How to Save Money When Eating Out

Eating out is always fun, whether it’s with your guy, friends, or family. No cooking, no cleaning up, just good food and good company. Unfortunately, the cost of eating out seems to be rising almost daily, and in this economy you may be starting to weigh the fun of eating out against the cost. No need to give up all the fun, however “ just follow these simple tips below to save money while enjoying an evening dining out.

Have an appetizer.
And not for a starter, but for your meal. Restaurant portions are so oversized that many times an appetizer may be all you need to fill up and lower your bill.  This is especially true if you are eating out at a restaurant that offers platters or samplers as appetizers “ you can have a nice selection of their cuisine without having to spend twice the money.

Split an entré©e. Again, with the over-sizing of portions at so many restaurants, choosing to split an entré©e can save money on the bill as well as inches on your waistline. Choose an entré©e that two of you will enjoy and ask for an extra plate. (Note, it is gracious to tip as if you ordered two entrees.)

Go early or late. Early bird specials can save you a considerable amount of money on your restaurant bill, and you will often get better service since the restaurant won’t be at its peak time. Or try having a late lunch “ you will be able to order your meals at the lunch prices, which are usually lower, and again, will probably get better service, too.

Look for coupons. Restaurants will sometimes have coupons in local papers that offer a buy-one-entré©e-get-one-free deal, 10% off your bill, or other money saving incentives for eating out at their establishment. Just be sure to read the fine print (no minimum cost to use the coupon, drinks or appetizers not included, etc.) and check the expiration date.

Don’t drink. Alcohol, that is, and even non-alcoholic drinks can be expensive when eating out. Stay with water and skip the wine and cocktails with your meal “ after all, you’re there to enjoy the food, not the drinks. Order a lemon slice in your water to add some flavor. If cocktails are a must, choose a restaurant with Happy Hour specials on drinks (you can save up to two-thirds of the cost with these) or order wine by the bottle instead of the glass.

Dessert. If dessert is a must when eating out, try splitting your favorite. An extra plate and two spoons is all it takes “ in fact, many restaurants even offer this when serving desserts. And again, it will be both your wallet and your waistline thanking you! And skip the coffee or tea with your dessert to save a little more money on your bill.


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Tags: lower restaurant bill, save money dining out, save money eating out, tip save money at restaurants

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