Dishing Up Discounts

The other day I had one of those moments.  You know…those times when you are becoming exactly like your mother, grandmother, father, etc.  We were out to eat and I said to my husband that I wished I could order off the “kids menu” because I wasn’t that hungry and it was cheaper.  It was like I had instantly become my grandmother.  The memories came flooding back.  How many times had I heard her ask a server if they had a “child’s plate” she could order?  I was always embarrassed and never quite understood her frugality.  Now as an adult I get it.  Especially for those who are in the age bracket who qualify for a senior discount…pinching pennies is important.  So, in memory of my grandmother (who we affectionately called Mama Clifford), here is a guide to some popular restaurants that feature savings for seniors.  These are only some of the eateries that offer discounts and with all promotions it may vary by location.  But save where you can and as Benjamin Franklin would say, “a penny saved is a penny earned.”

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Applebee’s Senior Discount: 10-15% off (varies by location) MAY require Golden Apple Card (60+)

Bonefish Grill Senior Discount: AARP members 10% off

Burger King Senior Discount: 10% off (60+) plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks

Captain D’s Seafood: “Happy Wednesday Offer” Choice of 8 meals + drink for $4.99 or less- varies by loc. (62+)

Chick-fil-A Senior Discounts: Chick-fil-A offers a free refillable senior drink, not including coffee. – Varies by location.

Chili’s Restaurants Senior Discounts: Chili’s offers a 10% senior discount (55+)

Denny’s: Senior discount varies by location, 15% off for AARP members

McDonald’s: Discounts on coffee everyday (55+)

Outback Steakhouse: 10% off AARP members for meals (alcohol excluded)

Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+) varies by location

Subway: 10% off (60+) varies by location

Taco Bell: 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)

TCBY: 10% off (55+)

 

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In Good Taste

 

plate-of-foodI guess it never really dawned on me until I starting working in the senior living industry that just as our hearing and eyesight are impacted as we age…so are our taste buds.  SERIOUSLY!!  Those go away??  Well, that is just fabulous, right?  Now don’t go thinking all is lost!  But believe me when I say that there is a GREAT DEAL of time and energy that is spent in planning meals for Assisted Living Communities.  And what is on the plate is not what you would expect!  We are not talking cafeteria style boredom.  Sure it may be difficult to appeal to a crowd of differing tastes and disappearing taste buds.  It can be a tall order!  But we have more than one approach to take on the task.  While bearing in mind that Assisted Living residents are given a type of diet that their physician suggests…but remembering that the resident is the captain of their own ship.  They have resident rights to direct their care and this includes their nutrition.  Our job is to do our novel best to offer food to meet their dietary needs.  It is also helpful to know that ALF communities have regulations in place that cover food from everything from receiving and storing to cooking and serving.  By following these best practices, we can offer safe, delicious and nutritious meals.  Here are some ways we aim to please.

eating-sandwich

  1. Always Available Menus. So today is Taco Tuesday and Mexican food doesn’t agree with you?  No problem!  In our communities, we offer Always Available Menus that will give you options that are designed to please.  With a little head’s up, the dietary staff can make sure that your mealtime doesn’t go South of the border.
  2. Menus that change with the Season. Guided by our Dietitian Consultant, we create menu suggestions that offer variety and nutrition to attempt to appeal to any palate.
  3. Another approach that we have incorporated is resident suggestion! Got a great recipe for your favorite dessert?  Then we want to hear about it!  We will do our best to submit it for approval to add to our menu.  From the beginning intake process, we do our best to find out what you like and what you don’t like when it comes to food.  No two tastes will be the same.  But by treating everyone as an individual, it helps set the situation up for success.

Check out our menus at http://www.greatoaksmanagement.com

 

 

Summertime Is Ice Cream Time

Nothing says summer like a big bowl of homemade ice cream.  In the days before electric ice cream freezers, how many  of us remember sitting under a shade tree on a hot summer day and taking out turn cranking the handle on a freezer of homemade ice cream? It always seemed to take forever for the ice cream to be ready to eat.

What was your favorite homemade ice cream as a child?  Good old vanilla, fresh peach ice cream, sweet strawberry, or rich chocolate?  Did you enjoy your ice cream in a big bowl or in a crisp cone?

Get out those cookbooks and recipes for some homemade ice cream.  Remember to pick up the chocolate or caramel sauce.  Don’t forget the sprinkles and toppings.  Spend some time this July cooling off with some refreshing ice cream.

