Eating out is one of my greatest pleasures in life. I love food. Restaurants are a super great place to hang out with friends and meet new people! I’m here to help you save a few bucks at restaurants and allow you to eat out more often.
Saving money doesn’t have to suck. Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean eliminating fun! You can find all sorts of frugal ways to do the things you love and eating out occasionally can still be one of them. So, let’s discuss 5 great tips to start saving money at restaurants!
5 Tips for Saving Money at Restaurants
Restaurants want people in their seats. Unfortunately, some days aren’t as busy as others. To counteract this issue, many restaurants will start doing promotional nights on their slow days. You can get like 2 for 1 appetizers, a free dessert with an entree or other cool stuff! You should definitely learn all of your favourite restaurant’s promo nights so you can save on all the extra goodies you love.
Skip The Alcohol
Alcohol is hands down the most expensive thing on menus when you consider how much you get. The average drink is somewhere from $5-10 for something not even that big! Although it’s delicious, it’s better to skip it. If you’re in need of a little liquid courage for a dinner date, try and have a drink at home before you leave the house because it’ll be much less expensive in the long run! Sticking to water can save you $10 a person and will save you from experiencing a very expensive hangover the next morning.
Take Home Leftovers
If you live in North America, chances are the portion sizes at your local restaurants are astronomically big. Like, how do they expect us to finish some of these things? I’ve had pasta dishes at local chain restaurants where I’ve had enough for three meals. If you go to a restaurant and spend $20 on a giant meal and you don’t bring home your leftovers, you’re a silly goose! Bringing home half the meal will stop you from eating out the next day because you can eat it for lunch! A perfect second meal!
The average working person spends $10 on lunch every single day! If you work 5 days a week for 48 weeks of the year, that’s going to cost you $2,400 in a year just for lunch. Use those leftovers to save you some money the next day!
Try Lunch Instead of Dinner
If you have a variable schedule during the week, or you have free weekends you can easily invite a friend out for lunch instead of dinner. Lunch menus are usually $5 cheaper than comparable items on a dinner menu. And lunch menus are going to be a lot lighter and make you feel less groggy than a giant dinner meal.
- Related: How to Save Money on Groceries
Split Your Meal
If you’re with someone who is also focused on saving money, split the meal! Splitting your meal also means you can split the bill! Get a giant pasta entree that will be too much food for you anyway. This may annoy the waitress but it’s going to make your wallet very very happy.
You could also do a halfsies situation. If there are two separate things that you want, have the other person get one and you get the other! Instead of getting both!
Hey! My name is Taylor O’Halloran and I’m a huge fan of saving money any way I can.I’m obsessed with dogs and I love all kinds of cheese even though my stomach hates it. I’m a recent university graduate who just wanted to do her own thing and see what happens! Follow me on the journey!