4 Ways to Save When Dining Out

Throughout the week, I find myself eating home cooked meals and taking leftovers to work.  To break up the cooking/cleaning/prepping routine that comes with eating home cooked meals, we try to hit up one of our favorite local restaurants or treat ourselves for take-out during the weekend.  And as much as we enjoy a good time dining out, we love more to beat the odds of sticking with the budget already set in place.

So, here are some of the ways that we work to cut down on our restaurant bill:

1. Avoid Arriving to the Restaurant on E(mpty)

Ever go to a restaurant and your stomach decides to eat everything the menu has to offer and then some?!  My friend, not the position you want to be in if you plan to stick with a budget.   It’s one thing to arrive hungry, but a whole other, to anxiously wait until the food comes out.

My advice:  Eat a piece of fruit or nutritional bar before you get to your destination.  This won’t fill you up, but will hold you over, allowing you to think rationally as you are reviewing the menu for food you actually want to eat!

2. Water Please…

Cost of water: $0  (every time)

This is honestly my favorite way to cut down on the bill.  A dinner for two, the cost of fountain drinks can easily run 2-3 dollars/per person, plus tax and tip.  You can throw in an appetizer or dessert to share as a nice substitute for your beverage savings.

3. The Earlier, the Better

Dinner foods can typically run up a pretty hefty bill.  So, I say catch the early bird special and dine for breakfast or lunch!  As a breakfast food fan, I enjoy getting out in the morning and starting my day with good ol’ hash and sunny side up.  Then- go about my day running errands, hanging with friends, or whatever else planned for the day.

4. Grab Sweets at the Dessert Shop

Crave something sweet at the end of your meal, but I don’t want to pay i.e. $7 for a small piece of cake with a dollop of ice cream on top?  Me neither!  After your visit to the restaurant, do a double excursion and pick up a sweet treat at one of your favorite dessert shops.  You are likely to end up with more for your dollars and enjoy a good time out.

What are some of the ways that you save money dining out?  Share in the comments below. 🙂

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