Five Ways to Celebrate National Barbecue Month

Don’t you just love the smell of Barbecue cooking on the grill?  Nothing says the start of summer like a backyard barbecue with friends and family.  May is National Barbecue Month and it’s time to fire up those grills and start your summer.

This year, why not try a few new twists on your regular barbecue.  Here are 5 tips to make this summer special:

  • Choose some different meats to grill. We all love hamburgers, chicken and steak.  How about some Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Jalapeno burgers, or Cajun Pork Chops?  Look for some variety to your usual grilled meat choices.
  • Choose colorful veggies to jazz things up. Colorful skewers of red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and onion are fun and healthy.  Corn and potatoes are great but take a look at the farmers market or your garden for something you haven’t grilled before and give it a try.
  • Choose some fruit to grill. Peaches, pears, pineapple, bananas, even strawberries are fun on the grill.  The heat of the grill brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit and makes it a real treat.
  • Try steaming side dishes on the grill. The smoke of the fire will add a new depth of flavor to traditional side dishes.
  • How about some pizza on the grill? Break out your favorite pizza toppings and put that pizza on the grill.  The smoke of grilling will add a new twist to pizza.

So get those grills fired up, put your thinking cap on and brainstorm some new ideas to kick off your summer with the grill.

March is National Peanut Month

How many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches did you eat as a kid?  How often did you come home from school and find peanut butter and crackers with a glass of cold milk as your after school snack?  How many RC Colas have you drank topped off with a layer of salty peanuts?

Many of us associate peanuts and peanut butter with our childhood memories. As we become adults, sometimes we shy away from foods from our childhood.   March is National Peanut Month so let’s take another look at this healthy nut.

Peanuts have more protein than any other nut.  Protein can help keep our muscles and bones strong.  Protein helps us “feel full” and can knock out that between meals hunger pains.  Also, peanuts contain “good fats” so while they taste great, they are healthy.

So, in honor of National Peanut Month, take a hint from your childhood and jazz it up.  How about a peanut pie?  Have you tried a peanut butter smoothie? How about spicy peanuts as an afternoon snack?  Go ahead and have some fun with this healthy nut.

For more helpful information, from nutrition and health topics to assisted living advice, visit us at GreatOaksManagement.com

Grandmother’ Special Recipe For Love

Many of us have fond memories of visiting our grandmother’s house and of the delicious smells that greeted us when we entered the kitchen.  Pies of apple, pecan, chess, sweet potato and oh, let’s not forget chocolate!  Our grandmother’s almost always had our favorite desserts when we visited.

As adults those memories of our childhood visits to our grandparents are special.  Not only were we surrounded by love and care, we often had wonderful meals too.  As adults ourselves, we understand the love a grandparent has for their grandchildren.

As we celebrate Great American Pie month in February, it’s a great time to locate those treasured recipes and recreate our grandmother’s special desserts.  Don’t have the recipe to your favorite foods from your grandmother?  Now is the time to visit or give her a call and get the recipe.  Best of all would be to go visit and make the special recipe with your grandmother.  The memories you make will be priceless.

It’s Time For Soup!

The holidays are over, it’s cold outside, and so it’s time for soup.  Nothing warms a body up like a hot bowl of homemade soup. January is National Soup Month and it couldn’t come at a better time.

Do you have fond memories of a favorite soup, simmering on the stove with the smell welcoming you into the house like a big hug?  Is it vegetable, chicken, or maybe chili?  Are there special events you have celebrated with soup?

The origins of soup are as old as mankind, probably dating back to the Neolithic Age.  Early man used soup to stretch his food supply and to help survive harsh winters when fresh food was not available.  Historically, soup has been used to strengthen people who were ill and to help families stretch their food budgets.

So get out those cookbooks.  Whip up a big pot of your favorite soup to chase away the cold weather.  Go ahead and look for something new, something you haven’t tried before and see if you can find a new favorite soup.

It’s Time For Fun: National Pizza Week!

What could be more fun than Pizza Week?  January 17th-23rd is National Pizza Week and it’s time to take stock of all the things we love about Pizza.  What is it about Pizza that makes us all want to act like a kid?

Are you a thin crust person or do you go for deep dish?  Are you veggies only or meat lover?  Do you make your own at home or do you have your favorite neighborhood restaurant?  What about dessert Pizza?  Have you ever had breakfast Pizza?

Pizza has evolved over the past 25 years from a primarily main meal dish to include lots of options.  For some of us as kids, you either went out for Pizza to your favorite place or called for delivery. What is your favorite kind of Pizza?  Take time this week to indulge in some fun.  Order in or head out the door but make time to celebrate Pizza this week.