Tips on Ways to Save When Eating Out
Tips on Ways to Save When Eating Out
One of America’s favorite past times has changed from the quintessential baseball game to a game of eating out. There’s always the tried and true favorites, with new chains popping up all the time. There’s also an endless list of food for you to try.
The problem is that many restaurants are expensive. They are often not friendly on your wallet. However, if you stick to these tips, you can stick within your budget and leave feeling very satisfied.
Tip #1 Don’t
Ok, that may seem a little ridiculous as we insinuate that you are going to be eating out, but there are alternatives to dining out. According to Zagat, Americans tend to spend an average of $36 per meal when eating out! That’s huge. It is also fun to eat out and we would hate to take that experience away, however you might want to try something else.
A huge trend over the past few years has been the home delivery meal plan service. This means you have to do the cooking, but most of the ingredients are delivered to your door with the recipe and tips for making the best meals. Also, the price is usually less than a dining experience, and many of these arrive with multiple meals in one package.
A few of the most popular companies for home delivery meal plans include:
Tip #2 Go for the Specials
Most restaurants advertise early bird specials, happy hours and even some deals on websites like Groupon. Sometimes this might involve rearranging your schedule or maybe having a lunch date instead. Either way, there’s bound to be a deal or a special at your choice of dining experience.
Tip #3 Sign up for Coupons
You should be able to easily find coupons for various restaurants. These coupons may require you to sign up for the restaurant’s newsletter or liking their Facebook page. This is also a good way to try new restaurants because they generally advertise to new customers.
Tip #4 Get the Birthday Discount
Perhaps the best way to save money on eating out is to do a lot of it on your birthday. Many places force you to sign up well beforehand to get a sweet deal or free meal. However, many restaurants offer a variety of discounts, desserts and freebies. Check out your favorite place to dine well ahead of time to make sure you are getting a sweet deal on your big day.
Tip #5 Skip the drinks
During your meal, skip the drinks altogether. Most people could stand to drink more water anyway, so you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. Most restaurants make a huge profits on drinks alone and you could just as easily sip your favorite beverage at home for less than half the price. Alcoholic beverages are even more wasteful on your wallet.
Tip #6 No appetizers, or desserts
Another way to totally ruin all your bad eating out habits is to forgo the appetizer. Lately, appetizers seem to be getting more and more expensive. While they may seem fun or you might be thinking you are hangry and need something to snack on quick, appetizers can make your bill skyrocket.
Pro tip: If you simply cannot forgo the appetizer, try eating at a Mexican restaurant. Nearly all Mexican restaurants hand out chips and salsa for free! Or at least, the first round is free.
You can also save big by skipping on the dessert. They are generally pricey and you really might be fuller than you think anyway. If you hop in your car and still are craving something sweet, swing by the grocery store for a gallon of ice cream. It will almost be certainly cheaper than the dessert at the restaurant.
Tip #7 Split a meal
Ok, so you really got mad that I suggested skipping the appetizer and dessert. Maybe we can compromise and suggest one appetizer and splitting a meal! Take your best friend to dinner that shares your flavor palette and you have a match made in budgeting heaven!
It is hard for most of us to not indulge in a meal away from home. By using these tips on ways to save when eating out, you are sure not to break your budget. There are lots of ways restaurants make a lot of money off of you, but if you play your cards right you will leave a little more satisfied.