We have a few tips to help you have a great meal and have some fun without blowing your budget for the times you’re meeting up with your friends after work or want to treat yourself to something nice during the weekend. When you are trying to save money, one of the first things you want to stop is eating out. But you can’t completely avoid dining out. It takes some planning, but it’s entirely possible to enjoy dining out while keeping your wallet in mind.
1. Coupons, coupons, and more coupons
Whether you find them in the newspaper or online, use them - especially if they offer great savings. With the right coupons, you can keep your dining expenses low, even with the tip. Keep in mind that when it comes to coupons, many restaurants offer “buy one get one free” deals. You need to plan a little with these coupons since you basically have to order two of the same dishes. And if you’re dining solo or if the other person doesn’t want to have the same thing as you, using such coupons could get a little tricky. Another thing you can do is purchase gift certificates that you can use to dine at select restaurants. The trick is to purchase these certificates on discount websites.
2. Go to places that offer free kids meals
Many restaurants and fast food joints offer kids’ meals for free if the adults are eating there. There are plenty of websites that are dedicated to helping you find such restaurants close to where you reside. Check online and make a list of those restaurants if you have children.
3. Discount dining is the way to go
If you are going out to eat and can’t find a deal or coupon, you can minimize the damage to your wallet by avoiding the extras. Drinks are usually marked up substantially, so just stick to sipping on water. Also, skip the appetizers and dessert, and only order the mains. Another option to consider is just snacking on the appetizer. Most times, the portion size of appetizers is more than enough to keep you feeling full.