Several stores will soon begin selling SONIC Drive-In seltzers.
Beginning Tuesday, Reasor's is among the Oklahoma retailers that will stock SONIC Hard Seltzers, a beverage
conceived in partnership with Oklahoma City-based brewer COOP Ale Works.
The drinks come in two 12-packs: tropical and citrus. The tropical pack features Ocean Water, Orange Pineapple, Mango Guava, and Melon Medley. The citrus pack has Cherry Limeade, Classic Lemonade, Lemon Berry and Original Limeade. Fans can also purchase a Cherry Limeade 12-pack and Ocean Water 12-pack.
The alcoholic drinks will not be available at Sonic restaurants.
Other Oklahoma retailers that will carry the beverages include Casey’s, Costco, Homeland, OnCue, Sprout’s, Target, Walmart and Whole Foods.
Penny-pinching challenge: How many dine-out meals can you get for $20?
First stop: QT grilled cheese
You’re missing out if you haven’t downloaded the QuikTrip app to your mobile phone. App users are offered QT Kitchens deals that are often too tempting to refuse. For instance, a recent offer was $1 off a grilled cheese. The “normal” price for a grilled cheese is $1.99. If you’ve never had a QT grilled cheese, be aware that they are big-boy sandwiches that can be very filling if you tackle them all at once. For this project, we had half for breakfast and half for lunch, and it was still plenty. (If not for this mission, I would have added pepperoni for a nominal cost. The pepperoni makes the grilled cheese sort of a cousin of a calzone.)
Cost: 99 cents
Meals so far: 2
Second stop: McAlister’s Deli kids meal
The bargain of all everyday bargains is kids meals are only 99 cents at McAlister’s Deli. Is it cheating to eat a kids meal if you are an adult? One of my kids ordered from the regular menu and I ordered from the kids menu, so it all balanced out. (Don’t ban me, McAlister’s. I’m addicted to your tea and spend half my salary on it.) Kids meals come with a side. My son usually orders mac and cheese and, to heck with variety, a side of mac and cheese. I ordered a kid's baked potato and a side and got full.
Full disclosure: There's usually an upcharge for guests over the age of 12 who order from the kids menu. McAlister's prices kids meals at 99 cents with the goal of giving families an opportunity to go out to eat without breaking the bank. If you want to preserve a future with 99-cent kids meals, please let the kids eat from the kids' menu and you grown-ups can keep selecting from all the tasty goodness on the regular menu. We fudged on the rules just for the sake of this story. Here's another money-saving tip: Always ask for your receipt at McAlister's because you often will get a random receipt with a survey that will allow you to save $3 on your next trip.
Cost of this meal: 99 cents Cost so far: $1.98
Meals so far: 3
Third stop: Braum’s hotcakes and sausage
Many fast food chains offer breakfast platters with standard fare, but I dare you to find a fast food breakfast item that gives you more bang (and batter) for your buck than hotcakes and sausage at Braum’s. You get three pancakes, and they’re not the silver dollar type. They’re thick and sizable and, sure, you could eat the whole thing (syrup and butter on top), but you might need a nap afterward. I ate half, pouring syrup only on the half I was going to eat right away, and saved half for later. Bonus hotcakes and sausage observation: On the greatness scale, sausage dipped in syrup is rivaled only by sausage dipped in gravy.
Cost of this meal: $2.89 Cost so far: $4.87
Meals so far: Let’s call it 4½.
Fourth stop: Panera bread salad
During the course of tackling this project, I got a message that I had earned a Panera reward for a free salad. I’m not sure what I did to earn that free reward, but because it happened during the course of the mission, I’m counting it. You were advised earlier to sign up for emails and apps, etc. It pays. And Panera makes a good salad.
Cost of this meal: Zero Cost so far: $4.87
Meals so far: 5½
Fifth stop: Sonic corn dogs
Pay attention and you can hit Sonic on a 50-cent corn dog night. I could have spent all of my $20 on 40 corn dogs, but that would have made for a short story and, as good as a mustard-laced corn dog is, I don’t want to eat all of my meals on a stick. Let’s try four — two for lunch, two for dinner.
Cost of this meal: $2 Cost so far: $6.87
Meals so far: 7½
Sixth stop: Pig N Out kids burger
Pig N Out is an old-school burger joint in Salina with no inside seating. You order food and eat inside your car or at a picnic table. On Mondays, kids burgers are $1. The everyday burger-and-fries special is cheap, but it’s over this mission’s price limit. I’ll have it next time, but it’s all about the bargain this time. I added a bag of fries (plenty of them) for $1.25.
Cost of this meal: $2.25 Cost so far: $9.12
Meals so far: 8½
Seventh stop: QT personal pizza
Who’s counting, but this is maybe the third reminder to download apps. QT’s app offered a coupon for $2 off a personal pizza. Usually, personal pizzas are $4.99, and you can top them with whatever you want. I got a chicken, sausage and pepperoni personal pizza for $2.99. I could have continued to be extra chintzy and split this into two meals, but this time, I went whole hog and ate it all. QT makes a quality pizza. I like the personal pizzas and the full-size pizzas better than the ready-made slices.
Cost of this meal: $2.99 Cost so far: $12.11
Meals so far: 9½
Eighth stop: El Maguey’s enchiladas
The Monday special at El Maguey’s in Claremore: $1 enchiladas. You have your choice of chicken, beef or cheese. I prefer the chicken and the cheese. I ordered one of each. For a small fee, you can smother your enchiladas in cheese sauce instead of red sauce. Editor’s note: This was not a Monday special the last time I visited, so it may have been a temporary special. Timing is everything. Many restaurants have daily specials, so try to be aware.
Cost of this meal: $2 Cost so far: $14.11
Meals so far: 10½
Ninth stop: Sonic hot dogs
It’s back to Sonic on $1 hot dog night. I ordered a chili dog and an All-American dog — one for now and one for later. It’s best to eat chili-topped items right away, so the All-American dog got put in a holding pattern for the next meal.
Cost of this meal: $2 Cost so far: $16.11
Meals so far: 12½
Last stop: KFC chicken-fried steak
The Monday special at KFC is a chicken-fried steak meal for $2.99. You get a chicken-fried steak, mashed potatoes, slaw and a biscuit. You can sub brown gravy for cream gravy at an additional charge, according to the sign.
Cost of this meal: $2.99 Cost so far: $19.10 Total meals: 13½ Money left over: 90 cents
Dang. Who knew I would have this much change jangling around in my pocket? Can I go back in time and add pepperoni to my QT grilled cheese? Or maybe get one more 50-cent corn dog? I’ll be smarter next time, if someone wants to spot me another $20.
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