Who doesn’t have fun dining out with friends and family? According to ABC News, the average family spends about 40 percent of the food budget eating out at restaurants. Dining out is a tempting option for people for various reasons. For one, dining out means fête of all family members. It also gives you a chance to relax and a break from cooking. You don’t have to worry about doing the dishes or mopping the table. Hell, if you don’t like the food or the ambience, you could even shout out on restaurant people. So, it can be said in no mean term that dining out is a luxury we all would love to afford. However, in this economic crunch, failing economy and skidding finances, dining out may seem like a big luxury and most often it is avoided like plague by people who are trying to save big bucks. However, it would be naïve to ignore the importance of dining out completely. Even though you need to prefer ‘dining in’ for most parts, dining out is important once in a while. After all, you need to pamper yourself with little luxuries at times. Dining out doesn’t always have to burn a hole in your pocket. With few tactics and tips, dining out can be made fun and easy on your pocket. You will always need food, no matter how tight your budget gets. There are a few money saving strategies, which will help you to keep the costs down when eating out.
How To Save Money While Dining Out
- Share a large meal with any of your friends and save some money. In case you have two children, share their meal or a meal with your children. This adds up to a good saving on your bills.
- Stay away from appetizers, alcoholic beverages, tea, or soft drinks, if you can help it. Ordering main course directly would be a better option. This is one of the best tips for saving money on food at restaurants.
- Carry the leftover lunch to your home and store it in the refrigerator. Though this won’t save your bill but will surely save a little on your groceries. You can use that for dinner or lunch for the next day.
- Check for restaurant coupons, which are available in newspapers, or on the back of grocery receipts. Make a habit to save all these coupons and start saving your money on food.
- Avoid choosing meat as the main part of your dish as they are quite expensive at restaurants.
- Check out for the restaurants that have just opened up. As their prices are a little less compared to the other old restaurants just to attract more customers.
- Head out for lunch instead of dinner. Although most restaurants will have similar menus for both, price for lunch is comparatively less than that of dinner.
- Do your best research on your local area restaurants. Avoid chain restaurants, which are more costly and choose any of the local family restaurants, as they are less expensive.
- Ask yourself if you really need all those costly desserts. Remember it is going to be an extra tack onto your bill. Like appetizers skip desserts as well. Else, you can have dessert for much cheaper price at home later.
- You can take advantage of Early Bird Specials. It is when few restaurants offer meals at lower price if you eat during specified early hours. The specials are offered during a certain time of the day, usually early evening.