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Eating a gourmet meal on the cheap

Filed Under: food

Hangin' at the food courtIt's shopping day, you've got the whole family at the mall. Come lunch time, where do you go? The food court, of course!

Have you ever noticed that going to the food court causes people to scatter in 10 different directions? Each person wants something specific, and since the options are seemingly endless, they can get exactly what they want.

But what if you're alone, and you're craving a gourmet meal? For the purposes of this example, we're going to assume that you're a connoisseur of fast-food, and define "gourmet" as "consisting of multiple courses". Can you see where I'm going with this? You got it.

If you're craving a fancy burrito, some salmon sushi, and a slice of pizza with an Orange Julius to wash it down, chances are you can get exactly that at the mall's food court. Keep in mind the following handy tips to make sure that you have the best multi-course fast-food experience possible.

Buy cold foods first

If you're going to be getting some hot, and some cold foods, choose to pick up the cold ones first. Pay attention to which foods taste best hot and pick those up last. Alternatively, you could go an purchase each item before eating it, but that isn't as efficient or satisfying as sitting down with a big pile-o fast-food goodness.

Clip coupons

The one main drawback to buying your food from multiple vendors (aside from packing on the pounds) is that you don't get to take advantage of "meal deals". To combat this conundrum, carefully clip coupons.

Eat during off-peak hours

There's nothing worse than loading up your tray with two thirds of your amazing gourmet meal, then getting stuck in a long line with a cashier that has obviously never even used a calculator before. The best way around this is to choose to eat when the food court is simply not busy.

Good luck with your gourmet eating aspirations! If you have any further food-court tips, let us know in the comments!


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