Most people know that it is always important to save money in any way that you can. We are cutting back in many ways, but we want to still enjoy life. One way many of us do that is by dining out. There are some ways you can save money when dining out.
1. Use a Coupon (eat on the right night of the week)
One way the restaurants get you to visit is by offering coupons and discounts. You may find these by signing up for their loyalty club. They may also provide them when you join their email newsletter. Newspapers also often have coupons for local restaurants. There are also apps out there, such as Coupon Sherpa, which will help you find those coupons you need.
You can even order the Entertainment Book, which offers discount coupons, including buy 1 get 1 types of offers (just order one for the location near you). Just don’t forget to tip properly if you do get discount.
You can also find discount vouchers on daily deal site such as GroupOn or even Living Social. Sometimes these sites offer discounts as much as 80% off of retail. You can even purchase discounted restaurant gift cards from Raise.com!
If you have kids, you may want to check out eateries where they offer free or discounted kids meals. You are often limited to the day you can get these deals, but if it means your kids eat free – then it is worth it!
2. Skip the Appetizer
You may be tempted to order something before the main entree arrives, however, they are usually way for restaurants to get you to spend more! You may be able to get free chips and salsa or even bread – just ask. This may be enough to help hold you over until dinner arrives (and will knock money off of your check).
3. Order an Appetizer as Your Entrée
Have you ever tried this? Many times, an appetizer can be large enough to fill you up – and will cost much less than a full size entree. Add in an inexpensive side salad (or share one with your spouse or partner). Not only will this save you money, you will eat less (which may make your waist line happy too).
4. Drink Water
Skip the soda or alcoholic beverage when dining out. Instead – just go with water. You can ask for lemons or limes to bring some extra flavor to your H2O. This is not only a less expensive option (since it is free), it better for you than sugary drinks as well – double bonus!
5. Pass on Dessert
While tempting, desserts are very expensive. These can add another $8 – $10 to your check (for each person who orders). Instead of paying the restaurant, just swing by the grocery store on the way home and pick up some ice cream — or just tackle that left over birthday cake on the counter.
Some other things you may find is that if you visit your favorite restaurant often enough, they may start to offer discounts for being a loyal customer. Request your favorite server and you may find a free drink or two or even a discount on your entire meal. When restaurants count on your business and you show that loyalty, they often do what they can to keep you coming back time and time again.
What other ways are there to save on dining out?