Saturday, January 13, 2024

Saving on restaurant & fast food

I've been trying to cut down our restaurant & fast food expenses for years. The constant rising prices have made me take a long hard look at ways to reduce our spending in this category, while still enjoying the occasional treat. 

I've mentioned before that I purchased Red Robin gcs at 25% off at Costco. I'm so glad I did, because those gcs disappeared from their site shortly thereafter. I'm not sure if they're just OOS or have stopped selling RR gcs. Over the holiday season, I also stocked up on fast food gcs for DS. I really don't need fast food, but my kiddo's set in his ways. 

Sams Pizza 

I've been craving Sam's pizza for a while, but that café line is out the wazoo every time I'm at Sams. I finally had success on Thursday, so I ordered 2 pizzas.

2 pizzas = $19.00 (give or take with tax)

20 slices total. If you've never had Sams pizza, it's huge and delicious! DS normally eats 2 slices & I eat 1, which means we get roughly 7 meals out of it. 

$19.00 divided by 7 meals = $2.71  per meal. 

I just add a side salad (we always have salad fixings ready)



A burger averages around $6 around here. Add fries and it's another $3. That's $9 + tax for one person, so $18 for the 2 of us. That's a whopping $15 price difference between fast food & pizza!

Sams Burgers

I used to buy those precooked angus patties at Sams years ago. I can't remember why I stopped, but decided to try it again. I like those patties for their flame grilled taste. 

12 pk = $19.00 ($1.58 each)

When I opened the package to place the patties into ziploc bags for easy freezing, I saw that I got a baker's dozen. That's an extra meal for one of us. Yay!

Aldi Brioche hamburger rolls = $4.00 or $0.67 each

I can't blame DS. Brioche anything is so yummy! I'll gladly pay more for these vs regular rolls/buns.

Again, we always have salad fixings and cheese slices available. I also have Arby's, CFA (my favorite) & Red Robin  sauce in the fridge. I also have a jumbo bag of French's onions (I buy it at Sams every year, cause it's way cheaper than purchasing the small cans at the grocery store. Besides, I love this stuff)

That's $2.25 (let's call it around $3 with all the fixings) per burger


Red Robin

Gourmet burger & fries start at $13.99 each. With tax, it's almost $15

We don't pay tax on grocery food items, but we do pay tax on restaurant & fast food. 

There's another $12 price difference & they don't even add all the produce items that I do. Of course, there's no fries, but I can make my own or just order fries to go. 

So, this is how we did this weekend. Thursday night we had pizza and salad. Neither of us wanted leftovers once we smelled the pizza 😂 I buy the deluxe one that's loaded with veggies, pepperoni & Italian sausage. You can't get such a good pizza for $9 at any pizza place. They're going to charge you for each extra topping. 

Friday Night

Burgers - Patties, rolls, cheese of choice, spinach, tomato, red onion, cucumber and sauce of choice.

I did order fries, so that was a $6 expense. This girl needs her fries 😂


2 x Red Robin gourmet burgers & fries for DS = $15 (I used my 25% off gc, so it actually cost $10.50 + tax = $11.30)

I had a free burger offer (every 10th burger is free) and will save one meal for him for tomorrow

I had the same dinner as last night minus the brioche roll. I fixed a salad instead and added some of DS's fries. Easy peasy.

Did you know that you can ask for extra fries on a RR carry out order (I'm not sure if it still works, but it's worth a try. It worked pre-pandemic), because they offer bottomless fries. I'm gonna give it a try next time. 

Normally this Friday/Saturday dinner would've cost me $33.37 RR (25% discounted gc) + $15-$20 fast food. Roughly $50 for just 2 dinners & 2 lunches (I usually get extra for lunch for him the next day). My cost for this weekend's meals = $21 (the rest is included in our grocery budget. We had pizza for lunch today). I just saved myself $29 and we both enjoyed our version of 'fast food'. 

My plan going forward. We can get fast food/carry out every other weekend. I don't mind ordering just fries to keep DS happy when we eat our own food. Saving $50-70 per month is a big deal. I can put that money to good use in another area. 

