THE SETUP: Some of you may know that my family and I will bid adieu to Baltimore in mid-August. Since our announcement, I’ve had a few requests from moms and dads to share my Baltimore parenting knowledge. More specifically, I’ve been asked to blog about Baltimore parenting on the cheap. You got it!
Check back later this week for my favorite hacks in entertainment, shopping and parenting in general. In this post, I am going to share info on my favorite category: FOOD! Here are this frugal mom’s favorite food places and deals.
My favorite Baltimore food deal is Homeslyce in Canton. It wins hands down for the simple fact that they have the SAME happy hour specials EVERY day. They have additional daily specials and my favorite day to eat here is Thursday because it’s $5 sandwich day. This includes a salad, fries with awesome sauce, and a large sandwich. One sandwich feeds my two 3 year olds and myself. I prefer not to share though and will take their leftovers home. There’s also skeeball upstairs, other families dining in and the staff is incredibly friendly. Another bonus is that it’s owned by an awesome Baltimore mom and her husband.
If it’s Monday, hit up Tutti Gusti in Canton to buy one pizza and get one large cheese pizza for free. Pick up only. Please and thank you. Another great pizza option is Bartender’s — they have $9 pies from 4-7 p.m.
Tuesday is all about Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I love this place because the food is absolutely amazing, and oh, there’s a free art museum and outdoor sculpture garden attached. And it’s where I got married! It’s an easy way to introduce your family to one of the best Matisse collections.
Tuesday is important, because Gertrude’s has $15 entrees. I recommend making reservations or eating like old folks at 5 p.m. like my family. It sounds ridiculous, but a Gertie’s fan favorite is the fried chicken. My favorites are the Gertie’s Crab Cakes or ‘Can’t Believe it’s Not’ Crab Cakes. If you work hard for your money and like to spend it like my wife does, then may I suggest splurging and partaking in the $30 three-course dinner. You won’t regret any part of Gertrude’s.
Here’s another Tuesday option: Lee’s Pint and Shell. Again, you MUST arrive early to get seated. I go here for two reasons: 50 cent oysters and $2 Angry Orchard. I have yet to find a cheaper price on oysters or Angry Orchard.
On Wednesday, head to Sticky Rice for half-off appetizers, $3 wells, $1 off beer, and $1 PBR if it’s raining. LOL. To maximize savings, stick to the appetizers. I highly recommend the sweet potato tots and the gyoza. Their specials are actually Monday through Friday, not just on Wednesdays. But this is our family’s Wednesday go to.
Another option for Monday through Thursday is Dangerously Delicious’s Date Night, It includes two drinks, two salads, two savory slices and two sweet slices all for $22!
For about a year now, maybe longer, I’ve gone to Smaltimore every Friday for lunch. The crew know us well and give us the royal treatment. Not just us either. On average, we dine with four other families and there’s usually 10 to 13 of us.
Here’s the deal: $3.95 burgers and KIDS EAT FREE. I splurge an extra 75 cents for specialty cheese. You don’t like beef? No problem. Turkey and bean burgers are the same price! Adult burgers don’t include fries, so snatch your kid’s fries or split a side of fries with friends. And please, please, please, tip them well.
After Smalltimore, walk/ ride scooters to Bmore Licks for dessert. A super friendly lesbian couple who knows their ice cream own this shop. They were also kind enough to let me host Tiempo Con Mis Amigos Spanish classes here.
First things first, even if each person gets his or her own ice cream, the ice cream is better and cheaper than most places. Not just in Baltimore. What I’ve learned is that most items can be shared. Sometimes I order a small ice cream and share it between two kids. Often times, one of my boys wants a dish and the other wants a cone, still order a small and get both. Other times, my boys will share a medium snowball. Then there are times when one kid wants ice cream and the other wants a snowball. OK, I order a small snowball with soft serve for an additional $1. Let’s be real though, most people don’t come to this shop to share or to order anything besides the hard ice cream. That’s just me being frugal, hon.
On Saturdays, head to Chicken Loco, which has no need for a happy hour because the prices are cheap. My favorite specials are the half chicken with two sides for $9 and the family special which includes a whole chicken, three sides and four drinks for $20. The servings are GENEROUS and the food delicious! The staff here recognize us and are friendly. They love talking to my son in Spanish and I appreciate that they try to teach him new words and phrases.
Lastly, purchase a Chick-Fil-A cow calendar at the start of the year, they cost $7-$9 and are chock full of savings. Each month includes a free item or two, so the calendar pays for itself within two visits. Also, always check your receipt because if a survey is attached, it takes about four minutes to complete online and you receive a free sandwich in return.
Good family eatings on the cheap, hons!