The high prices of food in restaurants make most people think twice about eating out. If restaurant food prices are lowered across the board, it is reasonable to think that restaurants will always be filled up to their capacity with diners eager to taste the items on their menu.
Eating out is a great way to enjoy life and spend time with your family and friends, but it can be expensive. However, if you will consider the following tips, you might be able to eat out often without spending too much.
Don’t Come in Hungry
If you are truly hungry, you will want to really order lots of food. When you arrive at the restaurant, you will be tempted to order a lot, which will blow up your budget. To prevent this, eat a small snack before you leave your home or office.
Use Reward Programs or Join Restaurant Loyalty Programs
There are many restaurants who offer cash backs in the form of reward coupons when you dine at their restaurant. Save enough of these cash backs and you can even eat at their restaurant for free.
Check if your favorite restaurant has a loyalty program. If they have, each time you dine with them will entitle you to some points or discounts.
Create a Spending Plan
Before you go to the restaurant like Hometown Buffet or Olive Garden, be ready with a spending plan. If possible, check their menu list beforehand, and choose the food item that you can easily afford. Stick with this plan even if a member of your party chooses another food item that will break your budget.
Use Restaurant Coupons
Don’t ignore sales people who are offering restaurant coupons while you are shopping at the mall. You can use these coupons to eat out in a particular restaurant at a considerable discount.
Another source of restaurant coupons is Restaurant.com. It is possible to get a $25 restaurant certificate for $10 if you will check this website.
Use Restaurant Rewards Credit Cards
There are credit cards that offer rewards that can be used for restaurant dining. Some give 5 reward points for every $1 dollar that you spend using their card. Sometimes you can get the equivalent of 3.1 to 4.2% cash back rate for such transaction.
Take Advantage of Special Events
Oftentimes, restaurants hold special events like “Restaurant Week” where they offer their food at special discounted rates. This is your best chance to go to expensive restaurants that serve food items that you normally can’t afford.
Each restaurant also has their anniversary event. Be alert about these events and you will be able to enjoy eating out without spending too much money.
Order Your Food Wisely
By ordering only the food that you will eat, and not everything that you want on the restaurant menu list, you will not be spending more than what is necessary. If you have small kids, order half of the normal order since they will not be able to finish a full meal anyway.
Ordering wine will also jack up your total receipt. So if you are trying to save, just sip your own wine when you get home. That also goes for the expensive and tempting desserts. Just eat your ice-cream or cake that you left at home.
Watch for Daily or Weekly Specials
There are restaurants that offer their foods at discount prices at certain times during the day or during the week. Some restaurants offer their food at considerably lower prices after lunch time, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can save a lot of money and still eat out by just deferring your lunch for a few hours.
Go Out For Lunch instead of Dinner
Generally, the cost of a lunch is much lower than the cost of a dinner. Eating lunch will therefore give you the enjoyment of eating out and saving money at the same time.
Choose a Restaurant that Offers Free Food Items
There are restaurants that offer complimentary foods such as breadsticks, chips and salads. If there are freebies that you can eat, you will be satisfied with smaller food servings on the restaurant’s menu list – thus saving you money.
Don’t Order the Appetizer
Appetizers also cost money. Since you are trying to save money while eating out, you can just forget them altogether. Oftentimes, appetizers only offer half the food at the same price. So, you will be better off without them.
Drink Water While Reading the Menu
Water is also filling. If you drink water while you are reading the menu, your stomach will somehow become satisfied, and you will instinctively order smaller food servings.