Lately, we’ve been trying to eat out less and cook more at home. While I love to cook, sometimes the thought of getting my kitchen dirty just doesn’t sound all that fun. Other times, I’m just to dang worn out to even think about cooking.
When we do eat out, I always try to make sure it’s done as budget friendly as possible.
7 Ways to Save Money When Eating Out
1. Look at the menu before you go to the restaurant! This might sound like an odd tip but believe me it helps. It never fails, we leave the house to go out to eat and I’m not super hungry but by the time we get to the restaurant and sit down to order food I’m STARVING! I end up ordering more than I normally would. I’ve now got into the habit of looking at the menu before arriving and knowing exactly what I’m going to order. This helps me not over order and waste money.
2. Go during happy hour! You can score some great deals if you go out to eat during happy hour. Sometimes discounts are only offered on appetizers but who cares, some of those appetizers are super yummy and very filling.
3. Skip the drinks! I know it’s tempting to order a glass of wine or soda with dinner but drinks can quickly increase your bill. A glass of wine can easily cost you $6 or more at a restaurant. A soda normally runs $3 or more, you could buy a six-pack of soda for that price.
4. Say no to dessert! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good dessert but hate the restaurant prices. After dinner, we usually head over to a local ice cream shop and get a scoop of ice cream for a fraction of the price. Even better, pick up a gallon of ice cream on your way home.
5. Check out any two for one deal! A lot of restaurants (even high-end restaurants) offer 2-for-1 deals or things like two meals for a set price. You usually get an appetizer, two main dishes and a dessert to share. If the restaurant has it available take advantage.
6. Check to see if the restaurant has an app! A lot more restaurants are offering their customers discounts if they download their app. It’s worth checking into. I’ve received free appetizers, drinks and more just from installing an app.
7. Go early! Going out for an early dinner pays off when you get to order off of the lunch menu. A lot of the time the lunch menu is the exact same as the dinner menu only with small portions and a smaller price tag.
What are your tips for saving money when eating out?
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