Thursday, March 31, 2011
31 Ways to Save on Your Grocery Budget: Tip #20
TIP #20: BE CREATIVE & MAKE YOUR OWN RESTAURANT MEALS AT HOME.
We all have our restaurant favorites—the things that we always like to order when we go out and wished we knew how to make at home. Well, there’s some good news if these restaurants are “chains”…there are recipe sites out there that have posted some of these recipes, as close as they can make them. Test out a few and see if they are good chefs or not and be sure to read the reviews by other readers. Definitely start out with the FREE sites first!
But my all-time favorite site for this is Top Secret Recipes. This used to be a free site but now some recipes are $.79. But I’m OK with that. I like to give back to those that make my life great! And $.79 is a cheap price to pay if it keeps you from paying entree price at the restaurant! Also, his recipes seem to be the closest to the real thing. I have several printed copies that I got back when they were free and some of my favorites are his Applebee’s Baked French Onion Soup and Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli. (That last one is FREE still!) And I’m eventually going to try out his Olive Garden’s Alfredo Pasta. (another Freebie!) You can sign-up for his email newsletter and get notified when he’s added his weekly addition.
There are other sites (which I haven’t tried) such as CopyKat Recipes and All-Restaurant Recipes.
Also, go directly to the restaurant site. I was happy to see that Bahama Breeze, had some of their recipes online! They have amazing Caribbean food!
Basically, Google your favorite restaurant dish and see if anyone has created a match. Being able to create your favorites at home not only saves you on carry-out/dining expenses but it can also teach you how to be more creative in your own kitchen. Your favorite meals can become regulars in your Weekly Menu Plan. Or save them for special occastions and skip the eating-out expense! All of these things will help you $ave on your grocery (and entertainment!) budget.