Cooking your food is the ultimate way of saving money on food. Going to a restaurant can be expensive, but it’s the best way to enjoy life altogether for some people. Below are some tips for saving money at restaurants.
1. Sacrifice desserts
The cost of desserts in most restaurants is expensive. Foregoing this meal saves you money and your waistline as it is made of large amounts of calories. It is easier to purchase desserts from the grocery store and make a healthy one. If it is a must to get it from the restaurant, limit yourself to at least once a week.
2. Spare the bottled water
Most restaurants have safe and clean water to drink. Ask for a glass of water, which is usually free, instead of the expensive bottled water.
3. Go for lunch instead of dinner
You will save several dollars when you forego dinner for lunch. Lunch is inexpensive in many restaurants, and you can also get extra meals such as salad and soup than dinner. If it’s a must you go for dinner dates, consider other alternatives such as appetizers or coffee.
4. Avoid alcoholic beverages
Alcohol is expensive in the restaurant. You may find yourself spending more on the beverage than what you are eating. Instead of taking drinks in a restaurant, purchase them from other stores and take them at home.
5. Dine in at affordable restaurants
There is a variety of restaurants that offer quality foods and beverages at an affordable price. You could also go for restaurant alternatives such as Coffee shops and pizzerias.
6. Coupon sign up
Signing up for coupons gives you alerts from a variety of restaurants. Choose a restaurant with the best offer and save some cash.
7. Skip the appetizer
Most restaurants automatically give you an appetizer when you enter the room. You can ask them not and wait for your meal. You can also consider taking something before you dine as you wait for your meal. Like dessert, appetizers are also made of many calories, which are not suitable for your health.
8. Order appetizers and forgo the main course
Restaurants offer a wide range of appetizers you can choose from. You can get two appetizers, which will leave you satisfied and forgo the main course.
9. Share a meal or order a half portion
In most cases, you will find yourself with leftovers on your plate. If you’re planning to go for a dinner date, consider sharing the meal with your partner. If you are alone, asking for the half portion ensures no food is wasted.
10. Minimize visiting the restaurants on holidays and weekends
These are when restaurants’ business is at the peak, and have fixed prices on their meals. Instead, you can dine on Mondays or Tuesdays when the business is slow because you will get better offers for the meals you love in the same restaurants.
Besides the highlighted tips, it is essential to have a budget of how much you are willing to spend in a restaurant. Consider a monthly zero-based budget.