In our 4Leaf book, I reported how my new way of eating was saving me more than $5,000 per year on food. Almost $4,000 of those savings are occurring in restaurants. Here are a few ordering methods that work great for me:
Order two or three of the plant-based "sides" on the menu. Priced at $3 to $6 each, just two of them is usually enough to comprise a meal.
Create your own veggie plate from veggies that you see in the various entrees on the menu.
Order one of the listed entrées from the menu, but tell them to "hold the meat, add more veggies or grains and kindly adjust the price accordingly."
Compute annual savings. I find that I can usually create a fairly healthy meal that costs between $10 and $12. Comparing that to the average entrée at $20 to $24, I am saving about $10 per meal. Since I eat one meal in restaurants per day, that computes to an annual savings of $3,650--more than enough to lease a new car.
If you are a couple, you save $7,300 eating this way.
Want to lose weight while saving money?
Eat 4Leaf by asking the waiter to tell the chef to make your veggie plate 2/3 "non-starchy" veggies, with the other 1/3 of the plate comprised of starchy foods like legumes, potatoes, brown rice, corn, or squash. Here is a printer-friendly helpful chart* for your refrigerator.
*The above chart was created for vegetarians who've had trouble losing weight; hence, it has no meat, eggs, fish on it.
Your meals should look something like this,
with more veggies and less rice.
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