Blissful and Domestic - Creating a Beautiful Life on Less: Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

No I didn't go to the actual outback, meaning Australia,  but boy that would be cool! I know a few bloggers from Australia and it is absolutely gorgeous there. I stalk their blogs to see all their photo beauty:) I hope to go there someday. In the mean time I did get to go to a new Outback Steakhouse House, that opened here in Henderson last month. Same thing right? No...not really, but it's close enough for this city gal today.

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Outback Steakhouse sent me a gift card, so my family could go and stuff ourselves with yummy food and then share our experience with you. So here I am, filled with a delicious outback burger and fries (best thing ever folks) and am ready to give you the low down on our experience.

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

The family and I went for lunch, since lunch options are always more affordable. Hubby got the french dip, I got the burger and fries, and the kids ordered some yumminess from the kids menu. Service was a bit choatic, probably because of it just openening. They're still working out the kinks.

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Hubby's a harder critic than I am, so he wasn't too thrilled. It took us a while to get our drinks and stuff, but they eventually got there:) The restruant itself was beautiful, with wood slatted walls. I seriously want a pallet covered wall in our home....now if I can only convert hubby to my vision :)

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Overall it was a fun experience to have an afternoon out with the family. It is not something we do regularly,  because it's expensive.  For the four of us to eat, it was $42, not including tip.

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Here's what I did to keep the cost down:
-budget how much you will spend. If you're using a giftcard, like we were, use that as your set budget. Decide the amount you want to spend and stick to it.

-look up the menu before, so you have an idea before hand. No one likes surprises when it comes to your final meal total.

-calculate the cost of what everyone is getting. This enables you to stay within your set budget. I punched in the numbers into my phone, so I could make sure that all the numbers stayed within my gift card limit.

-be conscious of what you're ordering and spending. Most places offer free soda refills, but juice and other beverages are not.
The more that you are vigilant,  the better the experience will be. You can keep your family on budget, have a good time,  and not feel guilty later at the money you spent.

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

Now eating out is not something we do very often, since it is rarely in our budget. When we do eat out, we do it smartly. You can too! First make sure you have the extra money budgeted to eat out. If you don't have the extra, then don't do it. Follow the tips above to make your eating out experience a good one.

Eating Out on a Budget: Going to the Outback

What are your tips for eating out on a budget?


Find more Eating Out on a Budget Posts HERE


XO Danielle

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21 comments:

  1. Great! Love the way you budget! But... did I see on that receipt that they charged for Ice Water? And, they charged $3.00? I have never had to pay for Ice Water. Is this something new? I believe I would have to complain... A Lot!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! The cold beverages charge was from my hubby's soda:)

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    2. I used to work at an Outback, and they definitely have free refills on sodas. You should not have been charged for 2 beverages if your husband was the only one who ordered soda. It's completely possible that the server made a mistake and entered his drink twice, but it's something to keep an eye out for next time.

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  2. Good morning - I am hoping that you have a typo in your post and that you gave MORE than $2.58 for a tip.

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  3. as a waitress, I hope you didn't tip less than 3 dollars on a $42 check.. :X

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    1. I was thinking the same thing as a past waitress. That is someone's livelihood. Leaving a decent tip should be factored into the cost of dining out. If you can't afford an appropriate tip, then you can't afford to dine out (not saying you didn't, just hoping you didn't).

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    2. I totally agree. I always grew up with my Grandfather saying, "you tip three times the tax". That is what I try to stick to:)

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  4. We look for restaurants that offer deals for kids- either free per adult meal or super cheap like Ikea's $1.99 kids meals. Some restaurants offer free meals on your birthday and clubs where if you sign up for emails they send you coupons. We use coupons from books like SUTP and The Entertainment Book and group buying sites like Groupon. We also enter contests and look for promotions where we get gift cards that allow us to eat for free.

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    Replies
    1. Those are some great ideas! I love Kids eat free nights!! They are the best:)

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  5. Outback also has free appitizers / 5$ off coupons etc if you sign up for their club online. Also, never get anything other than water when out to eat... 3$ for sodas and juice etc is crazy! Water for everyone and coupon discounts. You can eat out for much cheaper than 42 at Outback if you know all the tricks ;)

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    1. That is so cool! I didn't know that. Thanks so much for sharing:)

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  6. We all order water, use coupons, go on kids eat free nights, and sometimes share meals. If you are going to a place that offers rolls, bread, peanuts, or chips and salsa, it is easy to buy a cheaper adult meal and have the kids split it than buying several kids meals. They add up quickly!