I also like to check various fast food places to see who has the best offer. 

Arby's likes to offer 2/$7 sandwiches and there's normally a $3 off $10 offer in my account. 

Wendy's also offers lots of different discounts and you earn points for every purchase. I noticed they have fries & sandwich redemption offers. I'm all for a free sandwich 😂 I can keep DS happy without breaking the bank.

Burger King & Taco Bell have become far too expensive. Besides, my mexican food tastes far better than TB.

We do dine out too, but haven't done so in a while. I took DS to my favorite brewery over summer and our bill came to $70! That's just for the 2 of us. The food is good though, so I can't complain. I really don't mind paying for good food. Saving in other areas allows me to splurge like that from time to time. 

Have a wonderful weekend peeps! Stay healthy, safe & warm. 


  1. I have finally convinced Tommy not to order fries. Heart health, you know. But, I love fries.

    1. We only eat fries on weekends Linda. We eat & drink everything in moderation

  2. We get quite a few fast food coupons here, but hardly ever use any of them. We usually only treat ourselves once a month (last month was a bit more often) with a brunch out.

    Saving that much money is definitely worth it.

    God bless.

    1. I'm working towards treating ourselves every fortnite (which is twice a month), so that should help cut our bill. Plus it's better for our health too.

  3. We haven't eaten fast food in years but I keep hearing how expensive it is now. What isn't expensive now though. We did enjoy an occasional pizza but I've found making my own is better plus we don't have issues with delivery. I usually make my own buns but when I don't have time I do LOVE Aldi's brioche buns. They are delicious!!

    1. I like to make my own pizza too, but DS won't eat it the next day. It's not like my pizza tastes I've never used food delivery here, because everything is right on our doorstep. I wouldn't waste my money like that (I've been wanting to write a post about that for quite some time now). Aldi brioche is definitely worth paying for. I should thank DS for introducing me to that line of breads. You should try their brioche sliced bread for french toast. It's the best!

  4. That is a great deal on the Sam's pizza breakdown, and I agree, the line is always so long for the pizza and hot dogs.

    Cool on the baker's dozen burgers, I love it when that happens.

    I wouldn't want leftovers after smelling pizza either. LOL I just love pizza.

    Sounds like a real money saving week/weekend using your good tactics. That is a great way to still enjoy restaurant food while still saving money.

    KFC has some really good wraps right now priced at 2 for $5, which is a bargain considering how fast food prices are rising.

    1. I've found an easier way to order Sams pizza Belinda. Scan & go allows you to order from your phone and just collect from the cafe. No long line involved. I need to download the app. We love our pizza too and you know that Sams one is good :)

      It's been years since I've had KFC. That is a good price for a wrap, but it's smaller than the ones I make. I make our chicken wraps with non GMO chicken & the large burrito size tortillas. I just bet I can make our wraps for less than KFC. Challenge accepted (j/k)

    2. I like your challenge accepted. 😂

      Good to know on the Sam’s pizza ordering. I will definitely be trying that. Thanks for the tip!

    3. Lol.. I'm a bit of a smartass sometimes ;) All in good fun :)

      You're welcome! I hope the app ordering works for both of us.

  5. We like to use the air fryer to make french fries. We buy the extra crispy frozen fries, and use a little seasoning salt. Tater tots are also really crispy in the air fryer. Sam’s Club now carries chicken tenders and nuggets from a brand called Just Bare, lightly breaded chicken. Very good, more of a premium brand, but worth the extra money. Deana

    1. Thank you for the information Deana. I should have mentioned that I didn't buy frozen fries, because my freezer's full. I do have a Ninja foodi instant pot with air fryer feature and plan on making my own fries once I have more freezer space.

      I'm afraid we don't eat nuggets or tenders. I've read about what goes into nuggets before and that put me off most processed chicken items. I do buy the non-GMO raw chicken tenders (fresh meat) at Sams, that can be breaded and air fried. I like to just marinate mine in BBQ sauce and bake in the oven.


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