Dining out at a restaurant can be all fun and amusing until it starts to burn a whole in your pocket. Below are some of the smartest tips to save money on appetizers, drinks, meal and desserts while dining out.
Keep an eye on the local deals
Always look for local deals before going out for dining as these can help you cut out about half of the cost of dining out. Go through the newspapers, mailbox, and online sites for a number of exciting offers. Some restaurants have ‘happy hours’ during which everything is either discounted or free with other. Deals such as free kid’s meal with adult’s meal and ‘buy one get one free’ are available on certain days of the month. If you have a personal favorite, then you can search for that restaurant online to check if there’s any deal.
As a common rule, lunch is always less expensive than the dinner and breakfast is less expensive than lunch. If you’re planning to go out on a business meeting, date, celebration or any other occasion, then go as early as possible as this will cost you less. Opting to go for a breakfast or lunch instead of dinner will also allow you to go to a nicer place that you might be able to afford. Many lounges and restaurants offer complimentary appetizers during certain hours of the day.
Skip the drink
Many restaurants charge hopelessly high prices on drinks. Soda and alcohol are big money makers for the restaurants. A glass of soda will cost you about three times the actual rate. The simple solution here is to skip the drinks and quench your thirst with water. Water also has a characteristic feature of keeping your taste buds neutral so that you can relish the savory and spicy meal. It is always better than loading your taste buds with the sweet tastes. Also, beverages are mostly heavy due to the large amount of sugar content in them and hardly leave any space for the main course.
Buy discount gift cards
These days it’s really easy to shop for gift cards online. They are rarely purchased at the face value and help you save up to 30% - 50% on dining outside. Gift cards for big chain eateries and common brands are also easily available on a click. Keep the gift cards handy in your purse or wallet so that you can use them whenever an opportunity comes up.
Eat an appetizer as a main dish
Many restaurants offer crazily large portions of appetizers at a pretty good price. At time, the ingredients in appetizers are so rich that you end up with no space for the main course. A great trick then is to use the appetizers as your main dish. There’s no hard and fast rule to what comes under main course.
Split a meal
Sharing is not just caring; it also helps you cut down on your budget. Many restaurants offer huge portions of meal that are way more than a single person can or should eat. A great option for such restaurants that offer huge portions is to split the meal with a friend, relative or loved one. Simply order a meal you prefer and request for an extra plate.