How can I Save Money While Eating out?

It is possible to save money while eating out without sacrificing an enjoyable meal. You don't even have to take a lot of time or effort to save money on restaurant meals if you just establish a few guidelines. Small quick things such as clipping coupons in newspapers, reading reviews of good budget-friendly establishments to try, skipping costly drinks and desserts are all easy to do and can help you save money while eating out.

A great money-saving idea to keep in mind when you want to try an upscale restaurant but don't have a coupon is to go there for lunch instead of dinner. The lunch menu features less expensive items than the dinner menu in most fancy restaurants and you can always check their menu ahead of time to see what they offer. By having lunch in an expensive restaurant you not only save money while eating out, but you still get the upscale decor and will be able to sample the food and service there before deciding to spend more money by going there for dinner on another occasion. Entertainment Books®, or coupon books that feature discounts for restaurants and other entertainment within a certain geographical area, often include two-for-one coupons for fancier restaurants and well as for fast food places.


Save money while eating out at fast food restaurants by using coupons. If you make a point to try only to eat in these places when you have coupons, you'll probably eat fast food less often which can be healthier. Family restaurants often have free children's meals and that can also save money. You’re not likely to have too many complaints if everyone drinks water with their meals and then returns home to dessert and soft drinks or other treats you have ready. By skipping drinks and dessert in restaurants and having them at home instead, you can really save money while eating out!

Some restaurants have extremely large portions and you can save money wile eating out at these places by sharing portions. If the salads are inexpensive you could add that to round out each meal, but if salads are expensive perhaps an appetizer can also be shared along with the meal. It's a good idea to get to know what restaurants in your area have specials on which nights. Many restaurants have discount meals during the week to get more customers in on weeknights rather than mainly on weekends.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

I have found that some restaurants' appetizers are just as satisfying as their main entrees, so sometimes I will order a large appetizer sampler as my meal. Since I'm not getting extra side dishes, the price of an appetizer is usually half or two-thirds the price of most main entrees.

I've also found that some restaurants will serve half-portions of many menu items if you ask. That option won't always be on the printed menu, but a lot of places will do it. It's typical to be charged a dollar over half-price for the privilege, but you won't be paying full price for a huge salad or other meal you can't possibly finish yourself.

I've also found I can save

a little money by ordering a cheaper cut of meat in the dish. The restaurant will charge high prices for burritos stuffed with steak or shrimp, for example, but less for a burrito with chicken or vegetarian alternatives. Take full advantage of any all-you-can-eat salad bar, so your smaller entree won't seem so small.
Post 2

Great tips, Leilani. Eating earlier often works out better for families with small children too so that there's enough time after dinner for bathtime, story etc. before bedtime.

Eating a snack a few hours before sharing a dinner can help make the smaller meal be more satisfying.

Post 1

Some family restaurants offer less expensive meals prior to dinner rush time. Eating dinner just before five o'clock can prove to be a cheaper, less rushed, more enjoyable experience.

Also sharing a meal with a friend, or family member is a great idea, since the bread before the meal and half of the meal is usually more than enough for one person.

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