A lot of people try to say cutting dining out is a great way to save money. I agree to an extent. Sometimes you just got to splurge. Life happens, schedules are super busy and sometimes unexpected things take place. One thing my husband and I rearranged our living room and bedroom spur of the moment. We got some free things off craigslist that inspired our task. By the time we were done, we were exhausted. Even a freezer meal would of been too much work. My muscles were sore it was almost 9 o’clock by the time we stopped to eat dinner. Eating out also is a nice treat or date night. Picnics and homemade dinners are nice, but sometimes it is nice for someone else to do the work. Here are 11 tips to save money while dining out! You can still do it frugally!!
11 Tips to Save Money While Dining Out
- Set a budget. Set a price you are willing to spend for eating out and don’t go over that. Be intentional with eating out. Set a monthly budget for eating out. I have one per Dave Ramsey’s envelope system. When the money is gone, we don’t eat out. *Please remember to budget appropriate tips. Being frugal does not mean stiffing the delivery driver, waitress, or waiter.
- Coupon. Just like for groceries, coupon for eating out. I usually have a section in my coupon holder for restaurant coupons. They come in the newspaper or local mailers.
- Check out Apps. Several restaurants have savings apps. One of my favorites is Dunkin’ Donuts!
- Skip the appetizer and dessert. Usually the meal is big enough to fill you. Another option is to go when or where the appetizers are free. Five Guys Burgers does free peanuts and Chili’s does free nachos certain times of the day.
- Skip the soda. Water is fine. Ask for lemon if you want something flavored.
- Do carryout. Delivery adds fees just for convenience, plus you are saving the amount you would have to tip the driver. When carrying out curbside, you saving on drinks and the temptation of dessert.
- Kids Eat Free. If you are taking your whole family, look for places that do free kids dining. Usually it is on a certain day and sometimes even during a special time.
- Use Gift Cards. If you buy a gift card at Target and use your Redcard, you will save 5% right off the bat. A lot of grocery stores give you fuel rewards for buying gift cards. Costco and Sam’s Club offer discounts of gift cards as well.
- Eat at a Small Business. Many smaller local places have cheaper menu items, better service, and better food. My family has discovered several non-chain places to eat that we love!
- Eat earlier. Breakfast and lunch are usually cheaper. This is especially true for buffets.
- Check your receipt. This is a good thing to do for a couple reasons. One you can check to make sure you are paying for what you ordered. I can’t tell you how many times mistakes have been made on our bill, especially when dining in a group. Second, sometimes there are surveys to complete for additional discounts, or coupons attached to the receipt.