Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chinese Takeout - Don't Go Without!

The goal of this blog is to Increase our Standard of Living while Decreasing our Expenses, and I have always felt that being Frugal doesn't mean going without...it just means we have to plan a little bit further in advance or think a little differently about what we really want!

Take Chinese Food, for instance.  In the past, it was a "go to" meal of choice when we were too tired/lazy to cook or when we wanted a little treat.  Inevitably, we'd end up ordering at the last minute around dinner time and order way too much because we were super hungry.

Frugal Fast Forward!  Now, we still order Chinese Takeout, but we plan enough in advance that we can order it at Lunch Time.  Have you noticed that many Chinese (and other) Restaurants offer Lunch meals at a much discounted price?  Sometimes you can even get extras such as soup and spring rolls with your meal that would cost you extra at Dinnertime.  

So we order our Dinner at Lunchtime and put it in the fridge until we're ready to re-heat and eat!  Wonder how much we're saving by doing this...

The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

Lunchtime Chinese Takeout Bill (Lo Mein, General Tso's Chicken, Shrimp Chow Mein, Beef & Broccoli, Fried Rice, 2 Soups & 2 Egg Rolls, or 4 Lunch Combos for $5.25 each)

Total Fake-It Cost: $21.00

Dinner Chinese Takeout Bill (Lo Mein $7.95, General Tso's Chicken $9.25, Shrimp Chow Mein $7.95, Beef & Broccoli $8.95, Fried Rice $7.25, 2 Soups $3.00, 2 Egg Rolls $2.25)

Total Fake-It Savings:  $25.60*

*That's like getting the food at 54% off - kinda like getting a Groupon for your favorite takeout every time!


  1. Great post!

    I noticed this as well several years ago, and found that breakfast usually costs just as much as dinner in most sit down restaurants. Lunch is almost always the best time of day to eat out.


  2. Great idea!!! Whenever we go to a restaurant we try to go at lunchtime but I never thought of ordering Chinese at lunch and then reheating at dinner!!! Thank you!!

  3. Not only is lunch cheaper but if you time it correctly,(1:30 / 2:30) not as busy. I also give my children a budget before we go out to eat. This save not having to say no while we are all hungry. Kids meals dont save money. Share your meal with a small child. Skip desert. Get
    hot fudge sunday at mcd's later. ($1.00 each) Another treat to look forward to if children were well behaved while we were out.

  4. I had never thought of that! Great idea. We aren't Chinese food eaters, but the same is true of other restaurants. Finding a meal that warms well is a great solution.

  5. My apartment is littered with Chinese take-out boxes it would be awesome to learn how to cook it. Great article, it was very interesting!


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