6 Ways You Can Dine Out For Less

When you’re in debt and on a budget, entertainment expenses like eating out are one of the items you generally cut out completely. But you don’t need to eliminate all of your restaurant visits, you just have to be smarter about it. There’s nothing wrong with going out every once in a while and breaking the day to day routine. There’s also nothing wrong with giving yourself or your significant other a break in the kitchen every once in a while either. Here are 7 ways that you can still dine out while on a budget.

Frequency

Watch out how often you go to restaurants. The reason to go out is to break out of a rut or change things up a bit. You don’t need to go every few days, it takes a lot longer than that to get in a rut.

Drinks

Restaurants make huge money on drinks. This goes for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. They might charge you $2.50 for a soda yet it only might cost them a quarter. Instead, just drink water with your meal. It’s healthier for you too.

Leftovers

They serve so much food at a restaurant that you should have food left over. Don’t feel compelled to finish it all. You’re supposed to eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you’re full. Take the leftovers home and you have a “free” meal the next day.

Discounts

Many restaurants have coupons or deals available. You can get them on their site or in the mail. You can also find good deals on group buying sites like Groupon.

Sharing

You don’t need to each order an entree. The plates they serve are always full of so much food that it can be difficult to finish it all by yourself. So consider sharing a meal with your dining partner and save on the cost of that extra entree.

Rewards

Some restaurants have a rewards program (like Red Robin and TGIFridays). The more you eat there the more points you get. These can then be redeemed for free food later. As an added bonus, pay for your meal with your rewards credit card to get points there as well.