Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saving Some Green at Restaurants

I know it is much less expensive to eat at home, and I am a frugal person, but we love eating out as a family or as a couple. This can be a huge budget buster, but it doesn't have to be. How can you save money while still enjoying eating out at restaurants?

  1. Split a meal with your spouse - awww! Seriously, though, the portions at most restaurants are so huge and can EASILY feed two people!

  2. Drink water - soft drinks at many restaurants can be up to $3.00! I can get a two liter at Albertson's for $.70 this week - there is no way I can bring myself to pay $3.00 for a diet coke (no matter how much I love it!)

  3. Use restaurant coupons - am I the only one who gets these in the mail about once per week? Many times you can get buy one get one free meals, free kids meals, a % off your bill, etc.

  4. Entertainment book - if you go out to dinner often enough - this is soooooo worth it. The book is filled with buy one get one free dinners at all different types of restaurant - not to mention grocery store coupons, entertainment coupons, travel coupons, the list goes on. Get yours here.

  5. Find out about weekly/regular specials in your area - If you live in the Boise area, The Dutch Goose on State Street offers buy one get one free burgers on Tuesdays for lunch and dinner. Look for deals where kids can eat free - check out this website to find a restaurant in your area.

  6. Get lunch instead of dinner - at many restaurants, lunch is less expensive than dinner. Applebee's has a great lunch special, Pick N' Pair lunch combos for as low as $5.99. This is a great meal!

Okay, this goes without saying, but NEVER, EVER be cheap about the tip. These waiters and waitresses work hard (usually) and get paid practically nothing per hour (usually), so reward their good service by leaving a great tip. You saved so much on dinner - it's worth it!

How about you? Any more great ideas for saving at restaurants?

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