There are plenty of ways to save money while dining out. Eating at restaurants don’t have to ruin your personal finances if you are careful about what you order and make an effort to eat and drink inexpensively. Saving money when dining out is a great way to be able to treat yourself to a special meal once in a while, without the guilt of spending a large amount of money. Here are three ways you can save money on your restaurant meals while still enjoying your night out.
Many people feel they need to order alcoholic beverages or soda at a restaurant. That kind of thinking isn’t only foolish, it’s expensive. A glass of inexpensive house wine at a restaurant will cost you about $5. The restaurant will pour five glasses out of a single small bottle, meaning that if you drink the entire bottle, you’ll spend $25. An inexpensive bottle of table wine at a store can be had for around $7, which means you’ll save $18 by simply enjoying your wine at home. Not only will you save money by having your wine at home, you also won’t have to worry about driving back home.
Buying soda at a restaurant is an even worse idea. A 16-ounce glass of soda at a restaurant will cost you around $2.20. Many restaurants offer free refills. You would have to drink a little more than four 16-ounce glasses to have consumed the equivalent of a 2-liter bottle of soda. You can get 2-liter bottles of soda at a store for less than $1.50, for a savings of $0.70 by drinking your soda at home. That might not seem like a lot, but take into consideration the caloric savings you’ll enjoy by not feeling forced to consume the entire 2-liter quantity in a single sitting, and the savings start to really add up. You’re going out to eat their food, not drink a Pepsi. So choose to drink water at the restaurant and you can have your Pepsi at home.
Share Your Meal
When you’re looking at the menu you can’t help but to look at the prices. What looks like $15 for an entree can translate into a quick $60 bucks for dinner for two when you factor in two entrees, an appetizer, drinks, dessert, taxes and a tip. So how can you get your total closer to 15 instead of 60? The answer is simple: share your meal.
Restaurants are known for serving extremely large portion sizes. You do not need (or probably want) to eat all of that food. If you just ate half of it, your stomach would be full already. The reason why you typically finish your food at restaurants is because we’re trained to eat all of our food, but this is certainly not healthy for you. Instead, share your meal with your partner. This way both of you can have a good sized meal for just 15 bucks.
Skip The Extras
Restaurants have trained us to have an appetizer, an entree and then dessert. Nature never intended for it to be this way. If you end up ordering all three items you’ll end up with an empty wallet and a stomach that’s on the verge of exploding. Eating dinner is about no longer being hungry, not necessarily being full.
To save some serious money while dining out, skip the appetizer and skip the dessert. The reason you’re going out is for the experience and to eat something new and different. That’s why you should buy an entree and give a tip. Those are the only two things you should pay for at a restaurant. But if you really want to try an appetizer or have dessert, you can do this option without feeling as guilty. Order one appetizer/dessert and one entree and be sure to share each item with your partner.