In 2012, Americans spent about 48 percent of their food dollar at nearly 1 million restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Association. According to Today.com Americans spend $1 billion a day dining out. The idea of giving up regular visits to The Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden or Texas Roadhouse may be good for your budget, but if your taste buds say "no" try making your favorite dishes at home with these low cost knock-off recipes.
The Cheesecake Factory
More than a dozen recipes from The Cheesecake Factory are available straight from the source at thecheesecakefactory.com. Remake dishes like Chicken Bellagio, SkinnyLicious Grilled Chicken, or Lemon Ricotta Pancakes in your own kitchen. You won't find any cheesecake flavors on the list, but Myrecipes.com offers a copycat recipe.
The bottomless salad may not be never-ending at your house, but at least you can knock-off your favorite Italian dishes from Olive Garden. The restaurant chain's website includes dozens of recipes for appetizers, main dishes, desserts, sauces and even beverages.
PF Chang's China Bistro
There are four recipes available at PFChangs.com. But if it's those famous lettuce wraps you're after, Food.com explains how to make them.
Craving a Cheddar Bay Biscuit from Red Lobster? They may come free with your meal, but you can make them at home for pocket change without having to buy an entree. It's one of the most searched-for clone recipes on the Internet but ABC News posted the best version. It appeared in the book "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2."
We eat millions of hamburgers every day at restaurants and fast food joints. But making them at home is affordable and easy. Check out this recipe for the Royal Red Robin Burger, available at Topsecretrecipes.com. It will probably cost you less than you would spend on the tip if you were dining out.
By Alison Storm
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