Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bryan's Top 5 Secrets to Eating Great

           Today is a glorious day, simply because I conquered the unemployment monster once and for all, who was giving me some difficulties that I had to take care of. To celebrate, Meli and I are going to live it up the only way we know how: by gorging on some good food.
           So today's post is about how you don't have to be rich to eat well for two. See, I've never been one for the college kid diet of Ramen or Cup Noodles... you know, that near-plastic stuff that melts into only slightly less plastic stuff when put into hot water, with two pieces of freeze dried peas for nourishment and something that resembles aborted shrimp fetuses... if you're lucky. Whether it's cooking on your own or eating out, there's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy your meal... as long as you have no morals.

            Also, it probably goes without saying, but if you're looking for some fruity Martha Stewart-esque tips about coupon clipping or bargain hunting, go kill yourself. The following are Bryan's top 5 secrets to eating great for cheap.

1. Complain. A company wants to hold on to their loyal customers. After getting horrible service at a local chain restaurant, I contacted them by e-mail in a very polite manner and told them how the server had been rude to me, forgot to bring me something I asked for, and ignored me for 30 minutes, and I'd never eat there again. The manager called me two days later, apologized, and offered to pay for the exact same meal I had had. A $40 meal, for free? Sure, I'll take it. My instance was legitimate, but it's up to you whether the incident really happened or not. Remember: food always tastes better when it's free, but if you get someone fired for something they really didn't do, unemployment karma is a bitch.

2. Complain some more. Tip #1 works for regular products, too. I wrote a major yogurt company to tell them I found mold in my yogurt, which I did (and it wasn't expired, either), and they sent me a voucher for a free 24 pack. Again, up to you whether it's true or not, but just remember that some things are more believable than others. "I found AIDS in my baked beans" probably won't get you any free beans, but karma may give you AIDS. Do your homework.

3. Have a Shitload of Birthdays. Sounds stupid, right? Wrong. Most restaurants, if you sign up for their e-mails, give you a free something on your birthday. Well, once a year is bullshit, so I have 12 e-mails accounts and have a birthday once every month. Name and address doesn't matter, because the servers don't check anyway. This month's Qdoba coupon is made out to Eduardo del Sexo. Ole, bitches!

Oh, and make sure you find the good restaurants. Some will give you a free (under $6) appetizer... which is bullshit. The good ones, like Noodles and Company or Cold Stone Creamery, will give you a buy one get one free deal. As an added bonus, the kid behind the counter is often too retarded to do basic math, and will charge you significantly less than 'buy one get one free' simply because he doesn't understand the concept of subtracting one meal from the total. My last Noodles and Company ticket was $6 even though my meal alone was $8.

Thanks, 16-year-old-that-can't-count-and-doesn't-really-give-a-shit. I'd tip you, but I'm cheap. Deal with it.

4. Load up on bread. You're a cheap ass and you want to eat inexpensively but you also want to eat something relatively enjoyable. Well, have I got a plan for you. Go to your nearest restaurant that has really good, all-you-can-eat breadsticks or rolls. Olive Garden or Red Lobster is pretty good for this. Tell the server you need some time to think about your meal but want some bread in the meanwhile. Keep stalling and asking for more bread while you think. Maybe have personal problems by escalating verbally aggressive, awkward fights with your friend/loved one/escort you brought to dinner to simulate a real date. Have your drinks, eat your bread, and then ask for the ticket when you're full. By doing this, the now obviously pissed off server won't be able to spit in your bread, and you will have gotten a full, reasonably tasty (and damn filling, since it's all bread) meal for the cost of 2 happy hour drinks, you cheap motherfucker. Go home and bang that escort with pride.

5. Eat more 'all-you-can-eat' (with a purse). Dig out your biggest purse (ladies), drag along your wife (fellas), or go buy the gayest looking man purse you can find (fellas) and hit up the local all-you-can-eat joint, or AYCE for us binge eaters hardcore food enthusiasts. "All-you-can-eat," by the way, is merely a suggestion when the owners aren't watching you.

For example, the Indian all-you-can-eat buffet nearby doesn't pay much attention to its customers while simultaneously having big, deep booths, which is great because this gives perfect camouflage for stuffing a purse full of food. Those clever Indians, they probably assume their very sauce-filled, soupy dishes can't survive in a purse, but guess what fools, a bunch of tupperware can stack like a motherfucker in a boat-sized purse. Have one person be the look out, and by the time you leave, you now have 3 weeks worth of Indian food for under $20... and also a hall pass to the fiery colon cleansing you've only had nightmares about.

So, how do you guys eat for cheap?

Stay classy, friends,
Bryan

Mood: Too full from all these Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits to even think about how I'm feeling
Beer: Whatever's under $3 and doesn't taste completely like piss water (just partially like piss water is fine)
Shower: Need one more to get the reek of 24 garlic breadsticks off of me.

35 comments:

  1. Hope your new job doesn't involve being more than 50 feet from a bathroom.

    24 garlic breadsticks = revenge of the olive garden.

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  2. I had a part time cooking/ waiting job when i was in school. I don't think I ever bought groceries. I never "stole" anything. What is one day past the best before date? Most restaurants throw out food well before the actual best before date. So before they do that just scoop up some of the preped food that would normally go in the garbage.

