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Money Saving Tip #1: Just Say No To Restaurant Soft Drinks!

July 26, 2010 · 16 comments

in Money Saving Tips, Personal Finance

Well, I am home from vacation, but I am still not back in the swing of things.  Therefore, I am going to cheat and ‘rerun’ a post from way back in the beginning of my blog.  (OK, not that long ago, March.  However, I am sure this post will be new to most, if not all, of you.)

Original post date:  9 March 2010, 9:38 am

I was out to lunch with a friend at a local chain restaurant the other day and  I started discussing how much soft drinks cost these days.  I then picked up the menu to prove my point and the prices were not listed on the menu!  I was aghast.  When the waitress came to take our order, I asked how much soft drinks cost and she did not even know.  She later came back and said soft drinks cost $2.39.   If that isn’t bad enough, you can add in the 6 percent Michigan tax plus 20 percent tip, and that watered-down soft drink now costs you an even $3.00.  I can think of a lot of beverages I would enjoy more for that price.  Or, I could go to my local Kroger and buy a couple of 2 liter bottles for the same amount of money.  Of course, those would be hard to smuggle in my purse and discretely pour at a restaurant…

So next time you are out to eat, take a look at the menu before you order a beverage.  If the price isn’t there, you know it is an amount you won’t want to pay.  If the price IS there, you probably won’t want to pay that amount either.  (Unless the drink is offered in a decorative plastic cup with a twisty straw and you can convince the server you are 10 and under.)  Besides, what are you really gaining from that drink anyway besides a bunch of empty calories (or Nutrasweet), and a small dose of caffeine?

Have a great day!

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike - Saving Money Today July 26, 2010 at 11:25 am

Soda is definitely a suckers bet when dining out, but I’ll continue to splurge because I enjoy it.

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Budgeting in the Fun Stuff July 26, 2010 at 11:48 am

My husband still splurges on soda 70% of the time when we eat out, but I’m a water girl myself. About 4 times a year I’ll get sweet tea instead…I just can’t usually justify the extra money for something I can make at home for pennies a glass or grab a can of for 25 cents…

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Lola July 26, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Good post! When you’re eating out with your family, especially if it’s five of you (or six or more!), ordering soda is a huge markup on your meal. We explained that to the kids early on, and, as you say, we stressed that the real reason to do it is that water is much better for you, helps you play sports better, etc. (money was just secondary, ha ha!). Of course, the hubs and I also drank water when we ate out – gotta model the right behavior. Now that the kids are all out of town, I do occasionally order a soda as a treat when I eat out. I almost always ask for a (free) refill in a to-go cup on my way out -gotta get a little extra for the splurge.

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Denise July 26, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I agree! I’m a water with lemon girl. I even get adventurous and squeeze them lemon in my drink and mix with splenda…voila! Lemonade!

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Money Reasons July 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I almost always order water for the drink anymore. I’ll get a slice of lemon with it just in case the water is a little off.

That way, it’s cheaper (since it’s free), and better for me.

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Benjamin Bankruptcy July 26, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Skip the breads, entre and dessert as well. Generally you don’t need them anyway, I’m generally too full after an entre and breads to finish a main. Probably could have save some money by not getting the bread and entre to start with

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Squirrelers July 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Absolutely!

This is quite a profit center for them. I went to a restaurant recently where they offered “unlimited refills”, as I was told, for $2.49. So, I have the privelege of paying a fixed price to destroy my body with junk?

No thanks.

I’m trying to seriously cut down on caffeine, in general, and it’s working thus far. It’s good for the pocketbook, and feels good too.

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The Biz of Life August 9, 2010 at 9:14 am

Better yet….. just say no to restaurants, and stay away from the chip and soda aisle in the grocery store. The mark up on those items is unbelievable.

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AmeriloanSearch June 24, 2012 at 5:44 am

Thanks for the article!I think that if you want to save money than it’s worth to think about limiting visits to restaurants and start cooking at home. There are lots advantages in cooking at home, you can not just save money, but also eat food that is healthy. Restaurants take out lots of money from our wallets and good food and drinks there cost expensive enough, that’s why it’s better not to be lazy and cook at home.There are lots of different receipts available online, so you can try cooking different healthy dishes and save money.

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Fast Commissions December 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I have been doing this for the longest time. It not only saves money but it saves your body from that crap (not saying I don’t have a soda every now and then). If going out to eat, the best thing to do is limit and avoid over ordering if you are on a budget.

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