Going out to eat can be expensive. Especially if you are doing it a few times a week. When you are trying to save money, it is extremely helpful to go grocery shopping and cook your own meals at home. However, for your own sanity, it is also important to get out of the house every once in a while. Here are a few suggestions on how to save money when you do go out to eat:
Splitting a meal with your friend, family member, or significant other is a great way to save money. In this case, sharing is
While it is fun to splurge and order a fun drink while out to eat, it is more budget-friendly for everyone to order water. If you are a family of 4, this will save you about $8 per meal! While it may not sound like a significant amount at first, if you spend $8 three times a week per month, you are spending $96 on just drinks!
Go On A Dessert Date
If you are working with a small eating out budget, consider switching it up and going out for just appetizers or just desserts. This way, you are spending considerably less but are still able to get out of the house and enjoy time at a restaurant.
Use Gift Cards
Another great option when you are working with a small eating out budget is to use gift cards. If you are given a gift card, you will not be spending your own money on the meal (which is always nice). You can also save by purchasing gift cards at a discounted price. Sometimes, you can buy a $50 value gift card for $40. By purchasing the gift cards at a discounted price, you are able to save $10 automatically!
Sign up for emails
Go ahead and sign up for emails and newsletters for your favorite restaurants. This way, you will be the first to know about specials they have going on. Most restaurants also email out coupons. These coupons are usually for a free appetizer or dessert but sometimes you will get lucky and see B1G1 free entree coupons!
Follow on Social Media
In addition to signing up for emails, follow your favorite restaurants on all their social media accounts. By following, you will be able to keep up with specials and might have a chance to win a free meal when they host a giveaway or contest.
**While I do want you to be able to save money while eating out, please remember to tip your servers. Many of these employees are working at below minimum wage and counting on tips to earn an income. I highly suggest to base your tipping percentage on what the amount of your meal would have been before discounts.