    God am I ever sick of Spinach dip.

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  3. youre giving me a lot of good ideas...;)

    your friend,
    ectomorphmuscle.blogspot.com

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  4. Dating. Most guys will pick up the tab in hopes of getting something more afterwards. Dummies.

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  5. That email thing is a great tip.

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  6. Great advice. I will be emailing a few companies tonight.

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  7. What's also a good healthy way to get full and stay in budget is share a huge meal between you and your partner. Like one of those jumbo whatchamacallit sandwiches or something.

    Separate drinks of course, maybe an appetizer/dessert.

    That's how I like to do it.

    http://theadorkableditzmissteps.blogspot.com/

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  8. My favorite one is emailing the company and the birthday trick! This stuff is golden man :D

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  9. Having bread with every meal is good to pad it out a fair bit. Make sandwiches out of everything.

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  10. I can't complain to any food establishment seeing that I KNOW what happens behind the scenes. When I was a waitress, we had a hell of a time doing the craziest shit to people's food... I won't say shit even if my order is wrong lol

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  11. I typically spend more on alcohol than food. After like 5 crown and cokes, I'm not too hungry. I basically end up with a gourmet dinner to eat the next day while I'm watching The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes in my underwear.

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  12. You guys are great writers, but not too great on reading :/

    it's like you didn't even read my last post... >.>

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  13. Good tips, I particularly liked the recommendation about complaining to a restaurant. I've had horrible service before, but I just didn't tip to spite 'em.

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  14. I think the burger muncher up there is in one of my classes this semester...

    ~shoes~

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  15. damn- i just sat down with my ramen noodles...

    but they were 10 for a 1.00, so i guess it doesn't cost much for aborted shrimp...

    Bruce
    Bruce Johnson JADIP
    Evil Twin
    stupid stuff I see and hear
    The Dreamodeling Guy
    dreamodeling!
    The Guy Book
    The Guy Book

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  16. Actually, Aaron, every post we comment on we read. Check your comments again.

    And Falen, I only complain to management after the fact. I won't dare complain to a server to their face. I can only imagine what would happen.

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  17. Good thing he's wearing a helmet, that looks dangerous

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  18. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if i got someone fired... well yea I would but I wouldn't do it for a free meal =)

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  19. Some of these secrets need the person to have more front than the eastern front, used to be a chef and complainers about food in a restaurant could sometimes receive chef's revenge and have a genuine complaint a couple of hours later but I find the best secret is to get other people to pay for your food.

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  20. Like so: and it's quite slimming really. Eat nothing all day (cuz you're broke). Then go to the pub and have an ice cold beer. That's breakfast. Next one's lunch. Another one, and you've had supper. By this time, you're not really hungry any more, but if you feel decadent, you can always have desert. Then, if the company's good, you can have seconds on desert. Walk home. Do not drive. (Or else sneak home by back routes driving sloooowly)

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  21. Three words: Discount Deli Meats.

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  22. I have been unemployed for almost three years and find some of the information very helpful.

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  23. Ha! I never hesitate to employ these tactics. Well, maybe except for the birthdays. I really hate to see too many of those.
    Congratulations! Good luck on the other side. ;)

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  24. I just might have to try one or two of these when I get an income again. Right now I'll stick with the food stamps we're getting.

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  25. When I was single I would sometimes hang with a friend who knew every happy hour/buffet meal deal in Nashville by heart. Depending upon what day of the week it was, he'd make sure you were at the right place at the right time to snarf down copious amounts of food and beer at the cheapest possible price. On top of this logistical talent, he was an absolute dog and knew at least one or two of the waitresses of every establishment in a Biblical sense, which made for a lot of freebies we didn't get charged for. They would "add" a mistaken appetizer or two to someone's order, then when that person pointed out the extra food being delivered, they'd apologize, take it off their bill, and bring the 'mistake' to our table.
    He may have had questionable taste in women, but the guy knew how to get over when he was hungry.
    NetFlix a movie called "Off the Map" to see a little kid using your "complaint" method for getting freebies from various snack companies. Great little independent film (Sam Elliot/Joan Allen/JK Simmons)

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  26. well i never eat cheap you know. but i will definitely try some of these suggestions

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  27. Never tried the multiple birthdays thing! And I am lacking a wife/gay man purse :(

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  28. The picture of the black man with burger always gets me.

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  29. I had a friend who, while unemployed, used to ride his bike over to the Costco, and walk around the store getting the free samples. ...daily.

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  30. I've found that complaining about things usually does result in a response that gives you something free or discounted. I haven't ever complained without being warranted, but it's good to see some people still care.

    I've also found that signing up for reward programs for certain restaurants pay off pretty well. One of my favorite places just started one, unfortunately it's only 10 dollars off every 200 dollars you spend.

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  31. haha I've done the birthday thing many times actually, and my sister is a PRO at complaining to restaraunts and getting free stuff, It's cash

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  32. Number three is my personal favourite - when ever I go out it's always one of our birthdays!

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  33. Friend of mine saw a fly flying around in a restaurant once. Killed it, ate about half his meal and put it on his plate. Complained, got another free plate and no charge for the dinner.

    So maybe a jar of dead bugs?

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  34. can he even fit that burger in his cake-hole?

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