Take Out Dinners - Italian Food

By: Sarah Carlye

Everyone likes a break from the responsibility of cooking dinner. Even people who love to cook enjoy not having to plan, shop, prepare, and clean up sometimes.

Ordering take out food can be expensive.

There are ways to lower the cost of take out without limiting yourself to the value meal at a fast food restaurant when you are on a budget.

One way to have a take out meal when you are on a budget is to avoid buying the sides and just get the main dish (fried chicken, lasagna, etc). It can be very convenient to order the meal deal, but it can add to the cost of ordering take out. Purchase the main dish item for take out and supplying the sides yourself. It will still minimize the work involved to do dinner and will provide larger portions. You can match the sides that the restaurant offers or you can come up with your own. Often you will already have easy to prepare sides at home. Here are some easy and inexpensive sides:

• Mash potatoes-most take out food restaurants use instant potatoes, buy a large box or a couple small specialty (cheddar, sour cream and chive, etc) bags of instant mashed potatoes and make it yourself.
• Canned vegetables-canned vegetable warm up quickly on the stove or in the microwave. You will have more options for a vegetable.
• Salad-this is a healthy choice for a side dish. Using the minimal amount of ingredients and the salad dressing that you have in your refrigerator will keep the cost down.
• Dessert-buy a box mix and prepared frosting of a favorite flavor of cake
• Gravy-a few packets of gravy will yield more than what you will receive with your take out order. If you really like the restaurant’s gravy though, you might want to go ahead and order that from them because it will be hard to match.
• Fries-a large bag of frozen French fries can be heated up easily and quickly in the oven.

Don’t pay full price for take out meals. Use coupons to lower the cost of take out. Don’t automatically throw away the pile of papers that look like junk mail when you get them from the mailbox. Many restaurant coupons for two-for-one or other discounts can be used for take out. Check on line for special offers from the restaurant you enjoy or restaurants in general for special prices and coupons to use for take out meals when on a budget.

If you can have the budgeted amount for several take out meals available all at once, buy in bulk. A catering sized amount can be split and part of it frozen. Another option is to get together with friends who like the same food and split the cost of the meal with them. Several families can have take out for a lower price than just ordering an individual meal. There could even be regularly scheduled days during the month for the take out order and each friend can rotate which house it will be eaten at. The cost could be split per person that attends the dinner.

Order just the sides. There are some take out restaurants that are known for their sides. Make an easy main dish or have something cooking in the crock-pot and pick up your favorite sides for take out. Some popular side dishes that some restaurants are known for:

• Meatballs
• Biscuits
• Fries
• Mash potatoes and gravy
• Cole Slaw
• Beans

Often when getting take out there isn’t enough in the take out meal budget to include desert, but mostly it is because once eat, there is no room for desert. Instead of treating yourself to a take out meal, order a take out desert to eat after the dinner.

If you are in the Miami, Florida area, take a look at the take out menu from Mama Jennies Italian Restaurant. There are daily take out specials, Italian main dishes, side orders, pizza, desert, and more.

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Read More about Take Out Dinners - Italian Food. For Pizza In Miami, order pizza from Mama Jennie’s Italian Restaurant. Delicious homemade pizza, lasagna and other pastas, subs, and more fresh italian food. Pizza and pasta sauce that explodes with flavor, zesty subs and salads.

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