Do you love eating out with your family but find that it kills the budget every month?
I won’t tell you to stop eating out to save money because let’s face it, eating at restaurants is one of life’s little pleasures plus, sometimes, you just really don’t feel like cooking, am I right?
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Obviously, the best thing for your budget is to limit your restaurant visits and work on slashing that grocery bill but in the interests of realism, here are some ways you can control your eating out habits while still enjoying yourself!
Tips to save on eating out
- Set a rule for dinner out of “pick ONE of drinks/appetizers/desserts”
- Order water at least 80% of the time. Soda is usually like $3.00 per person and it adds up quickly.
- Order takeout. It will stop you from buying alcoholic beverages and save money on the tip. A 20% in restaurant tip is normally 10% for takeout, on a lower overall bill.
- Skip appetizers and dessert. Or split an appetizer and an entree.
- Go to BYOB places.
- Make a meal out of happy hour appetizers.
- Eat at the bar, the bar menu is often cheaper than the main menu.
- Switch to going out to breakfast once a week; it’s cheaper than going out to dinner and you can make a weekly date out of it.
- Check Groupon, Living Social, Travelzoo, Restaurant.com, etc for any specials and save them for future use. Don’t forget to use Ebates first!
- Eat out at lunch rather than dinner. It is often cheaper.
- Small family-owned places are usually cheaper than more popular restaurants plus it’s nice to shop local!
- Stock up on restaurant gift cards at Christmas. When you buy a gift card, there are some restaurants that will give you a bonus around the holidays.
- When you do eat out, bring your own to-go container and put a lunch-sized portion in it before you even start eating. This guarantees you 2 meals for the price of 1.
- A lot of restaurants have nights that kids eat free, take advantage!
- Subscribe to email lists for chains like Papa Johns, CPK, etc. Pizza chains often do sports-related promotions if a team wins. Restaurants often send birthday coupons too!
For more money saving tips, check out these posts:
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