- use a coupon if you have one -- we love buy one get one free, but avoid any that require the purchase of a beverage (we have those at home, and restaurant prices are soooo high);
- add the napkins to our pile (which we use if the cloth are dirty);
- put plastic utensils in our "party box" -- we have a large gathering 3 times a year and re-use plastic utensils;
- if the container is durable, I wash it and use it for my husband's brown bag lunches or put it in the pile I use when I send leftovers home with guests; and
- any packets of sauce or cream are put into a "single use pile". My husband prefers his food spicier than I do, or our children. When I make eggs for example, I just pull out some of the Mexican food sauces and add them to his plate.
And that is how I stretch those take-out meal dollars. What about you? Any tips to share?