Welcome to Day 5: Eat Out at Home of the 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero Challenge!

This is the fifth day of my 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero challenge. To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.

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My family really loves going to restaurants so eating out has always been our biggest non-essential expenditure (and money waster!)   I know I’m not alone; many of you shared the same struggle last week when we talked about searching for financial peace.

And while I know it is not essential and often a huge waste of money, I do still really miss eating out. For my family, it has probably been the hardest part of this entire spending freeze. Rather than wallow, however, I decided to search the internet for a substitute so that we could eat “out” at home. I found 20 delicious-looking restaurant copycat recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Check out these 20 restaurant favorites you can have fun recreating at home!


1. Homemade Olive Garden Bread Sticks {via Full Bellies, Happy Kids}

2. Chili’s Southwest Eggrolls {via CopyKat Recipes}

3. TGI Friday’s Baked Potato Skins {via CopyKat Recipes}

4. P.F. Chang’s Lettuce Wraps {via Iowa Girl Eats}

5. Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Honey Butter {via Fly Through Our Window}

6. Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread {via Readable Eatables}

7. Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits {via ABC News}

Main Courses:

8. Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken {via Fabulously Creative}

9. Panera Almost-Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup {via Food Network}

10. PF Changs Mongolian Beef {via Food.com}

11. Applebee’s Bourbon Street Steak {via Food.com}

12. Bennigan’s Meatloaf {via Cajun Cooking Recipes}

13. Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce {via Budget Savvy Diva}


14. Chipotle’s Cilantro Lime Rice {via Skinnytaste}

15. Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole {via Restaurant Recipes Network}


16. Applebee’s Walnut Blondie with Maple Butter Sauce {via Get Off Your Butt and BAKE}

17. The Cheesecake Factory™ Cheesecake {via Chef Pablo’s Restaurant Recipes}

Other Treats:

18. Starbucks Frappucinos {via Savory Sweet Life}

19. Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls {via Balancing Beauty and Bedlam}

20. IHOP Cinnastack Pancakes {via Copy Kat}


Your assignment today is to eat “out” at home with your family or friends. Choose from one of these recipes, or search for your own homemade version of your favorite restaurant meal. Prepare it together and make a fun evening of it. If you have them, use candles and cloth napkins and the “good” china to make it extra special.

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Does your family eat out a lot, order takeout, or eat mostly home cooked meals? Have you ever tried a restaurant copycat recipe? Do you have any to share?

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{Go to Day 6}