Review Category : Financial Bites

23 Orders NOT On The Menu At Fast Food Restaurants

We all like the idea of belonging to a special club.   From time to time, I’ve found myself in line at Starbucks’s and swear that the person in front of me was speaking in a foreign language while they place their order. If you want to be in the world of food ‘prohibilition’ here is a list of 23 orders not on the menu at some of your favorite fast food restaurants across the country.   Since it is holiday season, perhaps on one of your days off you might just stroll in and shock the people on line with you by placing one of these fast food orders. (all the credit for these 23 go to my friends at www.hlntv.com) Breakfasts of champions: 10:35 Sandwich (McDonald’s): So named because you can pretty much only get it during the magical few minutes between breakfast and lunch. It’s basically the innards of a McDouble (meat, cheese, condiments if you want ’em), plus the egg, ...

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A Donation Line On Your Dining Out Bill?

As I finished up a business breakfast the other day at J. Christopher’s in Atlanta, I handed over my credit card and waited for the bill to come over to the table. As I filled out the credit card receipt, I began to write down the tip I quickly calculated in my head and add up the numbers for the final bill. Then, something struck me. It looked like there was an extra line and I wasn’t sure that I had filled out the credit card receipt correctly. It dawned on me as I re-read the line items that there was a new line on this receipt titled “donation”. Donation? Since when did donation become a line item on a breakfast, lunch, or dinner bill? I wrote an article several years ago http://bit.ly/1PaR5rB called Santa Clause at Five Below about the growing trend in department stores and supermarkets who ask you if you want to make a donation every single ...

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The $11 Lunch You Didn’t Enjoy

You get rushed right around lunchtime and once again realize that you didn’t prepare something to eat today.   Your stomach is grumbling, so you rush to the basement floor of your building complex to just pick up a little something for lunch.   You notice the salad bar and begin to pile up a few things on your plate to eat for lunch.  You grab a bag of chips and then a drink to wash it all down.   The deli cashier rings it all up and tells you it will cost $10.89 for your meal.   As you shake your head in a state of shock, you only kick yourself further down the road for not preparing something that will cost you less and you’ll enjoy more.   How many $11 lunches have you had over the last year that happened just like this?   Here are five fast food places you could go to for $5 or less (and eat reasonably healthy as ...

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Five Financial Moves To Make When You Change Jobs

Whether you leave your employer or your employer leaves you, changing jobs can be one of those money triggering events when you begin to take stock of where you are financially.    Job changes often bring along new responsibilities and challenges, and experience tells us that analyzing and maximizing your new benefits package normally goes to the bottom of the barrel.    This makes a ton of sense as typically the first three to six months in a new position you are immersed with the learning curve of a new role at a new company.    Having a financial advisor by your side can be a valuable resource to make these important decisions.   Here are five financial moves to make when you change jobs. Get all of your 401(k)’s in one backyard– When you hop from job to job, you may have left your 401(k) at your former employer.    I often refer to these as orphan 401(k)’s because most participants don’t pay attention ...

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You Thief: How To Stop The Office Refrigerator Bandit

Has anyone ever stolen your day old turkey sandwich from the refrigerator or the bag of almonds that you had hiding out in the cabinets at work?  You know what I mean, the work of the sneaky office food thief who sends your blood pressure skyrocketing up to epic levels.  I have witnessed this happen at many different workplaces and I know I am not alone when I pray that the food gods send these people into a lifetime of stomach problems. I always wondered what kind of individual would steal someone else’s lunch. I must admit that I too have been tempted from time to time when there is a half of a coconut crème pie left over in the fridge, but I would NEVER take the food of a co-worker without either a) leaving money and a note or b) asking permission first. But who is the office refrigerator bandit?   Is it . . . . . A ...

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10 Money Saving Deals On Veterans Day

There are so many ways we should thank our Veterans on this special day.   In this great country of ours, many restaurants and shops across American are giving back to our military and offering them some really amazing deals.  Here are ten of my favorites for Veterans to check out and please go to a great military blog http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/ to check out the full list. (source: TheMilitaryWallet)  Make sure to have the appropriate I.D. with you before you go and always check local stores to make sure they are participating in the program. Applebee’s, free meal, Nov. 11, 2014: Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active service members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. There will be 7 entrées to choose from, beverage and gratuity not included. Military ID or proof of service required. More. California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11, 2014. Choose ...

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How You Can Beat The All You Can Eat Restaurant

While buffets have been around for centuries, the “all-you-can-eat” buffet has been rumored to originate in the 1950’s in Las Vegas where some of the best buffets in the world are located.    The All You Can Eat platform has been implemented on colleges, cruise ships, and even at a section in the Dodger Stadium.   Our eyes can become bigger than our stomachs when we glance at all of the delicious items on the buffet.  Crab claws, pizza, egg rolls, pasta, shrimp, and every dessert imaginable.   Here are my three smart money moves on how you can ‘beat’ the all you can eat restaurant. Learn How To Prepare For The Meal–  First, do not drink sugary soda or alcoholic drinks when dining at a buffet.  You should stick to water if at all possible.  These sugar drinks tend to require more water to digest them.  This will not be good if your strategy is to eat more.   Consider starting your meal ...

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I Said I Would Never Go Back To That Restaurant

There are more than 125 large scale national fast food chain restaurants (source: Wikipedia). These range from McDonalds to Buffalo Wild Wings to Bonefish Grill. You should take a look at the list when you have some free time. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fast_food_restaurant_chains). Whether it is a local restaurant in your neighborhood or a national fast food chain, we have all had that experience of going to a restaurant only to complete the meal thinking to ourselves, “This is the last time that I ever eat here!” Our memories seem to work in mysterious ways. As clear as we can recall some things in life, it appears that the time machine tricks us into thinking that the bad experiences or bad food in restaurants we hated may not have been as awful as we once remembered. Why is that? Surely, when we leave feeling deathly sick for the next three days you’d think the experience would stick with us? Or the ‘miscellaneous stuff’ ...

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Does Anybody Cook Anymore?

Driving down Highway 9 in downtown Alpharetta the other evening, I noticed that the parking lots were packed like a bunch of sardines in a can. Restaurants are popping up one by one as weeds would in the front of our yards. Crust, Salt, Pure, and others are all just a stones throw away from one another. Since this wasn’t a Saturday night, I gave pause for a moment to contemplate whether anyone in Atlanta actually cooks anymore. Have the kid’s sporting events, hectic work schedules, and brain overload just made us all say screw it and just give in to the fact that it is easier to just go out and eat? With our family of five, I’ve noticed that even taking out casual fare restaurant food can run $50 to $60. Go out to a middle of the road type restaurant and you are talking $70 to $90 with basic fountain drinks. Add in a couple of appetizers, ...

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Five Simple Ways To Eat Healthy On A Budget

Whoever thought that eating a box of Twinkies® could be less expensive than eating a bowl of Brussels sprouts?   This whole notion of eating ‘organic’ has really hit the country like a tidal wave over the past five years.   More and more families want to make sure that their foods aren’t genetically manufactured out of a laboratory.   Parents more than ever want to make sure their kids don’t have foods with lots of toxins or synthetic hormones.  What we’ve also realized is that these foods are incredibly expensive which is why the running joke is that Whole Foods will take your whole paycheck.  Here are five simple ways you can still eat healthy if you are trying to watch your budget. Begin The Day With A Protein Shake– They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  If you’ve looked recently at the cost of a pint of strawberries and blackberries, you’ll quickly realize that you can’t ...

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