Eating out is a great hobby to have if you can afford it. Unfortunately, in today’s economic climate, many people have had to forego their weekly dining out experience. When money’s tight, eating out is usually the first little luxury to go. But while a weekly trip to your favorite restaurant may not be possible at the moment, there are still ways to save a few dollars when dining out to enable you to enjoy the experience at least once in a while. The following tips are all ways in which you can save money when dining out.
Look for special offers available at restaurants. Buffet-style lunches are a great way to eat for less, as well as offering you the chance to experience a taste of lots of different dishes Also look for special promotions that restaurants may be running. Check in your local newspaper, free listings magazines, and the websites of your favorite eateries.
When dining out, don’t feel that you have to order an entree. As an alternative, you can order two starters. Again, this way you can save money as well as sample two different dishes. Ordering this way works especially well if the restaurant is known for its large portions!
Skip the meat! Going vegetarian in a restaurant can save you money as meat-free dishes are usually cheaper than their meat counterparts If the restaurant’s good and employs an imaginative chef, you certainly won’t miss the meat!
Share dishes with your co-diner. If the portions are on the large side at the restaurant, sharing a dish with your co-diner is a great way to save costs when eating out.
Don’t overlook what you’re drinking, or rather what you’re spending on drinks Even soft drinks can add up when dining out. Sticking to water is the cheapest option. If you want to drink something other than water, eat during “happy hour” when you can save money on the cost of your drinks. Some restaurants also offer special deals on meals during their “happy hour.”
Always eat out when you’re hungry, as leaving food on your plate is the best way to waste money. If you’re eating out in the evening, eat only a light lunch. And if you can’t manage to eat all of your meal, ask to take the remainder away for dinner at home the following day.
Don’t automatically order dessert. Allow time for your body to digest the food you’ve just eaten before deciding whether to opt for dessert. It takes about twenty minutes for the brain to register that the body’s full after having eaten a meal, so if you take your time eating your entree and then relax a little after, you may just decide that you’ve had enough and don’t need to eat dessert, thereby saving money on this part of dining out.
Not only are all of the above measures good news for your wallet, but they’re also good for your health. Just thinking about ways in which to cut costs when dining out can benefit more than just your budget.