Group of young adults laughing and enjoying drinks and food at a patio table in a restaurant.

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Worried about food costs? Visit these 6 restaurants.

Key Point

  • Eating out costs have risen 8.9% over the past year.
  • Applebees, Olive Garden, and other chain restaurants offer delicious dinners for under $15.
  • Food costs also vary depending on where you live.

Inflation hit Americans hard. From July 2021 to July 2022, the price increased by he 8.5%. Household food prices are up 13.1%, gas prices are up 44% and new cars are up 11.7%. Eating out has also increased over the past year, with restaurants increasing by 8.9%.

Sure, you can eat at a fast food restaurant for under $15, but what about a traditional sit-down restaurant? The key is understanding how the restaurant bills. They often lower the price of certain foods to entice you. The hope is to purchase alcohol, other drinks, extra sides, and other high-margin dishes. If you can avoid these items, you are more likely to keep your final bill more reasonable.

Here are 6 restaurants where you can have a delicious dinner for under $15. Coastal and urban restaurants are usually more expensive than Midwestern and rural restaurants. The prices listed here are for Los Angeles, so if you live in an area with a lower cost of living, the prices may be even lower.

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1. Appleby

Applebees has nearly 2,000 stores nationwide and is popular with many families. We are currently offering Endless Boneless Wings for just $12.99. This offer is eat-in only and is for a limited time only.

2. Olive Garden

Now in Los Angeles, Olive Garden is offering a “build your own pasta” menu for $13.99. $12.99 for the popular Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks. Are you trying to raise a family? A family-style meal at Olive Garden for 4-6 people (chicken Alfredo, chicken parmigiana, lasagna, etc.) is about $70. Divide that by 5 or 6 ways and it costs less than $15 per person.

3. Red Lobster

Red Lobster has daily specials to suit any budget. On Fridays, he offers “Fish Fries Friday,” which is hand-battered wild cod served with coleslaw, tartar sauce, and a side for $14.99.

4. PF Changs

Meals at PF Chang, which serves Asian fusion cuisine, average between $10 and $40. In Los Angeles, you can get a famous chicken or vegetarian lettuce wrap for $15.50. Going with a large group? A family meal for six is ​​$90, equivalent to $15 per person.

5. ihop

Originally called the International House of Pancakes, IHOP now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can purchase a “Create Your Own Pancake (Crepe, French Toast, or Belgian Waffle) Combo” for $13.99. Omelettes range from $12.59 to $15.99, and appetizers such as sirloin steak and buttermilk crispy chicken strips with fries range from $12.99 to $15.99. Most IHOP meals are under $16.

6. Denny’s

Denny’s is another national chain known for cheap food. The Bourbon Bacon Burger is $11.99, the Plate Lickin’ Chicken Fried Chicken is $12.69, and the Southwest Benny Breakfast is $10.89. Most of the diner’s menu items are under $15 and there are plenty of options to choose from.

Don’t forget to seek out local mom-and-pop restaurants. There may also be cheap deals. Where you live makes a big difference and you may have a favorite hideaway with great food at bargain prices. With food prices skyrocketing, it’s getting harder to find good, affordable restaurants. These six chain restaurants offer great meals for $15 or less that won’t break your budget.

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