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Culinary Cash Savings

A few tips to help save money when eating out or dining in.

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Below are a few tips that can help you save cash when wooing women with food. Also this is great for shopping for yourself or for a dinner (ménage a trois) party. Your wallet will thank you for it.

Dining Out

1) Check your check. Make sure you are aware of how much your meals and drinks cost. When the bill arrives, don’t just hand over your credit card without reviewing it. You never know when an added dish appears on your check or it’s just an honest mistake. In the hospitality biz it happens all the time and rarely in your favor. Your date shouldn’t mind if you pointed out an error to your server. She will most probably think highly of the fact that you are paying attention to your expenses.

2) Get to know the restaurants in your area. They may have specials on certain nights.

3) Share a few appetizers or tapas (little plates). Variety is the spice of life. Suggest ordering a few appetizers and make sure you order a salad. It’s shows that you’re being romantic and often can be cheaper than ordering a 2-3 course meal for each other. Ask her if she doesn’t mind sharing. She may be a germaphobe and if that is the case, she probably doesn’t like touching OTHER potentially more romantic things.

4) Order the house wines. They are usually not a bad deal for the price. However, don’t be fussy about it. It’s not going to be the best, but it may send you and your date off to a well-lubricated evening.

5) Skip desert. Hopefully you will be the only sweet she wants.

6) DO NOT…go to a restaurant with a "two for one meal" coupon or any type of discount on your first several culinary dates. I would suggest at least waiting a few months after you have slept with her multiple times. Save these coupons for friends and eating by yourself. It’s weird to be whipping out a coupon in front of a lady.

How to Shave a Few Dollars at the Supermarket

1) Shop at a variety of food markets. Go to the different supermarket chains in your area, mom and pop grocers, gourmet food stores, seafood peddlers, delis, butchers and liquor stores. I always shop at different markets seeking out a combination of quality and value. I know where I can get great affordable seafood, meats and booze in my area. You should too.

2) Sales & Specials! Look through the circulars you get in the mail or in your Sunday news paper for what's on sale at different supermarkets that week. Every week each supermarket chain has specials on something that can be exciting. Lastly, go to every section of the market and look at the "special" sale items. Often I don't know what is already on sale, so I always try to create a menu out of the "specials."

3) Coupons, coupons, coupons! This is the place to use them. Clip them the out of magazines, papers, mailers and print them from coupon specific websites. You can save a bundle with coupons.

4) Loyalty programs. There is a debate whether these actually can save you cash. In the long run they do. Sign up for supermarket clubs. Get your credit card style grocery card and save on house specials. Do this for all supermarkets in your area. You can save a lot with coupons in addition to in grocery store loyalty programs.

5) Don't buy toiletries at grocery stores-(emergency condoms are fine).
Grocery stores generally markup toiletries, 25% or higher than discounted drug stores. It is worth a quick trip your favorite discount drugstore to stock up on your toiletry needs.

6) Check your check. Sometimes you may be charged incorrectly. Produce can be tricky for check out folk. Always review your bill just like you do when you are dining out. Next to your shopping list, write down the price. Sometimes sales prices don't ring up.

7) "The just about to expire section". This is for the cook who is more confident in the kitchen. Many times you will find a cart filled with veggies and breads that are not as fresh in your supermarket. You never know what you may get, but it could be more than 50% off in price. The food is perfectly fine. Just make sure you use whatever you purchase that night. The same applies to meats.

6) Don't shop on an empty stomach. You will buy more than you need and your date will probably not eat as much as you. Check out these additional tips on how to make your grocery shopping experience more enjoyable.


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