Eating out can be a fun and enjoyable experience, but it can also be a costly one. A survey has found that the average American household spends more than $3,000 annually for just eating out. If you dine out frequently and would like to know how you can save money without necessarily foregoing quality food and service, here are some tips to keep in mind:
Look for Specials and Promos
Some restaurants may have a happy hour menu with discounted appetizers and drinks, while others may offer discounts on specific days of the week. Before heading out to eat, do some research online to see if the restaurant you’re interested in has any specials or promotions. You can also sign up for their email list or follow them on social media to stay updated on any deals they may be offering.
Share Your Meal
Portion sizes at restaurants can be quite large, so why not share it with your friend or family? Some restaurants even offer what’s known as “sharing plate” on their menu. Not only will this save you money, but it can also prevent food wastage and encourage healthy eating habits.
Skip the Drinks
Ordering water instead of soda or alcoholic beverages can save you a significant amount of money. Also, many restaurants offer free refills on water, so you won’t have to pay for multiple drinks throughout your meal.
Use Coupons and Discounts
Before heading out to eat, check discounts that have coupons and discounts for the restaurant you’re going to. Often they offer significant savings on meals and you can also check your local newspaper or weekly circular for coupons and deals.
Order Takeout or Delivery
Eat During Off-Peak Hours
Eating on late afternoons or early evenings can actually save you money on your meal. Many restaurants offer discounted prices during these hours to attract more customers. Besides, you may be able to avoid long wait times and crowds by dining during off-peak hours.
Look for Local Deals
Offers may include discounts or free appetizers so before heading out to eat, do some research on the restaurants in your area to see if they offer any local deals. You can also ask your server if they offer any discounts for local residents.