Tips For Eating Out Cheaply
My husband and I eat out quite often because we just do not have the time and energy to cook on most weekdays. Even though we go out three times a week or more, we do not really spend that much money on food. These are some of the things we do to save money on dining out.
Cut the Alcohol - Most restaurants make the bulk of their profits on alcohol sales. Oftentimes one cocktail could cost as much as an entree. We try to limit ourselves to drinking water when we go out. Occasionally we would order a soft drink, but by not ordering alcohol we save quite a bit.
Split a Dish - Restaurants are often serving extremely large dishes these days, and we can often get full on just one dish. So for the sake of dieting and frugality, we often split a dish.
Cook Rice at Home - Sometimes one dish just is not enough to fill both of our tummies. So what we do is cook a couple cups of rice at home and then split the dish and eat it with the rice. This works very well when we order curry dishes from our favorite Thai restaurant.
Skip the Dessert - Dessert is something we rarely order in restaurants. It is cheaper to just buy a tub of ice cream and eat the dessert at home.
Use Coupons - Local restaurants often have coupons in the local Penny Saver or ValuPack. We actually sort these out and use them. Sometimes the discounts are quite good and we could feed ourselves for under $10 and still have leftovers.
I think eating out is often cheaper than cooking for us just because we do save quite a bit of time and energy. Additionally, we have gotten used to eating cheaply so when we do go out with friends, we end up spending less than our peers in the same restaurant. What are your tips for eating out cheaply?