According to the latest Retail and Food Services report of the Department of Commerce in August, American have spent more than $2 billion at restaurants compared to the total money spent at grocery stores. This statistic only shows how everyone loves dining out. Rather than cooking their meals, people would prefer to spend on ordering meals at different local restaurants.
While cooking at home can be cheaper and can help you save some pennies out of your budget, the convenience of dining out might be a stronger reason why many people choose to do the latter. You don’t have to spend an hour or more to prepare your family’s meal, and you got to enjoy delicious foods while chatting with your company.
For those who are into the tight budget but still want to enjoy their favorite sushi place and burger joints, here are some good tips that you can follow so you can spend less while dining out with your family members, friends, or clients.
1. Enjoy the happy hour
If you are planning to dine out tonight, then you need to set your schedule and go out early. Catch the happy hour since most restaurants are offering smaller portions of their dishes to match their half-price drinks. Enjoy the offer while it lasts.
2. Grab the restaurant’s marketing scheme
It’s time to use your inbox and sign up for email alerts and coupons of your favorite restaurants. You may feel annoyed with a cluttering inbox, but an offer of 10% off with your favorite meals will be worth it.
3. Set a lunch date
Sure, we all want to dine out with our friends and loved ones at night, but eating together during lunch is not a bad idea at all. Aside from a cheaper price, you may also get extra soup or salad during lunchtime. If you want to go out at night, a more affordable alternative like coffee is a great idea.
4. Used gift cards are a good idea
Some people are selling their unwanted gift cards online, and you can purchase and use them for your next dine out. These gift cards commonly come with a 10% to 20% discount.
5. Avail the birthday coupon!
May restaurants offer a free meal for every birthday celebrator with some terms and conditions such as eating out with one or more regular paying adult. If you are considering a place for your birthday feast, sign up with their birthday club, and enjoy the perks during your dinner.
6. Go with service water
You are eating out to try the restaurant’s dishes and not for the drinks that they have, so you better skip the soda, juices, and tea.
7. Do the sharing
If you are dining out as a group, sharing the foods and the bill is a great way to spend less in a restaurant. You can share the main dish and salad and still feel full after the meal.
8. Take the kiddie meal
Some restaurants offer meals for kids, and they may allow you to have it as well. Most of these meals come in a larger portion that is good for a light meal. The toys and ice cream can also be traded to a bigger size so you can get more of what you have ordered.
9. Monday and Tuesday are the best days
The first two days of the week are considered to be slow for restaurants. This is the best time to dine out since they usually offer special discounts and promotions to invite guests and customers.
10. It’s a big NO for the holidays
Since dining out is more popular during the holidays, you should avoid the crowd and set another schedule for dining out. The prices of the meals increase up to 50% that it can break your budget. If you want to have a date with your partner during Valentine’s day or you want to treat your mom on Mother’s Day, you can do before or after the holiday.
Eating outside or in a restaurant does not have to be expensive. You don’t have to skip this idea simply because you don’t want to hurt your budget. Those tips mentioned above can help you with saving some bucks with your bill while you enjoy your favorite pasta.