Today is day four of the July Food Stamp Challenge, and we experimented with eating out last night. I am 100% aware that food stamps do not cover restaurant meals, but I could not stand the idea of going the entire month of July without eating out. I had noticed that my favorite Mexican restaurant had been added to Restaurant.com, which sells $25 gift certificates for $10, and almost always has a promotion going where you can buy them for $2. (Of course, you have to spend $35, and an 18% tip of the original price is added onto your bill.)
I worked yesterday, as did my 15-year-old son, so we decided to use the gift certificate and enjoy a night off from cooking. Unfortunately, this was one of those situations where the idea is better than the actuality. Everyone in the family ordered $12.95 chimichangas, (which I think are disgusting — deep fried burritos? Blegh!) and even though I chose a $8.95 entree, we went way over the $35 that I was trying to stay under. So all said and told, with 18% tip added, the bill came to $36, which is no bargain.
We did leave with loads and loads of leftovers, (in my own container, which I remembered to bring — points for that!) but I think our eating out is finito for the month of July. And we are going to have to concoct some mightily cheap meals to stay under $404 for the month.
I hope you weren’t hoping for helpful information today, because all I’ve got is a cautionary tale.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
P.S. Happy Fourth of July!