We all like to go out to eat from time to time, and some of us more than others! With worldwide economic calamity going on right now, many people may be foregoing the weekly trip to a sit-down restaurant in favor of a home-cooked meal.
And from a standpoint of saving money, that is a good idea, but of course it is still enjoyable to make it out to your favorite dining spot when you can.
So if you are really wanting to go out for a great meal, but are hesitant to because it can be expensive, then consider the following five ways to save money while dining out, and you may just change your mind!
1. Pick a less-expensive, but still enjoyable restaurant.
Going out to eat doesn't mean having to spend $25 per person for the main course! You can surely find a high quality, but less-expensive option nearby, especially if you live in a large metro area.
Consider checking your local newspaper's website â they will almost always have a dining guide with a searchable database of restaurants, and a guide to what their price ranges are. You will likely find a good number of independent, local restaurants that serve up authentic fare at lower prices. Check them out!
2. Order a lower-priced item on the menu.
You don't always have to get the specialty items! Instead, scan the menu thoroughly, and you may find a super tasty option that costs less than the more "fancier" items. Frequently, you will find that vegetarian or chicken dishes cost much less than those based on seafood or red meat.
3. Consider ordering water instead of a beverage or alcoholic drink.
Now of course, part of the primary enjoyment for you while going out may be having a couple glasses of beer or wine with your partner. But if you're really wanting to save some cash, pass them over, and stick to water.
If you just can't skip this part of the experience though, then consider going domestic for beer or ordering the house wine, both of which are usually less expensive.
4. Skip the appetizer and dessert!
Each of these will always inflate your bill!
5. Pass on the add-ons.
Pay close attention to the menus. Many things that you may want to "add on" actually incur a small charge. Ask the server or double-check the menu before you order something extra for your entrÃ©e.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?
Just following these tips can easily shave $10 off the total bill for two.
Whatever you do though, don't make the tip be the place to gain savings! I feel it is always very important to take care of the wait staff. In most places, they make a minimum server's wage, so that means they rely almost solely on tips. Don't try to save money by skimping out on them!
Enjoy your dinner!