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The ultimate guide to a budget-friendly Thanksgiving dinner

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 4:17 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 4:17 PM

Here are seven ways you can trim the Turkey Day budget, yet still enjoy all that Thanksgiving has to offer Shop around for the best deal on turkey, as stores offer steep discounts to entice people in the door The frugal living blog Fun, Cheap, or Free offers up these yummy ideas for appetizers you can whip up in no time Ask a trusted guest to pick up a few bottles of wine Classic Thanksgiving sides are already pretty cheap - potatoes, corn, bread, and green beans will get you pretty far Stick to two or th

Does Thanksgiving make your mouth water, dreaming of your favorite pumpkin or sweet potato pie recipes? Are you ready to pull out your crowd-pleasing stuffing recipe or are you a cautious cook easing into the kitchen for the first time? 

No matter what your culinary skill level, it's easy to make a delicious Thanksgiving meal on a budget. Just follow these simple tips to make these delicious dishes, all without breaking the bank.

RELATED: 8 skinny holiday cocktails you can drink without guilt

Here are seven ways you can trim the Turkey Day budget, yet still enjoy all that Thanksgiving has to offer:

Load your plate with protein and stay away from starchy vegetables. (I'm looking at you, mashed potatoes.) These are among the tips for avoiding that stuffed feeling on Thanksgiving. Photo: The Food Network(HANDOUT)

The Turkey

Shop around for the best deal on turkey, as many grocery stores will be offering steep discounts on the bird to entice people in the door. For smaller dinners, consider getting a couple of game hens - they'll be just as yummy and won't leave you grumbling over leftover turkey sandwiches for weeks. For larger gatherings, plan on getting a turkey large enough to feed each guest about one to one and half pounds of meat. The folks over at The Kitchen have assembled this excellent guide for first-time turkey buyers.

Appetizers

As your holiday guests arrive, you can offer up some cheap but scintillating appetizers with a few basic ingredients and a little pizzazz. The frugal living blog Fun, Cheap, or Free offers up these yummy ideas for appetizers you can whip up in no time that will still impress even the pickiest mother-in-law. 

Baked brie with jam, cranberry salsa, or baked jalapeno poppers are all guaranteed to keep your guests happy while you put the finishing touches on your holiday meal. 

From left: White Lion, Coast of Dufresne and Swizzle FranÁais cocktails, all of which use allspice dram. Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)

Drinks

If you're really making this meal on a shoestring budget, consider asking a trusted guest to pick up a few bottles of wine. Southern Living has compiled a great list of non-alcoholic drinks, including some interesting twists on classic sweet tea. Pop Sugar has a perfect seasonal recipe for Cranberry Champagne Cocktails to offer the adults. And don't forget that presentation makes even a store-bought beverage look fantastic. Head to your local thrift store for mason jars or other decorative containers to serve your drinks in. And don't forget that lemon wedge!

Sides

Classic Thanksgiving sides are already pretty cheap - potatoes, corn, bread, and green beans will get you pretty far. Over at the Prudent Penny Pincher, they've compiled over 200 sides that are budget friendly. And with recipes like cheesy crock pot mashed potatoes, scalloped corn, butternut squash gratin, and cranberry pecan stuffing, you are sure to find cheap, easy recipes that will make even the pickiest guest happy. 

Desserts

Desserts are the real reason everyone has gathered for this Thanksgiving meal, so stick to two or three desserts that really shine. Pie crusts are incredibly easy to make and freeze in advance, bringing a little homemade touch to your dessert selection. And, after you've had your first taste of homemade whipped cream, you'll never buy the stuff in the can again. Real Simple offers some easy Thanksgiving desserts - like chocolate bread pudding - for anyone who wants to venture beyond pumpkin pie this holiday.

Kids

This holiday offers plenty of fun options, even for picky eaters. Check out this fantastic list from Parenting, for great, kid-friendly holiday foods like "ice cream" mashed potatoes and carrot and pumpkin turkey snacks. 

Leftovers

Don't forget to use those leftovers smartly. Country Living has scrumptious leftover ideas like sweet potato kale frittatas, slow cooker turkey chili, harvest pumpkin soup and cranberry turnovers. Use leftovers in creative ways so you and your family don't burn out on them, and make sure to freeze anything you won't use in a timely manner. 

Whatever delicious recipes you choose, be sure to make a list and stick to it. Do you homework in advance, scoping out the best deals at your local grocery stores. Shopping with a list (and not when you're hungry) is a tried and true strategy for sticking to your budget. With these tips, you are sure to pull off a spectacular holiday meal. 

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Want free pizza? This restaurant is giving out free mini pizzas today

Published: Thursday, April 05, 2018 @ 7:17 AM

Tina Hightower was one of the performers at the Dayton.com Best of 2017 party.
Tina Hightower was one of the performers at the Dayton.com Best of 2017 party.

If you’re a pizza lover, you’re in luck.

In celebration of National Deep Dish Pizza Day on Thursday, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will dish out 30,000 free pizzas.

