Tips To Save On Dining or Eating Out!

Save on Dining[This post is written and copyrighted by FIRE Finance (]

We all know that we can save hundreds of dollars each month if we eat at home. The savings that we get by purchasing groceries and cooking on our own is commendable. But being busy professionals sometimes we fail to catch up on our cooking. Consequently we eat out. In those occasions, it always feels nice to relax and relish a good meal with our spouse or family. Over time we have developed a plan of doing so without breaking our budget.

Save On DiningBefore starting out we first decide where we want to go depending on the type of meal we want to eat and the various specials offered for it. In short, the first step to save money on eating out is to choose an affordable restaurant that offers a decent meal and ambiance.
  • Lunch Specials: If we want to eat out during lunch we almost always go to restaurants offering lunch specials which are often cheaper than dinners. We also make it a point to ask for the daily special which at times have been a good deal for us.
  • Promo Days: Some restaurants allow kids to eat free, offer exclusive discounts on family dinners or have special discounts on certain days. We keep a tab of these and call ahead to make sure that they are available before going to them.
  • New Restaurants: We keep an eye on advertising mailings or the newspaper for ads of new restaurants. Often to attract business they offer great deals or discounts for new customers. We take advantage of these offers.

Save On DiningFrom experience we have learnt that choosing an affordable place is not the be all and end all to eating out on a budget. We can save more money by availing discounts.

Save On Dining
Now we come to the food. There are some tricks to eat out without burning a hole in our pockets by exercising wise choices during the course of the meal.
  • Save on Drinks: We keep our focus on the food and not on the drinks. Usually the restaurants make tonnes of money by marking up the prices of sodas and alcohol manifold. So we never order any soda or alcohol. We can buy them cheap at a local grocery store. Our usual choice is water (no ice) with a slice of lemon. At times when we have had a real hard day we order a cup of decaffeinated tea to boost our tempo.
  • Pack the Leftovers: Usually if we are using a discount certificate (mentioned above) we often order two entrees to get the discount. But now a days restaurants serve a lot of food. So often we are not able to finish the entire meal. We pack the leftovers and use it for our next lunch or dinner.
  • Order Less: At places where we cannot use discount certificates, we often order a soup, an appetizer and one dinner entree and share it. This not only helps us to save money but allows us to come away without feeling overstuffed which is often unhealthy.
  • Side Items Are Filling Too: When we eat out alone we order side items like a salad, appetizer and/or a soup. In addition to being affordable it is extremely filling and healthy.
  • Skip Desserts: We are not big eaters. After a normal course of a dinner we often have no room left for desserts. So we never order desserts. This saves us a lot of money. Like drinks, desserts are over priced too. We have seen that it is cheaper to buy desserts from a grocery store and have it at home when we have some room for it (hours after dinner).
After a meal, we always leave a big tip. You may say we are not frugal in tipping! Well that brings us to the end of our story on frugal ways to dine or eat out. We hope that these tips will help you save money when you eat out. If you have some more tips please feel free to share them and help us learn from you. We always look forward towards learning new ways to save money in every aspect of our lives.

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Image Source(s): iStockPhoto

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