pm you pay $6.01 for a large 1 -topping pizza!
I'm sure that there are many more, share some if you have them!

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