Picnic For Two

Dating on a budget can be hard because you are limited in the restaurants that you go to. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to go to an expensive restaurant to have a good date. Lucky for us, spring is in full bloom and it’s the perfect time to be outside. Why not have a picnic for two?

You don’t need to spend much to have a great picnic; all you need is a basket of your favorite, inexpensive foods.

A good picnic should have drinks, a side, a main dish, and a dessert.

For drinks, one inexpensive choice is water. Just fill up a reusable water bottle from the sink and you are good to go! If you want something more than water, you can always make lemonade.

To make lemonade, you need five cups of water, one cup of sugar, and 3 freshly squeezed lemons mixed together in a pitcher.

For your side, pack a salad. To make a simple salad, chop up iceburg lettuce ($1.12 at Walmart), some tomatoes (88 cents per pount at Walmart), and cucmber (50 cents each at Walmart). If you don’t want to make one yourself, you can buy premade salads at Walmart for as little as $3.50.

For your main dish, try the favorite classic: peanut butter and jelly. Spread some peanut butter on one slice of bread and some jelly on another and then stick them together!

For dessert, try some jello. You can pick up a box to make some for under a dollar!

The whole meal shouldn’t cost you much and your date will be very impressed that you took the time to pack something for the two of you and thought it through. So on the next nice, sunny day, grab someone special and have a picnic!

Homemade Eats at O’Neill’s Grill

If you’re looking for a great local place to eat where you don’t have to worry about getting a hefty bill at the end of the night, then head on over to O’Neill’s Grill!

Just like it says on the front of their menu, O’Neill’s food is “freshly homemade…so it’s delicious every day!” And I couldn’t agree more.

My boyfriend and I decided on checking out O’Neill’s Grill for one of our date nights since we had never been before. And since we both have the budget of a typical college student, we loved that we both had a wide variety of sandwiches and wraps to choose from for under 8 bucks! And the meal also comes with one of their delicious, homemade sides. Some of the sides include homemade mac & cheese, seasoned sweet potato fries, cajun rice, and homemade coleslaw.

For my meal, I got the Kickin’ Chicken sandwich with fries and absolutely loved it! The sandwich included a fresh hand-breaded chicken breast, fried golden brown and dipped in their original barbecue sauce. You can choose from a variety of their sauces, ranging from mild to very hot, but since I’m not a fan of really spicy things, I went with one of the more mild sauces. The chicken was served on a warm ciabatta roll with ranch dressing.

For dessert, my boyfriend and I decided on splitting a cookie skillet. Now if you’ve never had a cookie skillet before, you’re truly missing out. My friends have raved to me about the cookie skillets at O’Neill’s multiple times so I knew that I had to get one before we left.

Now if you don’t know what a cookie skillet is, let me paint a picture for you. It’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookie dough served hot and gooey topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. When I was eating it, it was like heaven in my mouth. And for under $5, it’d be a sin not to get one!

So with O’Neill’s Grill being only about a mile from JMU’s campus at 221 University Boulevard, you should definitely stop by because their food is not something to pass up! And don’t just take my word for it, check out these reviews from other O’Neill’s customers!

Frugal Dating 101

Trying to impress a gal on a date but worried about paying a hefty bill for two?  Have no fear fellas! It’s time to start counting your pennies– literally!

 Spring is here, love is in the air, and Pennybacker’s casual dining in    Harrisonburg is here to solve our dating woes.

The tiny historic building nestled downtown on East Water Street has been serving our community since the 1850’s!  Needless to say, I trusted they knew what they were doing.

Pennybackers is truly a unique, yet frugal find to take your special someone on a casual, laid back style date.  It will save you from having to get too dressed up, and with all meals under $8, it will save your wallet as well.

Their menu is filled with carefully crafted sandwiches, soups, and salads, and how could I forget- dessert.  If you’re in need of a suggestion before you head on over, my personal favorite is the Water Street mix & match combo meal.  For just $6.99 you can choose two items from the following:

  • 1/2 Salad: Caesar, Spinach, or Mary Hallet
  • Soup: Tomato Basil, French Onion, or the Soup of the Day
  • 1/2 Sandwich: BLT, Grilled Cheese, Ham & American, Turkey & Muenster, Roast Beef & Swiss, or Pastrami & Swiss

Being the indecisive person that I am, I never have to decide between a salad or a sandwich- I can get both!

Melanie C, a JMU senior and frequent diner at Pennybacker’s had nothing but good things to say.

“My boyfriend and I were drawn to the homey, cool feel.  The best part is they give you a generous portion so I’m always full yet have enough leftover to take home,” said Melanie, who recommended getting one of their ‘amazing’ soups and having it out on their rooftop deck.

And don’t worry ladies, if the date is dull, Pennybackers has a built-in back up plan to cure your boredom.  All the tabletops are uniquely made from the tail side of pennies, and its your job to find the 10 on each table that are heads side up.

Ladies and gentleman, start counting your pennies!