If you’re trying to live your life within a strict financial budget, it can often feel like you’re depriving yourself of some of life’s simple pleasures. While many of these things don’t feel like they are costing you much at the time, when you add them all together, you might come to find that you’ve been spending a lot more money on something that you thought was insignificant but has quickly added up. For many people, eating out is one of these types of things. However, there are some ways that you can eat out without breaking your budget. To show you how, here are three tips for saving money when eating out.
Head To The Restaurant Early
In many cases, the earlier in the day that you eat your meal at a restaurant, the more reasonably priced the food you get will be. According to EveryDollar.com, this includes eating from the lunch menu, getting any “early bird specials”, and taking advantage of happy hour. While you might not get the exact experience you wanted by heading to a restaurant earlier than you otherwise would have, you will get some major cost savings by trying this strategy. Plus, eating earlier in the day might prove to be better for your digestion as well.
Say No To The Fluff
While you might like to think about eating out at a restaurant as a whole experience where you go all-out, this could also cause your monthly or weekly food budget to go all out the window as well. So to help you keep control of your money and spend it on what’s going to most worth your while, Amy Bergen, a contributor to MoneyUnder30.com, advises that you skip the extras as the restaurant. This means that you choose to drink only filtered water rather than soda or alcoholic drinks, don’t order any appetizers, and say no to the dessert menu as well. By doing this, you will find some major cost savings when your check comes at the end of the meal.
Find Rewards or Discounts
To get even more savings through going out to eat, Amy Livingston, a contributor to Money Crashers, recommends that you look for discounts at your favorite restaurants or find a way to get cash back rewards when you spend money on dining. Things like signing up for coupons and mailing list as well as choosing to use certain credit cards or promotional offers can all help to give you significant discounts at some restaurants and send you rewards for the money you spend there as well.
If you want to save some money but still want to treat yourself by eating out sometimes, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you accomplish both of these feats.