Let’s face it! Eating out can be fun but the costs can add up quickly. If you enjoy eating out but would like to find ways to save some more money, here are some tips to keep in mind. It’s totally possible to enjoy eating out with your family & friends, yet still keep the costs in check!
Let’s get to the list now, shall we?
9 Ways to Save Money Eating Out
1. Pack part of your lunch from home!
If you enjoy grabbing lunch out during your workday, consider packing part of your lunch at home and getting part of it from the local restaurant or cafe. For example, you can easily bring from home a soda and sandwich, and then stop by the cafe to pick up a hot soup! Reducing your costs doesn’t have to mean completely depriving yourself of meals out!
2. Order lunch specials!
Many restaurants or cafes will offer lunch specials (sometimes on a daily basis and sometimes on a weekly basis). These meals are offered at much lower prices (usually) than typical meals and offer a great way to still enjoy a meal out without spending as much.
3. Select days where the kids can eat for free!
Many restaurants offer free meals for kids (when they accompany an adult) on certain days or times of the week. Seek out these times and save money on some of your meals effortlessly.
4. Find online coupons for your restaurant!
Some cafes will offer online, printable coupons that are posted to their website. You simply have to log onto their site, print out the coupon and bring it with you to the restaurant. An extra 10% or 15% off your bill is a fabulous way to save money.
5. Skip the sodas!
Ordering drinks at the restaurant could easily add up quickly. If you drink water, you not only save on your beverage bill, but you also benefit from a healthier drink option! Win-Win!
6. Focus on the entree only!
If your goal is to spend the least amount of money possible at the restaurant, be sure to skip appetizers and desserts. These add-ons are usually costly (given the quantity of food provided) and can easily be omitted from the meal without sacrificing much!
7. Look for small plates!
Many restaurants are catching onto the customer’s desire for smaller portion sizes. Thus, many menus are now featuring half-sizes, lunch-sizes or small plates. These are smaller quantities of food and are offered at much lower prices than the regular meals! Look for these if you’re trying to save some money.
8. Use discount apps!
I’ve written about Restaurant.com before here, and I recommend it to many people looking for an easy way to save some money at their local restaurant. It’s really simple to use and there are thousands of participating restaurants throughout the country. You could also check Groupon for local restaurant deals in your area.
9. Find early-bird specials!
Many restaurants will offer major discounts for dinner when you dine with them at off-peak hours. Ask your favorite dining spot for any promotions they might have for off-peak dining!
Now that I’ve shared some of my favorite ways to save money when eating out, tell me: How do you save some money when eating out? What are your favorite ways to keep your budget in check at the restaurant?