Love eating out but can’t afford the habit? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to save money on dining out.
We all love treating ourselves to tasty meals at restaurants, don’t we? After all, it’s delicious, relaxing, and saves you having to do the washing up!
However, making a habit out of dining out can lead to a strain on your finances.
But who says dining out has to break the bank? There are plenty of ways to reduce the costs when you head out for a treat meal.
We’re here to help. Our penny-pinching team has come up with some tried and tested methods of scoring a cheap restaurant experience that your bank account will be grateful for. Here’s how to save money on eating out!
Table of Contents
Use Vouchers and Special Offers
It may be pretty obvious but using vouchers and special offers for restaurants is one of the best ways of saving dollar on eating out. There are a huge variety of websites that list all the available offers in your area. For most of them, you simply need to pop in your city or ZIP code to find deals near you.
Expect to find cost-slashing deals like 50% off your bill, or 2-for-2 on main meals.
Go to a BYOB
The price of alcohol in restaurants is hefty and can sometimes even double your bill!
BYOB stands for bring your own booze and many restaurants will let you do exactly that. This is especially so if they don’t have a full drinks license.
Keep an eye out for BYOB signs outside restaurants or do a google search to see if there are any in your area. Restaurants offer different policies, so don’t be afraid to give a venue a ring for clarity. For example, some restaurants will charge you a corkage fee, and others may only allow you to bring a certain type of alcohol.
Ditch the Booze
Not a big drinker? Can’t find a local BYOB? Then alternatively, simply say no to the booze!
Cut costs down dramatically and opt for soft drinks instead. If you’re really striving to save that cash, you can even order tap water. After all, bottled water can sometimes cost ridiculous prices in restaurants.
Choose Your Timing
The time of day or point in the week you visit a restaurant can have a huge impact on how much you’ll spend.
For example, lunch is usually a lot cheaper than dinner, and there are often bargain set lunch menus to dine from. Likewise, if you really fancy dinner out it can pay off to head early for a set ‘pre-theatre’ meal. This often includes a few courses at a discounted price.
Heading out mid-week is also another easy way to save some money on food. Restaurants are often quiet on Mondays and Tuesdays for example and sometimes offer special weekday deals. It’s always nice to avoid the weekend crowds, too!
Become a Mystery Diner
Fancy nabbing a free dinner which you may even get paid for eating? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not.
Mystery dining entails you signing up for an agency that sends you to different restaurants to try the food and rate the service and quality of your experience. All you need to do is complete a report of your meal afterward!
Take Your Food Home in a Doggy Bag
We all know that portion sizes are ridiculous in America. If you’re someone who can never get anywhere near finishing your main, it makes sense to bring your food home for lunch or dinner the next day. After all, you’ve paid for it!
It’s not environmentally friendly to let uneaten food go to waste, either.
Opt for a Buffet
Maybe you’re on the other side of the spectrum, and are always left with your stomach still grumbling after a restaurant meal?
It’s not the most sophisticated night out, but if you’ve got a big appetite then heading to a buffet will definitely help you get your money’s worth. Don’t forget to bring those expandable-waist trousers!
Make Use of Birthday Offers
Have you noticed that around the time of your birthday you usually receive tonnes of birthday meal offers from restaurants?
In order to try and get you to celebrate in their venue, many restaurants offer birthday schemes where you might receive a meal, bottle of prosecco, cocktail, dessert, or other items for free. Just be aware that anyone else dining with you will have to pay their way.
Usually, you don’t need to dine on your specific birthday and there will be a window of dates in which you can visit. If you strategize well, you can be eating for free for up to a month! Now that’s really saving dollar.
Ready to Save Money on Eating Out?
Dining out is a fun treat and even if you’re strapped for cash it’s easy to save money using some of our tips.
Cutting down how often you dine out is another easy way to save some serious cash. Try to make dining at home more fun and like a special occasion, and we promise it will be easier!
Why not try your hand at these six classic recipes that everyone should know how to make? Who knows, you may even start to love dining in!