DINING OPTIONS: 7 places to eat near Austin Landing, from different chains to local favorites

The catch? You have to order using the delivery app DoorDash. Just enter the code “DEEPDISH” at checkout.

You can take your pick between mini cheese or pepperoni deep dish pizzas.

NEW PIZZA PLACE COMING: Giordano’s Pizza, Jason’s Deli to open first Dayton-area locations

The pizza and delivery are free, and orders must be placed between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

BJ’s has locations at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek and at Austin Landing in Miamisburg.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your free lunch, dinner, or even snack while the promotion lasts.

More information can be found on DoorDash’s website.

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6 great places to eat near the Rose Music Center

Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2015 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Monday, April 02, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

The Rose Music Center at The Heights just launched its third concert season.

When it comes to a night out on the town with concert tickets involved, getting to the venue seated and on time is usually the main focus — getting a great meal is often secondary. But you still have to eat. 

 

Here's a list of six spots to grab a meal near the Rose Music Center at the Heights. 

 

 1. TJ Chumps  

Whether you’re hosting the whole team or a party of two, TJ Chumps has the perfect setting for all occasions.

The locally owned restaurant chain's Huber Heights location is the largest yet boasting a vast 4,500-square-foot patio with a large outdoor bar. It is also conveniently steps away from the music venue.

Part of the patio is covered while the other part is open air. The patio is a popular destination for Rose concert-goers.

The restaurant features a large menu with plenty of options ranging from baked wings that are flash fried, soups and salads, a variety of sandwiches and burgers, six entrees and several seasonal features that rotate. 

 

Location: 7050 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights (locations in Englewood, Fairborn and Miamisburg as well)

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mon-Friday; 11 a.m-12:30 a.m. Saturday  

Contact: www.tjchumps.com or 937-610-3900 

>> Best BBQ spots in Dayton may surprise you ...

 

2. Texas Roadhouse 

Texas Roadhouse is looking to construct a new location at 7313 Kingsgate Way in West Chester Twp. FILE PHOTO(Staff Writer)

 Go big or go home — ribs, hand-cut steaks, "Texas Size Combos" and a massive 1,480-calorie signature deep fried onion that goes by "The Blossom" …. or you can go with a salad — they have those, too. 

 

Location: 5611 Merily Way, Huber Heights  

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m Sunday.  

Contact: texasroadhouse.com or 937-233-7427 

 

>> Ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton 

 

3. Rooster's Wings 

A catered spread from Roosters Wings.(roosterswings.com)

 Roosters offers subs, sandwiches, pizza and an entire menu page geared toward their signature hand-breaded wings. This option offers all of the typical bar fare you are used to seeing, but any place that offers tater tots is alright by us. 

 

Location: 5571 Merily Way, Huber Heights  

Hours: 11 a.m.-Midnight Sunday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.  

Contact: roosterswings.com or 937-236-9464 

 

>> Top wings in Dayton 

 

4. Osaka Japanese Steakhouse 

The Nigiri & Sashimi Combination lunch portion from Osaka Japanese Steakhouse.

 

Choose from refreshing sushi and sashimi or steaming hot hibachi. There are noodle dishes, tempura dishes and a variety of combination dinners. 

 

Location: 8120 Old Troy Pike, Huber Heights  

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday  

Contact: osakajapanesesteakhouseoh.com or 937-236-3888 

 

>> The best places to eat before a Fraze Pavillion show 

 

5. Deroma Italian Restaurant 

Ah the lasagna at Deroma in Huber Heights! (CONNIE POST/Staff)

 

Owner Jimmy Troni has over 36 years of restaurant experience and makes pizzas, calzones, stromboli and a long list of different Italian pastas and entrees fresh daily. The fact that the menu features fried okra, fried ravioli, pirogues and mussels (spicy or sweet) makes us love it even more. 

 

Location: 6254 Chambersburg Road, Huber Heights  

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday  

Contact: 937-233-3604 

 

>> Here’s where to find the best pizza in Dayton 

 

6. Double Deuce Tavern and Family Pizzeria 

Double Deuce Tavern & Family Pizzeria officially opened its doors Monday Feb. 12 after relocating from north Dayton to Huber Heights, where it renovated the former site of C’s Pizza at 5186 Brandt Pike (State Route 201). MARK FISHER / STAFF

 This newly-opened pizza spot features pies, subs, wings, salads and more to appease any palette in your group.

 

Location: 5186 Brandt Pike, Huber Heights

Hours: Sun-Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Contact: 937-220-9624

 

>>MORE: A familiar face is behind this new restaurant 

 

  

Other nearby options:  

• Cousin Vinny's Pizza, 7742 Brandt Pike  

• Dragon City, 8250 Troy Pike  

• Frickers, 6280 Chambersburg Road  

• Frisch's Big Boy, 8154 Troy Pike  

• Hot Head Burritos, 6480 Chambersburg Road  

• Las Piramides Mexican Restaurant, 6290 Chambersburg Road  

• Sonic Drive-In, 7888 Brandt Pike  

• Waffle House, 7800 Brandt Pike

• Panera Bread, 8104 Old Troy Pike

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You’re going to fall in love with this cheap late-night Oregon District eat 

Published: Monday, July 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

416 Diner is selling a cheap eat you are going to love. Video by Amelia Robinson

Dayton, your new late-night snack of choice has arrived. 

