Why All You Can Eat Buffets Aren’t Good Value For Money

All you can eat buffets are becoming one of the most popular dining experiences in the UK.  New restaurants are popping up all over the UK, with almost ever major town and city offering at least one unlimited dining experience.

All You Can Eat Buffets
All you can eat buffets are very popular in the UK

The History Of All You Can Eat

The concept is one which first appeared in the USA in the 1930’s. In working class areas all you can eat buffets proved very popular with families.  The idea was also carried into the popular casino hotels of Las Vegas and The Strip.  Catering for 1000’s of guests was far easier by buffet than preparing thousands of individuall meals.  Nowadays chains of all you can eat buffets such as Golden Corral now boast over 450 restaurants in the USA.  In the UK, Taybarns, Cosmo and Jimmys World are leading all you can eat buffet chains.


The Rise Of The World Buffet

So why is the idea of the all you can eat so popular?  Well aside from the obvious, being able to eat as much as you want without limit, the buffet concept also allows diners to sample foods they would not normally try.  In the UK, most buffet restaurants offer various cuisines including Chinese, Indian, English, Italian and Mexican.  Some also offer live cooking stations where chefs will prepare food specially to order.  There may also be a sushi bar, chocolate fountain and unlimited ice cream depending on the restaurant.

The Economics Behind the Concept

Restaurant owners know that for every person who gets full value out of a buffet, there are at least another five people who won’t.  This is what has allowed the concept to experience such amazing growth.  Even for those who do manage to eat their money’s worth, the restaurants know that the mark up on drinks and other sundries will make up the short fall.


If we apply the rule of thirds, which is often used in restaurant economics, 1/3 of the cost of the meal will be spent on food.  With the average buffet costing between £5.99 (dinnertime) and £16.99 (evening) thats between £2 and £5.50 food per person at raw cost. When you consider that most buffet meals work out at pennies per person at cost price, you can see why very few all you can eat buffets actually go out of business.

How Buffets Entice You To Eat The Cheapest Food First

Every buffet is designed so that diners eat the cheapest food first.  This means that cheap carb heavy items such as bread, pasta and potato products are often the first items you will see.  Not only are these cheap for the restaurant to produce, they also fill you up quickly making you eat less overall.


More expensive cuts of meat are always at the end, or on the chefs stations. Buffets know that many people are unwilling (or embarrassed) to queue for these stations so will miss out on premium products.

How To Get Value For Money From An All You Can Eat Buffet

They may be fun but they are not an economical dining experience!  Here are some tips to help you make the most of your money.


  • Don’t starve yourself before you go.  Whilst you may think this will help you to eat more, it actually shrinks the stomach.  This will mean you feel fuller sooner.
  • Don’t fill up on fizzy drinks.  These will fill the stomach with gas leaving less room for food.
  • Ignore the starchy, carb laden foods at the start.
    Head for the end of the buffet or the cooking stations for the best cuts of meat.
  • Remember that afternoon sessions may be much cheaper than evening sessions but the choice of food will be limited
  • Check out local vouchers and deals.  You can often find money saving offers for buffets.
  • Shop around.  Try to find the best deals in your area

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Readly Review – Save Money on Magazines

Readly Rocks! If you love to read and you love magazines you are going to love Readly.  This fantastic little app is already receiving rave review and we totally understand why!   It offers unlimited access to over 1500 different magazines every month for the low price of £7.99.  It’s the magazine equivalent of Netflix.


Readly Read as Much as You Like
Readly, unlimited access to magazines for £7.99

Readly Can Save You Money

With an average Uk magazine costing between £2 and £3, Readly’s unlimited access offers exceptional value. You can access over 1500 top titles including Good Housekeeping, Grazia, Top Gear Magazine, Closer, OK, The Beano, Hello, Woman’s Own and even Kerrang Magazine.  If you buy just 2 or 3 magazines a month, switching to a Readly subscription will save you money.


There is no limit to what you can read, so you can browse and try magazines you would not normally buy on a news stand.  Discover new interests, browse the latest news or just keep up to date with all the celebrity gossip.  Whatever your passion, Readly has a magazine to suit.


Read On Up To Five Different Devices

You can read on up to five different devices with a single account.  You can also set up profiles for different family members, so everyone can enjoy their personal favourites.  Kids want to read Horrible Histories?  Other half a fan of Guitar Magazine?  No problem!

Ready currently works on Apple iOs, Android, Windows 10, Kindle Fire and Windows Phone.


What Titles Are Available?

