Dollars & Sense columnist John Ewoldt searches the Twin Cities and beyond for bargains and strategies to spare you time, money and hassles.
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Posts about Restaurant Bargains

Kids eat free at Burger Jones locations before 6 p.m. Oct. 31

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: October 31, 2011 - 4:18 PM


restaurants in Uptown (3200 W. Lake, Mpls., 612-746-0800) and Burnsville (1617 W. County Rd. 42, 952-885-2289) are offering free meals to kids 12 and younger until 6 p.m. on Halloween night if they are in costume. 



The offer is good only on the kids menu and they must be accompanied by an adult (adult costume not required, I assume).


If you like Burger Jones, get on their email list to be sent coupons.

Burger Jones

Rare discounts at the foodie restaurants. Book now.

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: October 20, 2011 - 10:45 AM has great deals, but after a while, the list of participating restaurants gets a little old.  Joe's Garage, Lindey's Prime Steak, Country Kitchen New Hope and Dangerfield's in Shakopee are all great, but sometimes a foodie wants something new.


Mpls. St. Paul magazine offers dining deals on 53 places that rarely discount including Barrio, Capital Grille, Lurcat, Dakota, Fogo de Chao, Melting Pot, Vincent and Masa in downtown Minneapolis, Campiello in Eden Prairie, and Meritage in St. Paul.


Here's the deal: The restaurants will have two-course prix fixe lunch specials for $10 or $20 and three-course dinner specials ranging from $15 to $30. You can look at the prix fixe menus in advance.

is an especially good deal, as the all-the-meat-you-can-eat is normally almost $50 per person, but during restaurant week it's $30.


Some of the places fill up fast, so make a reservation now for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.


If you don't see anything you like here and prefer familiar favorites at, use the discount code FRIENDS to save 70 percent.




Fogo de Chao

Save almost $7 on a free panini sandwich at Bruegger's

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: September 9, 2011 - 12:53 PM


Bruegger's is offering a free panini sandwich to anyone who shares their Facebook info with the bagel maker. Sign up now (must be logged in to Facebook) and choose a time and location to come in and pick up your free sandwich between Sept. 12 and 16.


Choose from a Chicken Aioli Melt or a Turkey Artichoke and Mozz panini, a savings of $6.60.

Cheapest, most convenient bags of ice in town? Fast food drive-thrus

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: July 19, 2011 - 9:48 AM



Ice is a hot commodity this week. Most discounters and convenience stores sell bags of cubes, but fast food restaurants are a surprisingly cheap source. Most Burger King and McDonalds locations sell a 10 pound bag for $1.39. Arby's (at least the one in Crystal) sells a 10-pound bag for $1. The Arby's in Coon Rapids sells at 8-lb. bag for $1. Supplies vary by location since most fast food restaurants are individually owned.


At fast food restaurants, you can conveniently request the bags at the drive-through window.

When I compared prices at the usual places that sell ice, such as Super America, prices were higher than at fast food restaurants. Target on Lake Street in Minneapolis is selling 5 pounds for $1.37, SuperAmerica in Coon Rapids is selling a 5-pound bag for $1.79 or a 20-pound bag for $4.49 and Sam’s Club in St. Louis Park is selling a 20-pound bag for $3.32. Prices and availability can vary by location. In these temps, you might want to call ahead before heading out.

If you have found an even cheaper spot for ice (besides your own freezer), please comment.











Restaurant deals this week

Posted by: John Ewoldt Updated: June 6, 2011 - 10:07 AM

Faces Mears Park in St. Paul offers a date night special on Monday evenings. For $40 you'll get one shared appetizer, two main courses, a shared dessert and a bottle of wine or round of drinks for $40. Choices in the past (which may or may not be current) include Prince Edward Island mussels, an 8-ounce grass-fed filet mignon w/ bearnaise for each, dark cocoa martini mousse and a bottle of house red wine, Faces is located at 380 Jackson St., St. Paul, 651-209-7776. Other restaurants might have a cheaper date night, but few are serving steak. Also, it's hard to beat the romantic setting overlooking the park.



On Wednesday evening Longfellow Grill (2990 W. River Parkway, Mpls, 612-721-27110) will be selling Alaskan beer on tap for $2 and salmon or beef sliders for $2 from 5-9 p.m. With the live music and face painting on the patio, it's a very popular event. Parking is limited so wear comfortable shoes in case you have a hike. A lot of people spill out onto the lawn anyway, where you can kick off your flip flops.  The Grill has a great selection of beers and nice views of the trees lining the banks of the Mississippi.




Red Lobster is introducing a 4-course seafood feast for $15 through July 25. Choose your soup (Clam Chowder or Creamy Potato Bacon), salad (garden or Caesar), entree (Shrimp and Scallops Alfredo, Spicy Coconut and Citrus Shrimp, Garlic Herb Shrimp and Chicken, tilapia and Cajun Chicken Linguini, and dessert (brownie with ice-cream, sweet cinnamon doughnut bites and key lime pie).





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