How to Save Money at the Restaurant

Most people like going out to eat frequently. In fact, many families eat out at least once a week. Unfortunately, it’s more expensive to eat dinner at a restaurant like than making your own food at home.

That being said, you can still eat your cake and have it too by instituting a few money-saving tricks. 

It Starts with Your Beverage

When it comes to beverages, you can save a lot of money by opting for water. In fact, you might be able to go out to eat more often if everyone in your family chooses water with their meal. It’s understandable if water isn’t really your favorite type of drink. And you might also say that going out to eat is a lot less enjoyable if you can’t even have a soda.

If water doesn’t appeal to you, for whatever reason, you can order a soda. The good thing about soda is that refills are usually free. If you order coffee, you might have to pay for each cup you drink. Soda is also cheaper than alcoholic beverages.

Do You Need an Appetizer?

Most people don’t spend a lot of time at the restaurant. In fact, food gets served very quickly at most restaurants. Considering that most dinner portions are too big to finish in one sitting, you probably don’t need to order an appetizer as well. After all, appetizers can add quite a few dollars to your bill—and leave less room for the main course.

Sometimes it makes sense to order an appetizer in order to sample different items on the menu. If your main course is a salad, then an appetizer of chicken strips might satisfy your meat cravings. And if you’re splitting the appetizer with several people, you might still come out ahead financially. 

Consider Ordering Lunch

Some restaurants offer lunch portions for their most popular items. While they may not serve these in the evening, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Lunch portions are usually smaller than the dinner portions. Consequently, they cost less, but you’ll still feel full afterwards. 

Split the Dessert

Dessert can be expensive at most restaurants. For the sake of your waist and your wallet, you should consider splitting the dessert with the other people at your table.

Alternatively, you may decide to forgo dessert and get a cup of coffee instead. Of course, you can also have dessert later at home. In fact, that would probably be the cheapest option. 

Get a Box

It’s quite likely that not everyone finished their food. In fact, restaurant portions are always a lot bigger than you expect. If you’ve already had an appetizer or are trying to save room for dessert, you should definitely get a box to go. If this dinner turns into another meal for you, you have saved the cost of lunch tomorrow. 

Look for Specials

Most restaurants will offer specials. They may have special offers for certain occasions, they may let your kids eat for free with the purchase of an adult meal, or they may have lower prices during lunchtime.

While specials and coupons won’t convince you go to a restaurant you dislike, you should always be on the lookout for good deals from your favorite places. 

Stick to Your Budget

If you’re having a hard time implementing these cost-saving strategies when you go to a restaurant like, then you’ll need to do something different. For example, you could set a monthly going-out-to-eat budget and stick to it. Once you run out of money, you’ll have to eat at home.

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