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Money Saving Tips: How To Save Money While Eating Out

Updated on September 12, 2013

7 Money Saving Ways To Enjoy Eating Out

Going out for a meal is an enjoyable experience. But it can be an expensive luxury, especially if money is tight. Here are some money saving tips to make it possible to continue the experience while saving on the cost:

1. Have your dessert and coffee back home. How often have you enjoyed a well prepared main course, for it to be followed by a mass produced and recently defrosted dessert or pudding of no real quality? The same can often be said for the tea and coffee that doesn't get close to the standard you enjoy at home. So why not enjoy a good starter and main course at the restaurant and save money by following this with a great coffee back home. Accompany this with a quality dessert or pudding that's either homemade or has been selected from a store at a fraction of the price you pay at the restaurant.

Use vouchers
Use vouchers | Source

2. Use restaurant vouchers. Many chain restaurants offer voucher offers such as 2for1 on main courses. There are limitations, but these offers can seriously cut the cost, while still enjoying a meal out. Find them online on websites such as

3. Select by choice and price. There's a little trick that can be applied when choosing what to have. Work from the cheapest option on the menu and work your way up through the options in order of price. Then, choose the first option you come to that you would enjoy, ignoring more expensive options. After all, if there are several items you'd enjoy on the menu, it makes sense to order the least expensive option.

4. Go out for coffee rather than meal. Not really eating out, but if money is getting very tight, it doesn’t mean the end of being able to enjoy going out. Do you go to a restaurant out of habit for an evening out? If it's more for the enjoyment of spending time out of the house, being somewhere different, or catching up with friends, consider going to a coffee shop instead. Many coffee shops have a similar ambience to restaurants, with the added bonus of comfortable sofas and chairs. Have a meal before you go and enjoy a leisurely evening enjoying a good conversation with your partner or spouse, friends.

5. Find BYO (bring your own) restaurants. Some restaurants allow you to bring along your own alcoholic drinks. They may make a corkage charge, but adding that to the price of a bottle of wine bought from a store is still usually cheaper than restaurant prices. Alternatively, go without the alcohol. Soft drinks and water are cheaper and tap water should be free. Consider if alcohol is an essential part of your dining experience or is it just bought out of habit.

6. Go out at lunchtime instead. Lunchtime menus are more commonly cheaper than evenings, often for similar meals. Some restaurants offer Prix Fixe Options, offering two or three courses at a fixed reduced price. Another option is choosing restaurants near to theatres. These establishments will often have a pre show price, offering discounted meals to entice theatre goers to dine before the show.

7. Decide on a budget and preview online menus for prices. Look up a selection of restaurants that you like on the internet and compare their online menus. Choose a restaurant and meal choices that fit your budget. Using these money saving tips, an enjoyable evening out need not be a thing of the past when your finances are taking a squeeze.


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    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 6 years ago from UK

      Yes, that's a good one isn't it? it is amazing the difference in prices for the same food. Drinking water is a great idea - and good for your health too!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 6 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      My favorite tip that you mentioned is going out for lunch instead of the evening meal. That saves a lot of money. I always order water to drink.