Out to Dinner, Save Some Money

I enjoy going out to dinner, it is a time to relax and enjoy one of my favourite activities, eating. People always think that going out to eat has to cost a lot but you can enjoy a nice evening without breaking the bank. Since I used to work as a server many moons ago, I’ve learned many tricks to enjoy dinner on a budget.

Here are some tips on reducing the bill:

  1. Get a discount. Nowadays there are tons of coupons floating on line, even for your favourite restaurants. Restaurants are also part of associations like Winterlicious, which offer set meals at discount price. Daily deal sites such as Groupon, have an enormous amount of deals.
  2. New restaurants. Noticed a new restaurant which opened up in your neighbourhood, chances are they have discounts and specials. Also ones under new management, they all want to get new customer in.
  3. Special days. Many restaurants will offer special family days, or will allow kids to eat for free, or have special discount days on weekdays. Take advantage of them.
  4. Choose an affordable restaurant. Some restaurants charge an arm and a leg for the environment they provide, not the food. You should choose an affordable with really good food at reasonable price.
  5. Don’t order two dinners. I normally order one appetizer and one dinner. This normally fills us up and also lets us enjoy both meals. No packing up at the end and letting it rot in the fridge.
  6. Go for lunch specials. Lunch specials will be cheaper than dinners, and manageable portions. Always ask about the daily special, as it can often be a good deal.
  7. Just order side items. I feel like this is something I invented, I think I can customize my meal to my liking and order healthy choices at discount prices.
  8. Drink water. You go to a restaurant for the good food, not the soda or alcohol. You can get those for much cheaper at a grocery store. Drink water, perhaps adding a slice of lemon for taste, also healthier.
  9. Skip dessert. By the time dessert rolls around, you are stuffed, so don’t force it in. If you’re eating at a sit-down restaurant, dessert is often a rip-off. If you do feel like it, pick up a carton of ice cream on the way home, and save a bunch.