Sallie & Perkins: Affordable Date Night

sallie-and-perkins

Hey, friends!! Long time no see! It's that time of year I guess where everyone get's busy with fall fun, holiday planning, shopping and whatnot. We've been busy paying off more debt, as usual, and also finding ways to not go completely insane over here. Most of the time it seems to work. But sometimes not spending money gets boring. Like super-duper boring. Date nights are still always something we budget for though. For our sanity and for the sake of our marriage ;) Today we thought we'd take you all on a journey with us for an inside look at our most recent date night. We just want to prove a point that you don't have to spend a lot of money, to have a lotta' fun!
sallie-and-perkins-date
We're both mexican-food crazy over here, so it's usually at the top of our list when we're considering a place to get dinner on date night. The cool thing about our local joint is the little ways they LET you save money while you dine. You read that correctly! Our favorite restaurant gives you 10% off your bill if you pay in cash AND they've got a pretty great rewards card we use, as well.
pay-cash
Obviously not every restaurant offers things like this, but it definitely doesn't hurt to look/ask around and find out which places DO! Your future favorite spot might just be begging you to come dine-in and save some money at the same time!

And don't be shy at the restaurants that bring out the free chips (or bread rolls, peanuts, etc!) They're free so by golly, we're going to eat them! Perkins and Sallie polish off baskets of tortilla chips like they're going out of style.
mexican-food-date
Eat at places that bring you "free appetizers" and then you don't have to buy quite as much food! We can easily split the delicious chicken fajita quesadilla here and be completely satisfied. When we split this meal our dinner is only $9.99 before the tip! And yes, this meal is so good that Perkins swiped it before I could get my picture of it.
chicken-fajita-quesadilla
And people, I'm sorry, but I have to say it. Drink water when you dine out!!! The mark-up on soft drinks and alcoholic beverages is just insane. It should be criminal how much money a restaurant makes on drinks alone! Say no to the $3 Mountain Dew and enjoy that water. Don't forget to ask for lemons or limes if you want- those are free too ;) Do we sound like tightwads yet??
order-water-and-save

Obviously on special occasions we'll splurge on a nicer meal, or even get a dessert, so we're not saying you can't ever do those things. But if you're on a budget and trying to get your finances in order, date nights can get put on the back burner. They don't have to be though- just be smart before dining out and you'll have an affordable, fun night.

Bonus-date for us? The DollarSaver theater is right next door to our little date night spot. Only $3 a person and we always smuggle our own candy in ;) What's YOUR favorite cheap date? We wanna' hear from you!

31 comments

  1. I wish my favorite restaurant here did the 10% off. That's awesome. I love what you said about ordering water. I started this a few months ago when my Dr. Pepper cost more than my two tacos I ordered. That's ridiculous. YAY for money saving tips and being so close to paying off your debt! Way to go S&P.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post!! Our favorite restaurant is a BBQ restaurant in walking distance of where we live. On Monday's, kids eat free (we have two little girls ages 2 and 1). The portions are huge - so we get one adult meal and one (free) kids meal of the BEST BBQ food ever for $10.90!! We try to only eat out once a week and that's always where we end up! :)

    -Sarah www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just found my Rincon rewards card the other day, it's been too long since we've been!! Yes WATER for days. I can't believe some places charge as much as $3 for pop, etc....they are making a killing!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I always love your Sallie and Perkins photos! Crack me up. :) Excellent tips! I'm trying to save some money for a vacation next summer, so this will really help!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You talking about smuggling snacks into the theatre reminded me of this group of kids (ok, they were probably in college) at the movies on Saturday night. There were probably 8-10 of them sitting right in front of us, and I swear they had half a grocery store with them. An entire package of bottled water, bags and bags of chips, etc. I seriously wonder how they got it all in there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my gosh, I love you two!! Someday we will go out for Mexican food together.... someday! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. So cute! If we're in the mood to go out just for the sake of going out, sometimes I'll make dinner at home and then we'll go out for dessert!

    ReplyDelete
  8. AHA! You brought the Perkins glasses to the restaurant! Love. :)
    We like hiking and picnics for cheap dates at the area parks. And, we always find ourselves at Mexican restaurants because we're Mexican food fiends. omggggg, yum.

