5 ways to save money when eating out at restaurants
If one of your favorite things to do is eat at some of the best restaurants in town, you’re going to be happy to read this article. Although eating out is a fun and convenient way to enjoy a meal, the reality is that it also costs money. And if you’re not careful, you’ll look up and realize that you’ve literally spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in a year’s time on restaurant expenses alone.
Luckily, there are some things that you can do to save money while dining out. If you’d like to know what some of them are, here are five tips to try:
Look for deals. As soon as you sit down and your waiter asks what you’d like to drink, ask them if the restaurant has any special deals. It’s not uncommon for eateries to have certain menu items that come at a discounted rate on certain days of the week. Speaking of deals, you might also want to look on websites like Groupon or Amazon Local to see if there are active vouchers that you can use. The awesome thing about going that route is that you can look them up on your smartphone as you’re sitting at the table.
Split an entree. Other than maybe some of the alcoholic beverages, the most expensive items that you’re going to see on a menu are the entrees. One way to save money on them is to go to a restaurant during lunch hours rather than at dinnertime. That way, you can get lunch portion at the lunch price. However, another option is to split the entree with someone you’re dining with. That way, you’ll still get to eat what you like but, this way, you’ll only have to pay half for it.
Drink more water. There are so many different reasons why it’s always a good idea to drink water. Water flushes out toxins. Water replenishes the body. Water even helps to burn calories. And so, when you’re looking over the drink options on the menu, consider asking for a glass of cold water (even if it’s mineral water). Or, if you have a particular beverage in mind, ask for the drink that you want and then follow that up with nothing else but water.
Pay attention to the extras. Appetizers, desserts, and sometimes even refills on drinks can really start to add up. So when you’re looking to keep ten or more dollars in your pocket, it’s best to go without all of the extras. Speaking of drinks, there’s a pretty good chance that some of the fountain beverages and the tea come with free refills. If that’s the case, ordering a Sprite or some sweet tea will work in your favor because you’ll only have to pay for it once.
Find out when kids eat free. Whether you’re looking at some menu at Chili’s, if you have your children with you, ask the server if your kids are able to eat free. Most popular commercial chains feature special days when children are able to eat free of charge. Kids tend to get special rates on menu items as well. Enjoy!