In the summer of 2022, inflation hit a massive 40-year-high that saw the cost of goods across the board skyrocket. While those numbers have been slowly dwindling, easing the financial suffering of many Americans, there are still some products that cost folks a pretty penny—namely groceries.
The USDA predicts that the cost of food will increase even more in 2023, leaving many to come up with creative ways to enjoy the meals that they love without depleting their bank accounts.
Some TikTokers have even pointed out that the cost of purchasing items from supermarkets has become so great that it either costs the same or less to buy meals from their favorite restaurant chains instead.
A user on the platform, Kenzie (@booyahkenz), has decided to take a hybrid approach to making Chicken Alfredo in order to save money. Her hack? Buying the sauce ready-made from Olive Garden, which she says actually costs her less than buying the ingredients from a supermarket and making it from scratch. As an added benefit, she says that customers get more bang for their buck because orders of the Alfredo sauce from the restaurant come with a side of the chain’s popular breadsticks, too.
@booyahkenz Olive Garden Hack save your time & money work smarter not harder 🤤 I keep seeing this all over my FYP but I’ve been doing this for months now bc @gab_112314 told me about it. #Fyp #OliveGarden #Alfredo #AlfredoSauce #Chicken #Pasta #Hack #SaveYourMoney #LazyHack #TiredMoms #MomsOfTikTok #Easy #Cheap #Yummy #Breadsticks #ChickenAlfredo #GetCrackin ♬ I Think I'm in Love – AWS
“Thank me later,” Kenzie starts in the video. “Here’s a little Olive Garden hack. I did do the math—if I buy ingredients to make homemade Alfredo because I don’t like the jar, it costs me about $17. Versus going to Olive Garden, buying two large sides of the Alfredo, sauce it comes with two bags of breadsticks for just under $14 and then you just make your own pasta and chicken.”
Kenzie writes in the caption, “Olive Garden Hack save your time & money work smarter not harder I keep seeing this all over my FYP but I’ve been doing this for months now.”
So, a family can enjoy a full dinner for $14 plus the cost of pasta and chicken, or whatever protein they want to be added to the dish. Twenty ounces of pulled chicken breast retails for about $10, so add that cost, and a 16-ounce box of dried Fettuccine pasta retails for about 98 cents a box at Walmart. This means that for less than $30, around six people can eat dinner, give or take how big their portions are.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Kenzie via TikTok comment and Olive Garden via email for further information.
Some users in the comments section said Kenzie was spending too much money on making her own Alfredo sauce, stating that their own grocery store lists were significantly cheaper.
“Ehhhhh. I make my own Alfredo, and it definitely doesn’t cost this much,” one user stated. “Heavy cream is prob most expensive but you can use it for other things.”
Another user wrote, “I use a stick of butter, cup of heavy cream, a cup of fresh grated parm and seasonings. Tastes like Olive Garden and about $8!”
Others couldn’t understand why Kenzie would go through the trouble of buying it from Olive Garden when making Alfredo sauce at home was so easy, with one viewer writing, “but homemade alfredo is so easy to make.”
Others claimed they didn’t like the flavor of Olive Garden’s Alfredo, stating it was much too “oily.”
Some TikTokers claimed that while purchasing the sauce from Olive Garden may be cheaper for Kenzie, it’s probably because she’s opting to buy more expensive ingredients to make her own sauce.
As one user put it, “Clarification it’s cheaper to buy the stuff to make it yourself, you just like expensive ingredients. I’m the same lol.”
Kenzie seemed to agree with this assessment, replying, “Okay that may be a lil of my problem hahahahahaa.”