How to Stretch Your Dollars When Eating Out
Eating out can be enjoyable, but it can also be quite costly. Think about it — even if you just do it once a week and it costs you $40 each time, that means eating out costs you about $160 a month. That money could be spent on cable or satellite television or a great cell phone plan. Does that mean you should never eat out? Of course not. You just have to be frugal about. With the following tips, you can enjoy eating out without feeling guilt over the expense.
Adjust Your Schedule
To keep eating out affordable, you should try to keep your restaurant tab as low as possible. One of the easiest ways to shave dollars off your restaurant tab is to eat out for lunch rather than dinner. The menu selection is nearly identical, but the prices are considerably less. Dinner is a more popular time for eating out and it is not as informal as lunch, so the prices are a bit higher.
Other Ways To Save
You should also avoid costly extras when eating out. Skip the appetizers, desserts, and expensive drinks. Order an entrée and water. Water is much healthier for you anyway. If you’ll be dining with children, some restaurants have one night a week when children can eat for free. So, you should definitely plan to eat out on that night.
You could also try eating out for dessert only. Eat a homemade, gourmet dinner and go out for dessert and coffee. This will allow you the experiencing of eating out, but it will come at a much cheaper price. Plus, you won’t have to spend a lot of time waiting to get seated and served. You’ll save time and money!
If you are eating out with a partner, you could also order one entrée and one appetizer and split each. Entrées tend to be fairly large nowadays, and customers often end up with more food than they can comfortably eat in one sitting. By sharing an entrée, you can stretch your dollars but not your waist line. Just make sure the restaurant you visit doesn’t add an additional charge for splitting a meal with a guest.
Also make sure you look for coupons. Some popular restaurants offer 2-for-1 specials during certain hours one day of the week. If your favorite restaurant offers such specials, you should definitely try eating out on the days the specials are offered.
Try the above tips to see how much money you can save the next time you eat out. You might be surprised at just how affordable eating out can be.