    ReplyDelete
  9. We ALWAYS order water when we go out to eat unless it's a special occasion. If we are still just really craving a coke then we go to a local gas station and get a large fountain drink for 75 cents! I literally cringe at the thought of paying $3 for a coke at restaurants lol. And sneaking candy into the movies...ALL THE TIME. My sisters always have plenty of candy at the house so we load up and I just stuff it in my purse ;) We also only go to the movies in the early part of the afternoon when the tickets are cheapest. I wish our favorite Mexican restaurant had that deal here!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love this post! We're big water orderers too. We need to get better at sharing food - but Jake can eat A LOT! HAHAHAHA We are candy smugglers too... totally guilty! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Annnnnnd now I want Mexican!!! I usually order water out if I am not wanting an adult beverage because you are right....they charge a ridiculous amount for a soda!!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it's pretty much always ridiculous to buy a drink when you can get water for free. Now, the occasional margarita needs to happen, but otherwise, water is the best. Did you know in Mexican restaurants (at least in OK and TX), they still charge you $4.99 for splitting a meal? It's because they give you chips, salsa, tortillas, and cheese for "free", so they don't want people eating their fill for free basically. So... yeah. It's worth it just to order your own meal down here :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Those glasses are just killer. Seriously, I love them. Mexican food is definitely the way to my soul, so I don't blame you for choosing that most of the time. I've never heard of a place giving you a discount if you pay in cash, but that's awesome! Our favorite FREE date is going to Barnes & Noble, walking around separately, and meeting back up to read a passage that we liked - funny, interesting, etc. We never end up buying a book, but we love doing it!

    ReplyDelete
  14. We find Groupons before picking a restaurant to eat at or only go somewhere we have a coupon! We also try to hit up a place with a good happy hour...1/2 price appetizers...so we order that for our meal :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ordering water saves so much money! We've gotten into that habit (even with the kids). When there's four of us dining out, it's easily $12 for four sweet teas!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ordering water is the way to go! Eating the chips and salsa makes me not be able to finish the other half of my meal, so I always have some for later. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just want you to know how inspiring your Sallie and Perkin posts are. I'm a graduate student with both undergrad and grad loans. Money is pretty sparse, but you encouraged me to be smart with my money. Thanks tax refunds and a semi-well paying part time job, I've been able o pay off $4,000 of an undergrad loan within a year. I really love your advice, your perseverance, and your honesty. Please, please, please continue these posts! Cannot wait for the day you pay off that last piece of debt!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Eating out definitely doesn't have to be pricey! We also had a favorite mexican restaurant in Michigan with delicious chips, and huge meals so that we could split one. I always ordered water when going out to eat--if you like pop, that's fine, just drink it at home because we could get 2-liters for 88 cents.
    Here, we're still on a tight budget, but we can go out to the local ma-n-pa homemade noodle shop and each get a gigantic plate of noodles and veggies, and drink their free lemon water for a total under $5 USD. We love it! You definitely have to know where to go, though, and unfortunately, Mexican food is a fancy meal here!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Things I miss from home: ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO DRINK FREE WATER AT RESTAURANTS. lol that totally deserved all caps ;)

    ReplyDelete
  20. mmm now I really, really, really want Mexican food. I always ask for discounts from small places, they usually give the cash one, because they aren't paying the credit card transaction fee. Chicago is also big on neighborhood discounts, especially at bars :) If you live nearby/frequent the place, you always get 10% off!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A DollarSaver theater?! What?! I paid $10 to go to the theater last weekend and that was just for the ticket. Highway robbery I tell you.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Erin, are there any personal finance/ debt blogs you read? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I agree with the comment above...what are you fav blogs to read on these topics?! Would love to know! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My absolute favorite finance blog: http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/ I follow her on twitter too (https://twitter.com/senseofcents) and she's very helpful/answers questions etc all the time. I read a lot of stuff she posts/recommends so I've checked out other blogs linked from hers a lot!

      I also, of course, read http://www.daveramsey.com constantly- always TONS of new information, articles, resources etc :)

      Delete
  24. If we go to the movies it's typically always a matinee!

    I love a place that has a good deal...and that Perkins is wearing his specks in the restaurant!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Our cheap dates involve cashing in the points accumulated from our credit card (sorry, Dave!) for gift cards to restaurants. Free dinner finished off with a movie at the Milford Rave on a Tuesday night, $11 worth of PERFECT. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. LOOOOOVE cheap date nights, especially since we are in "super saver baby prep" every dollar I don't have to spend for a "good time" makes it that much better!

    Love your little "tips" :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great idea!! We do that at Olive Garden, too. Order an entree. You get free salad and then split the entree. Cheap!!! Love it!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. thats really cool about the 10% off for cash payment, i've never heard of that before! i have yet to find a really great mexican place in nj where i live. can i just tell you, i am always SO insecure about ordering water at dinner when i go out. i feel like it leaves my waiter with steam coming out of their ears.

    PS LOVE YOUR SWEATSHIRT :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. that is awesome they give you a discount for paying cash!! Brad and I always say its ridiculous how much drinks are!!!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks SO much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I read each one and love to respond and chat with you! :)