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    Replies
    1. Just make sure you don't skimp on the tip when using these tricks. When I was waiting tables, I always dreaded the tables that ordered extra bread and only water to drink because I knew I wouldn't get a good tip--sometimes because people are trying to spend as little as possible and CHOOSE not to tip, but also sometimes because tips are calculated based on the check total, and the total is obviously much lower than normal.

      Since I was using those tips to put myself through school, tables that left no or very small tips were frustrating.

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  7. Thanks for the honest review. How crazy that liquid sugar costs $7! We usually stick to water for that exact reason. Also, when we dine out, we make it a point to select menu items that are special foods that we can't replicate at home. So at Outback, that usually means a Bloomin' Onion and a steak plate. The hubby and I will order a big steak and split it, and I'll order a side loaded baked potato. That keeps the cost down, and we still get to enjoy a special indulgence. Almost $50 for a lunch of burgers is kind of crazy! :)

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  8. Danielle,
    So happy that you and family got an evening out..So fun and the food looked great..
    When we go out to eat [not very often]., We do , as several of the others said, we get water.. It really
    cuts down on the bill.. I too, save my restaurant coupons from the Sunday paper. This really helps..

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  9. Psssst....Since I saw the picture of the empty breadboard--you might like this. I make it ALL the time (minus the food coloring because I really don't care if it's that dark, or not.)

    .http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Outback-Steakhouse-Honey-Wheat-Bushman-Bread-Copycat-Recipe.html

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  10. we went to outback once, had a blooming onion which we have replicated at home! And that cute salad where its just a wedge of lettuce and dressing.
    Our fav US restaurants for eating out were IHOP (kids eat free) and Olive Garden (free breadsticks and salads)

    tips to save money: have 1 drink you pay for then drink water, don't get extras (sauces etc), don't eat desert, try choose a night when there is a special on (buy one get one free, kids eat free, etc) breakfast is the cheapest meal, then lunch (ask for the lunch menu)

    tips to eat more healthy: swap the chips for salad, drink water, eat grilled instead of fried, cut your meal in half and only eat half (their portions are usually too big anyway) take the other half home and eat the next day

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  11. We almost completely gave up ordering drinks in restaurants some years back. Since we always have drinks at home that we've bought at the lowest price, why pay an exorbitant price for one elsewhere? When we first started doing this, it was a few months until vacation and every time we ordered water at a restaurant, we put the money we would have spent on drinks in a jar. By vacation time, we had an extra hundred dollars to spend.

    Tea is even more of a rip off when dining out than soda. It costs almost nothing per glass to make and usually costs as much as soda. Ask someone who works in the business what the current price for a 40 pound bag box of soda syrup costs and how many drinks it makes. I don't know the current prices, but I do know that fountain drinks are almost pure profit, even allowing for syrup and supplies.

    I am one water drinker who always tips fifteen to twenty percent, depending on whether we require extra trips and service. As a young newlywed, my first job was waiting tables in a pizza place, and it was an experience I have never forgotten.

    Most of the people who read this blog seem to be Christian, as am I. I'd like to remind people that restaurant workers notice how we treat them. I have talked to so many people who have waited tables who had the same experience I had. It seemed that people coming in after church with lots of kids made the biggest mess, caused the most extra work, and tipped the least. Where I worked, the manager sent some of us home early after the dinner rush, knowing it would be slow the rest of the evening. Even though we all needed the money, we practically argued over who would have to stay late on church nights and deal with the after church crowd that made a lot of extra work and barely tipped, if at all. That is a terrible example to show to the world.

    People who wait tables also tell me that often working people tip better than the well off, probably because they know what it is to work and to need.

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  12. My number one tip for saving money on eating out-stay away from chain restaurants. Support your local restaurants, usually they are cheaper and the food is better in most cases. We have a weekly eat out budget and I have a schedule of what days we eat out, it regularly rotates. I keep track of what restaurant offers what special on what day if they have one and we work around that sometimes. Also, many restaurants, both chain and privately owned now have e-mail programs you can sign up for where you get coupons for different things or they keep track of your purchases so you get bonuses. I got a free dessert coupon this month since it was my birthday and next month we will probably get at least one (if not more) free one for an appetizer for our anniversary.

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  13. I try to always carry some restaurant coupons in my purse in case plans change and we decide to eat while we are out.

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