Eating out…On A Budget

Hello loves!

I have been in school for FOREVER! I never took a summer off or taken a gap year, which is something that I regret now. But anywho! I got into a nationally acclaimed Ph.D. program but I saw all that because I have learned to cut corners since its only me (for right now). So I’m going to lay out everything  I did to save money while still having fun with my friends in this series, “On A Budget”.

Let’s start with food. I absolutely LOVE great food! My undergraduate years were fulfilled in a city that was known for its seafood so I had to be very cautious when it came to funds.

  1. Find out who has happy hour/daily specials. I had a restaurant for every weekday and I knew most happy hours. Moe Mondays ($5 burritos), Buffalo Wild Wings ($0.60 wings, bone in on Tuesdays and bone out Thursdays), &  Hooter on Wednesdays. Those are just the ones I can think of right now and it alters with cities because of local restaurants. BTW, most happy hours are around 3-7pm or 9pm-close.
  2. Buy enough for multiple meals/order a meal for the next day. If you’re eating out, you might as well get extra food which can easily equate to 3 extra meals if you like reheating your food.
  3. Eat appetizers as meals. Some restaurants have appetizers that are full meals, those are usually the nachos and sampler platters.
  4. Only order water. If you are like me and barely drink anything with your food, then buying a soda for $2.50 and never get a refill then your throwing away money. However, depending on the food I HAVE to order a soda to burp and if I don’t I stop by a gas station and get a drink or McDonald’s if they have $1 large drinks. Most of the specialty lemonades and teas do not get refills so ask if refills are possible before ordering.
  5. Avoid purchasing alcohol. I like beer, especially Angry Orchard and Redd’s ale. One bottle of Angry Orchard normally is $5-6, a case from Publix is about $10 on a good day for 6, which is less than $2 a bottle. Unless it is happy hour and it’s a great deal, purchase a bottle or case before you get home and stretch out your money.
  6. Eat out during the week &/or lunch. There are usually daily specials during the week which can cut your bill in half. Lunch menus are always cheaper but beware, sometimes they offer a smaller portion size.
  7. Fill out surveys on receipts for free food. If there is a survey on the receipt, the company is usually offering a free dish or dollars off your next order…THAT IS FREE FOOD. Get into the habits of filling out the surveys within 48 hours because after then you forget or lose the receipt.
  8. Sign up for every rewards program. Most restaurants have some type of rewards program which offers incentives if you keep returning. McAlister’s has a punch card, Starbucks has their star program, and there are many others!
  9. If they have an app download it. Apps are awesome for a variety of reasons: your order is already saved, you get alerts about new items, and the company usually has incentives for you to download it.
  10. Use your birthday perks! I can eat free for most of my birth month with all the emails I get just because I was born.
  11. If they have an email program, sign up. Refer to tips 8-10.
  12. Limit how many times you eat out per week. This is the most obvious tip.

Try out these tips and let me know which ones changed your life in the comments section below.


Tell me some of your secrets to saving money while eating out, I want to try them!



DISCLAIMER: I am in no way endorsing any business included in this post, I’m merely giving examples.

Money Making Apps

Hello loves!

I have always been the girl that puts forth extra effort to save money because as a student some weeks are better than others. Let’s be clear, I’m not an extreme couponer and I do pay full price for some items (I just prefer not to). However, when it comes to cutting corners to save a bit of money or saving up for a trip I do it in a variety of ways.

*Unless stated otherwise, all money can be redeemed via direct deposit into a PayPal account.

Here is a list of some of my favorite apps to use:

Shopkicks I honestly use shop kicks very sporadically. Most of the time I only turn it on when I’m in the mall or I’m out shopping in general. Most of my points are from walk-ins, but even with using it so little its still beneficial. If you already have an account feel free to use my invite code for extra points toward one of the available gift cards.

Receipt Hog This is one of the best saving apps I have ever downloaded because it accepts ALL receipts of ANY amount. Points are given based on the price bracket and your consistent use of the app. However, when my mom tried to download it a few months ago I learned that there is now a waiting list to even use it! I would suggest getting on the waitlist, it’ll be worth it. You will receive an email once you can use the app.

Ibotta This is another fairly popular app because it works similar to ebates but it is mostly for specific items. I always go through the app before making my grocery list because I will change brands if that means I get a rebate. But the key to using this app is also consistency. They have a lot of challenges for you to get extra money for buying a certain group of items. If you already have downloaded the app feel free to use my referral code, hoiaaln, and you can get a $10 welcome bonus.

Walmart If you shop at walmart at all, download this app. I rarely use walmart but when I do, I always scan my receipt for the savings catcher aspect. It finds the cheapest competitors price and refunds you the difference in a walmart gift card. This allows you to shop without having to compare prices at other stores before shopping.

Pay Your Selfie This app literally pays you to take selfies, need I say more? They give you selfie requests and when you do them, you get money. In addition, you get $0.50 for every referral.

1Q I haven’t made much money from this app but I believe its based on your demographics and I’m probably too common. In addition, you get $0.25 for every referral.

Streetbees  I just started using Streetbees and so far so good, my only complaint is that not all surveys are paid but when they are paid you get the money in your bank account within 24 hours.  My referral code is 6012L 🙂

VoxPopMe This is hands down my favorite survey app because their video surveys were you state your opinion and you’re done. Just answer all the questions they ask and you get paid. When you refer someone both parties get $1 when the new person submits a good response.

Pudding This is a very unique app because it’s nothing but sweepstakes as prizes. They ask you random questions and you get a point for every answer then you use those points to be entered into drawings. There are daily, weekly, and monthly drawings. I’ve known people that have won but I haven’t yet. The only reason I keep it is because the questions are usually quirky.

Drop If you use credit cards a lot for reward points, then you need this app because it accumulates points for gift cards. My only suggestions is open it once a week, there are always new offers available and you have to activate them in order to get points form purchases.

Dosh This is also great for card users. What makes it great is that you can cash out directly to your debit card.

Panel It is your typical survey app but all the surveys are short and they are based upon the places you frequent. For every referral, you earn 10% of their earnings and you can either use your points for gift cards outright or via a sweepstakes.

SavvyConnect This system monitors your online activity and sends you surveys based on your activity. You get more money with each additional device connected. Then when you refer people your paid as a result of your direct recruits and their recruits answering surveys.

Robinhood This is an investment app that allow you to get started with NO money, you just have to get referrals. You and your referral get a free stock.


Have you tried any of these? Which one works for you?