And it will set you back just $3 for one or $5 for two. 

I was into it when Oregon District resident Guy Fragmin said he’d open 416 Diner in that neighborhood and it would feature pepperoni rolls, a treat popular in West Virginia. 

>> MORE: Late-night, lunch, breakfast diner set to open in Oregon District 

I didn’t doubt Guy when he said they’d be good, but boy are they good. 

I can definitely see grabbing a pepperoni roll or two from the restaurant as a nightcap following a night of fun in the Oregon District. 

But pepperoni rolls are far from the only thing at the restaurant.

Oregon District resident Guy Fragmin sales West Virginia-style pepperoni rolls at 416 Diner.(Amelia robinson)

>> MORE: 7 things you should know about the new diner open in the Oregon District 

The diner will be open daily 7 a.m. 10 p.m. with patio service available Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

It serves breakfast, lunch and late-night comfort food like hoagie sandwiches, omelets and burgers. 

>> MORE: 9 must-eat sandwiches in Dayton

The restaurant officially opened Friday, July 7 ,and I popped in to try out a pepperoni roll. 

The portable snack can be split open and filled with a list of toppings that includes provolone cheese and sweet peppers.

Being a novice to the pepperoni roll game, I elected to have my first one plain with ranch dressing and marinara sauce for dipping.  

Oregon District resident Guy Fragmin sales West Virginia-style pepperoni rolls at 416 Diner.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

>> MORE: 6 reasons we love all the construction in downtown Dayton

The bread was fresh, soft, yeasty and crusty in the right spaces. 

The two pepperoni sticks contained within were slightly spicy. The dough soaked in the grease in the magical way dough on pizza soaks in grease.

Rating:  🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖

>> MORE: Nightclub owner considering closing after 45 years

 

Oregon District resident Guy Fragmin sales West Virginia-style pepperoni rolls at 416 Diner.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Oregon District resident Guy Fragmin sales West Virginia-style pepperoni rolls at 416 Diner. It also sells a variety of sandwiches like this cheese steak hoagie pictured with potato twists.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Oregon District resident Guy Fragmin sales West Virginia-style pepperoni rolls at 416 Diner.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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Bet you can’t take down this ginormous, MONSTER of a burger 

Published: Monday, September 25, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Wandering Griffin will sell a Monster Burger Sept 29 to 30 to coincide with Monster Jam at The Nutter Center. Video by Amelia Robinson

A Dayton-area restaurant has a monster double dare that involves a heap of meat, cheese and more meat and cheese between two grilled cheese sandwiches. 

Yup, we totally said meat and cheese and even more meat and cheese between two grilled cheese sandwiches. 

The Wandering Griffin will  offer its brand new Monster Burger  11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday  Sept 29 and Sept. 30 to coincide with the Monster Jam tour stop at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. 

>> MORE: Find out what it’s like to drive a 10,000-pound truck

Jonathan Price, the chef and manager of the restaurant at  

3725 Presidential Drive in Beavercreek, is challenging Wright State students in particular, but thinks his creation will take down mostly any  burger.   

“I dare you to  eat this,” Price said. 

The Monster Burger includes: three 7-ounce beef patties, six strips of bacon, a Sahlen hot dog, two slices of ham, BBQ pulled pork, pepper jack, cheddar and swiss cheese, a giant pile of fries, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato, pickles, a massive onion ring, and two grilled cheese sandwiches as the bun.

The Monster Burger costs $29.99 and is recommended for two people. There also will be special Monster beers on tap.

Those who take it on by themselves and finish within seven minutes will win T-shirts and bragging rights. 

>> MORE: Your ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

“It’s a hands on experience. We want it to be fun and interactive,” Price said. “You go to McDonald’s, you get a tiny burger, and it is gone in three bites. Ours, it is all about having fun with food. It’s supposed to be socially a talking point.”

>> MORE: Here’s where to get killer chicken wings for 59 cents in Dayton

The burger weighs in at more than 2.12 pounds and is eight inches long.  

Price recommends those who try the burger to flatten it down first. Still it is hard to take a bite out of this monster. 

>> Four great burgers worth the drive

Can you handle this Monster? Wandering Griffin's Monster Burger is more than 2 pounds of cheese, meat and more cheese and meat.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Can you handle this Monster? Wandering Griffin's Monster Burger is more than 2 pounds of cheese, meat and more cheese and meat.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Can you handle this Monster? Wandering Griffin's Monster Burger is more than 2 pounds of cheese, meat and more cheese and meat.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Can you handle this Monster? Wandering Griffin's Monster Burger is more than 2 pounds of cheese, meat and more cheese and meat.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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