Best tips to save money at restaurants.
It’s so fun to go out to eat! You don’t have to wash any dishes, someone does all of the cooking for you, you don’t have to wash any dishes, the food is delicious, and did I mention you don’t have to wash any dishes (because that’s totally my favorite part!)??!?!?! The only negative to eating out is that restaurants can be so expensive! Going out to eat regularly can take a huge toll on your budget. Today I am going to share a few tips to teach you how to save money when eating out.
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5 Ways to Spend Less at Restaurants
Want to eat out without spending a lot of money? I have you covered with these 5 frugal restaurant hacks.
1. Eat Out For Lunch
One of our favorite ways to save money when eating out is to eat out for lunch rather than dinner. Most lunch menus will be very similar to a dinner menu, but with cheaper prices.
Eating at restaurants for lunch is also perfect for ordering a smaller meal, such as a sandwich or a salad, both of which are usually cheaper. This is a great way to enjoy the great food (and less dishes!), without having to spend full price.
2. Skip The Extras
Anyone else always tempted to purchase the extras when at a restaurant??? Or just me??? You can order a drink, appetizer, dessert, extra sides and so on and so on. It can be easy to get carried away once you sit down and start ordering.
I’ve found that the best way to stretch my dollar is to skip all of the extras. Instead of ordering a drink, order water. Skip the appetizer and dessert as well. They are both very over priced. Instead, consider stopping for a cheap treat on your way home; or better yet eat something sweet once you get home!
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3. Shop the Deals
Become familiar with your local restaurant deals. Many restaurants will have specialty discount nights. These might be in the form of:
- Kids eat free nights
- Buy one get one free
- Special family deals.
Before eating out do a little research to find the restaurant deals in your areas. Plan the nights you eat out around those discounts. One of our favorite restaurants offers a buy one get one free lunch on Thursdays. So, we will often go out for a lunch date and take advantage of that deal.
Another great place for restaurant deals is the website Restaurant.com. This is a great website for huge discounts on your favorite restaurants.
They sell gift cards for a discounted price. So, if you buy the discounted gift card before going out to eat, you can get your meal for much cheaper! I just bought a $10 card at our favorite yogurt shop for only $4!! Great deal, right????
Try to buy a discounted gift card from Restaurant.com before going out to eat, you will begin to see a huge savings.
4. Split the Meal
Turn one restaurant meal into two meals by splitting your entree in half!
All you have to do is eat half of your meal, and then get a takeout box to bring the other half of the meal home for another meal. You will get two restaurant quality meals for the price of one! Yay!
You could also split the entree with your spouse or friend. My husband and I split meals quite often and the servers are always more than happy to accommodate us and bring out two plates with one entree.
5. Turn an Appetizer into a Meal
Another great way to save money when eating out is to turn an appetizer into an entree.
Appetizers are often much cheaper than entrees, but they still provide a large amount of food. Consider ordering a trio appetizer for a well rounded meal. Many times I actually prefer an appetizer to a meal. Win, win!
Eating out is a fun way to take a break and enjoy a good meal. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a meal out, as long as you stay within budget. Just make sure to plan ahead and practice self control!
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Checking Groupon or o2 priority moments is a handy way to save on specific meals! 😀
Yes! So smart!
Hubby and I have weekly budgeted date nights (the key word here is “budgeted”!). I’ve purchased the Entertainment Book for our area (some years at a discount – remember to use ebates). You could also ask for one for a Christmas/holiday gift. Use the coupons for meals out plus there are many store coupons in there. It also lets us try new places in our area. I figure if we’re going to eat out, I’m going to try to work some kind of deal to get us a reduction in cost.
I will usually do the survey on the receipt if it gives you a free side or $2 off your next visit. Anything helps.
Sweet Frugal Life says
I agree!! Anything helps!