How Overpriced Is The Olive Garden? The Post Where I Say “Hell No” To Takeout Pasta


It’s no secret that I dislike going out to eat. To be specific, I don’t like going out to eat just to order something that I could make as good at home, at significantly less cost. I don’t mean to dwell on this subject, but eating out is just such a colossal waste of money.  The absolute worst offender is anything pasta related, including a favorite restaurant of my wife and daughter; The Olive Garden. Look, it’s not The Olive Garden’s fault that they garner such hate from me, it’s just that taking a family of four there for dinner […] Read more »

We’re NOT Going Out For Breakfast……Because I Can Cook!


“What would you like for breakfast?” I asked my wife. Weekdays are full of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for work and/or getting kids off to school, so on weekends I like to put my cooking skills to use and make my family a big breakfast. “Can we go out for breakfast?” was her reply. We were out of hash browns, plus she couldn’t decide exactly what she was in the mood for. She was thinking that if we went somewhere with a breakfast buffet she could have a little of everything. Eating out is something I would […] Read more »

The One Reason For Eating Out That Is a Big Fat Lie


I think we would all agree that dining out is more expensive than cooking at home. We all go out to eat from time to time, but did you notice that we always seem to attach some sort of excuse to it? Whether we’re celebrating, or we’re on vacation, or we’re just too busy to cook it seems like we have to justify to ourselves a trip to a restaurant. Sometimes there are some valid reasons, sometimes there isn’t a reason other than we just want to and that’s OK. But there’s one excuse that we tell ourselves over and […] Read more »

Financial Peace Will Save My Marriage

peace Pic

Peace. It’s a word that’s been stuck my head. It all started with a post I read last week in which the author described how budgeting brought peace to her marriage. The title stirred something inside me.  A simple, but powerful word, that for some reason seemed to continuously pop into my mind over the weekend. Friday evening we were trying to decide what to do for dinner. None of the options left on our meal planning list sounded very good to the family. In a moment of frustration as my stomach growled, I suggested we go out to eat. […] Read more »

How I Save Money At Subway


I love Subway.  My whole family loves Subway.  In fact, over the last year, it has become tradition that I pick up Subway and bring it home for the family for Saturday lunch. We don’t eat out all that much, and it’s our way of saying, “How you doin?” to the weekend. I’m not sure if  they suddenly raised their prices, or if it was a gradual increase that just finally hit my breaking point, but a few months ago I noticed that Subway for my family of four was getting  kind of expensive for a Saturday lunch. Here’s an […] Read more »

Buyer Beware Hidden Charges May Be Affecting Your Bottom Line

hidden fees

You are one of those people that diligently budgets for every expense, cuts costs wherever possible–a sheer genius when it comes to personal finance. So why does it seem you just can’t get ahead as a middleclass American citizen doing all the right things when it comes to sticking to your budget? The economy has taken its toll on just about everyone, both consumers and business. In fact either you or someone close to you has likely fallen victim to a foreclosure, layoff, or downsizing. When you fill up at the pump you wonder when a gallon of gas and […] Read more »

How Do You Choose to Handle Change?

Coffee Starbucks

Anyone who knows me, also knows how often I can be found at Starbucks.  Several locations fix an Iced Quad-Shot Espresso when they see me pull into the parking lot.  That is, after all, my preferred drink and has been for several years now.  Originally, my drink was a Grande nonfat, with whip, Mocha.  After several years, I chose a Grande Iced Coffee.  Then, my doctor suggested espresso since it has less caffeine and much less acid than brewed coffee. (I know it doesn’t sound right, but see references below). Even though it has a stronger flavor, espresso is lower […] Read more »

No Restaurants in November 2011 – Final Results


Hello everyone. First let me apologize to you all for the delay in getting this post up. Last week was a beast of a week and Friday was probably the most insane day of them all. My wife went back to work after 3 great months of maternity leave. We did learn some things and feel very blessed to have been able to share that time together. For starters it inspired and motivated us to develop a plan to bring my wife home so we’re both stay-at-home parents. My wife is a great nurse and loves her job but who […] Read more »

No Restaurants in November 2011 Update and a New Challenge

Tired of flushing money down the toilet...

Well the month has almost come and gone and I cant say I’ve really missed going out to eat all that much. For the most part it has given our family extra time in the kitchen to bond. My wife and I have tag teamed the meals as well as taken turns cooking meals individually. When it’s time to do dishes Isaac has enthusiastically helped clear the table and load the dishwasher. So we have saved money but also created a fine little helper in the process. Isaac helped in more ways than one too. We really only had a […] Read more »

No Restaurants in November 2011 – Do You Have a Checklist?


Hello guys and gals! So here we are two weeks after starting my “insane” challenge of avoiding restaurants for the entire month of November. I’m excited to see where each of you are and how you’ve managed to do so far. It’s been fun no? LOL I have done perfectly so far but surprisingly had a hard time last week. It wasn’t even because I “wanted” to eat out. It was more of what I referred to in my last post where I talked about not planning meals and being out and about around meal time. Needless to say I […] Read more »

No Restaurants in November 2011 – First Week Peek Plus Recipes!

Low Fat Cooking

If this is your first time visiting last year I hosted my very own No Restaurants in November challenge. The point was to save some money and hopefully curb some bad eating out habits while being transparent about all of it. I revealed how much we spent in October of 2010 and our savings at the end of November. The challenger was a huge success in terms of popularity so I decided to bring it back every year. If you want to know more about it read No Restaurants in November 2011 – for the rules of the road. It’s […] Read more »

What Will You Do With Your “No Restaurants in November” Savings?

cash photo

If you’ve accepted Brad’s challenge for No Restaurants in November by the end of the month will have saved up a sum of money. Last year, Brad saved $524.25 during the 2010 version of No Restaurant Month. Your savings will depend on how much you make and then spend at restaurants. When November ends, what should you do with the money you saved? Pay down your debt! First, if you have debt, use your November savings to reduce your outstanding debts, particularly the higher interest rate credit cards. You might think about what those balances represent and, if it’s financing […] Read more »

Day 1: No Restaurants in November 2011 – Let the Savings Begin!

Time to break out the cookware!

So today it begins. No Restaurants in November baby! If you missed the rules I am giving myself (and possibly you) click here to see if you have what it takes. Yep those are challenging words! :D Have you decided to be TOTALLY WEIRD by participating in such a thing? WARNING: Your friends may laugh at you. You may get called some names. Your actions may cause people to feel judged. If this happens to you, please tread carefully. Unpredictable behavior may ensue. I get it. It totally sucks to be the only person at work with a bagged lunch, but guess what? It also sucks to be broke and/or keeping yourself from reaching your goals. Read more »