When it comes to effectively saving money, eating out is often OUT of the equation. How to eliminating and reduce eating out is an obstacle and struggle that comes up A LOT in our Spending Fasters Group. The Wall Street Journal states that restaurants often charge four times as much for food than it cost to buy the ingredients. So, more often than not, eating at home makes more sense.
However, there are times when eating out is unavoidable. For instance, on stressful days when finding time to cook is impossible, or when traveling makes eating out the only option. In such instances, how can we save money when eating out?
To help you navigate the convenience that comes with eating out at a much cheaper cost, we’ve compiled a few helpful tips.
1. Go Early
In other words, go out during happy hour at restaurant bars. Their drinks, as well as their appetizers, are often half the normal price. Some food items are often in the house during happy hour, which can help save a great deal of money.
2. Buy and Use Discounted Gift Cards
Did you know you can buy discounted gift cards online? By doing so, you can end up saving up at least 30% or 50% for a restaurant. Online sites such as Restaurant.com and Cardpool.com are great online sites that offer gift cards at a discounted price.
3. Stick With Water As A Beverage
The main purpose of going to eat out is for the food and not for the drinks. Most, if not all, restaurants will charge a lot for the simplest of beverages. Cutting them out of your eating out expenses can go a long way.
4. Split Large Meals
Given the large food portions that restaurants serve, splitting the meal is a good idea. Even after splitting the meal, you’ll still end up stuffed. This way, you won’t have to waste some leftover food when it cost an arm and leg.
Pro tip: If no one in my party wants to split a meal with me I’ll cut the meal in half and save the rest for later. Doing so helps me turn one meal into two!
5. Go Out at the Beginning of the Week
When I say at the beginning of the week, I am talking about the first two days of the week: Monday and Tuesday. These are usually slow days for restaurants. Hence, to help attract some customers, they will offer specials at a discounted price. Be sure to take advantage of this.
6. Check For Coupons
Go on a haunt for coupons to help you save money while eating out. Chain restaurants offer coupons at a discounted price in the flyer coupon section of the Sunday paper. Once you’ve managed to get your hands on a couple of coupons, you just have to include them in your payment after a meal.
To wrap it up, there are a number of ways you can save money while eating out. Eating out doesn’t always have to be expensive. By scouting for coupons and discounted gift cards, you can cut your dining costs in half. Also, if you have a family, then consider taking advantage of the nights that offer free meals for kids.
Did we leave off a tip that you LOVE? If so, tell us below! And, if this helped you, we’d love for you to comment below and share it with your friends!