Readly offers an excellent choice of premium titles split into categories for easy navigation. Categories include Women Interest, Hobbies & Craft, Automative, Children and Young Adults, Celeb, Home and Garden, DIY, Mens Interest, Music, TV and Cinema, News & Current Affairs, Tech and Gadgets and Lifestyle.


At present, there are 1618 different titles and 33916 issues, certainly enough to keep you occupied for a very long time!


Access Both Current And Back Issues

Free access to both current and back issues is included in your subscription.  Ideal if you have missed a copy of your favourite magazine or you discover something new and want to check out previous issues.


Try Readly For Free

You can try Readly absolutely free for two weeks with no obligation. After your free period you will be charged £7.99 per month. Alternatively, you can get a whole month free when you start your subscription right away.  Pay just £7.99 for your first month and your second month is free.
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Save Money In the Supermarket, Cut the Cost of Your Shop

Save Money on Every Shop

save money on your supermarket shopping
Save money on the items you use regularly with these smart shopping tips.


Did you know that the average person in the UK spends £58.60 a week on food shopping? And a further £5 a day on takeaways and eating out?  With food shopping take up a good chunk of our daily income, it makes sense to save as much money as possible on it.  Here are our top tips for saving on your supermarket shop.

1. Set a budget and stick to it.  This one may sound obvious but if you set a finite amount you are going to spend then you are much more likely not to impulse buy.


2. Make a list of what you need, not what you want.  Whilst we all need a treat from time to time, non essentials can take a hefty bite out of your budget.  Shop for the essentials first.


3. Shop online.  You can view all the special offers and money saving deals which you might miss in store.  You are also likely to avoid impulse buys which can lead to going over budget.   You can save money on online deliveries by choosing off peak delivery times or if you shop regular consider whether a delivery pass will save you money.


4. Look for money back offers on apps such as Checkout Smart.
Discount vouchers and coupons can slash your spend.   Some vouchers can now be used online by entering the coupon code online. Extreme Couponing hasn’t hit the UK yet (our coupon culture is vastly different to the USA) but coupons and vouchers will save money every time you shop.  Even little discounts soon add up but check your retailers coupon policy before you visit.


5. Don’t stay loyal to one supermarket.  Register online with all the major supermarkets and sign up for their newsletters and loyalty schemes.  Some retailers such as Ocado offer vouchers such as £20 off your first shop.  Whilst Ocado may seem expensive in actuality if you buy from the Waitrose Essentials Range they do not work out much more expensive than other stores.  If you sign up to their loyalty scheme you can also bag a free cup of coffee whenever you shop in store.


6. If you haven’t shopped in a while retailers are more likely to send you discount voucher and coupons. Rotate the supermarkets you use for best value.


7.You can check the prices at various retailers using My Supermarket.   Use Nectar and Clubcard schemes even if you rarely shop at those stores.  Nectar points can also be earned on Ebay purchases (make sure your Nectar card is linked to your Ebay account) and at BP garages on fuel purchases.  You can also earn Nectar points for filling in surveys online if you register with Nectar Canvass.  Clubcard points are much more valuable – up to four times so if you use them for experiences and offers instead of money off.  People sometimes sell Clubcard Vouchers on auction sites but make sure they are genuine.


8. If you have your shopping delivered opt to use no carrier bags.  Although it takes longer to unload your shopping you will be saving 5p on each bag – and as the average shop uses around 5 bags over the course of a year you could save enough to buy a decent Christmas pudding.


9. Buy bulk deals but only if they were products you use anyway.  I once had a friend who purchased a bulk buy of dishwater tablets even though she did not have a dishwasher!  Well I might get one just doesn’t cut it when you are trying to save money.



10. Branded items can be just as cheap as unbranded items when they are on offer.  Stores are much more likely to have offers on branded items than unbranded ones due to manufacturers promotions.  Check all options for an item and buy the one which offers the most value for money.  Remember to compare sizes as well as price.  Some stores give the cost per gram or per ml alongside the price so that you can easily compare matching products quickly.



11. Beware of false economy.  Whilst that 15p washing up liquid may appear a real bargain if you have to use half a bottle of it to wash up because it is so thin, then it really isn’t.  Bargain home cleaning products can often be found in home stores such as B & M and Home Bargains.



12. Check use by dates.  Some supermarkets naming no names but one in particular stands out, tend to send short dated stock to online customers.  Many supermarkets have now started to put shelf life dates on their online items so you can be sure you will be able to use them in time.



13. Plan meals in advance.  It may sound boring but working out exactly what you are going to be eating in advance  This way you can be sure everyone is going to be fed and your wont have to resort to emergency buys or even worse – takeaways.

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