My husband and I do not eat out very often. We both learned years ago that we are able to save such a huge amount of money simply by eating at home. We still enjoy eating out occasionally, we just try to do so frugally.
It is possible to enjoy eating out at restaurants from time to time, even while being on a tight budget. The most important thing is to include the expense in your monthly budget and try to cut out a few common restaurant costs.
Here are the 5 ways we try to cut the costs when we eat out:
1. Eat Out For Lunch
Go out to eat for lunch instead of dinner. A lot of places will have cheaper lunch options to choose from. You will also be much more likely to order a cheaper meal, such as a sandwich or salad if it’s during lunch time.
2. Skip all the Extras
Order water instead of ordering a drink. I will usually request a lemon in my water so I feel like I’m getting something slightly fancy. 😉 Always skip the appetizer and desserts as well. They are both very overpriced. Try to order a big meal to fill up on instead.
3. Shop the Deals
Become familiar with your local restaurant deals. A lot of restaurants will have kids eat free nights. Our favorite Italian restaurant offers buy one entree get one free during a certain day of the week. Find out the deals in your neighborhood and plan your outings around those days.
We love to buy discounted restaurant gift cards at Restaurant.com. They offer gift cards to many different restaurants, at the fraction of the cost!
4. Split the Meal
Only eat half of your entree and take the rest home for another meal. This way you get two meals for one price. Or, you could split the entree with a spouse or friend. Most restaurants will be more than happy to serve you one meal with two plates.
5. ⠀Turn an Appetizer into a Meal
Consider ordering an appetizer instead of an entree. Appetizers are usually much cheaper than entrees and still provide a large amount of food. Look for a restaurant with a trio appetizer for a well rounded meal.
It is possible to still enjoy eating out at restaurants while on a tight budget. It takes a little self control and some planning, but it is still possible.
What are some of your fave tips for eating at a restaurant while on a budget???? Share below in the comments, I always need fresh ideas!⠀