If eating out is one of the main things you look forward to each week, with your partner, children, friends or family- there are ways to reduce the cost if you are trying to penny pinch. Here are our top suggestions…
Plan ahead: Rather than deciding on the spur of the moment to eat in a restaurant or cafe that is the closest to you, always decide beforehand where you are going to eat. That way you can account for things like…
Deals: Most restaurants have weekly deals available on particular nights of the week- ‘kids eat free’, ‘two for one’, ‘curry and a pint for XXX’- whatever your preference, there is usually a way of getting it cheaper, so make sure you take full advantage of what is on offer.
Voucher: If you regularly get a newspaper or magazine, keep any coupons that are for restaurants you frequent or ones you’d like to try. Then make sure you use them before they go out of date! You can also check out the many sites online that offer voucher codes all in exchange for an email address, then just show your e-voucher to the server at bill time.
Timing is everything: Lunchtime and early bird evening meals are generally cheaper than if you go after work, so if you have an early finish or it’s your day off, you may be better eating before the rush as you will dodge the crowds but also the heightened prices.
Follow your favourite places to eat on social media: That way, you will be savvy as to when the deals are available and you can get in their first and book your table!
Avoid all three courses: If you really enjoy eating out- why not just have a main course to get your fix and enjoy a dessert at home? This will not only save you money, but it will also give you that well needed break between courses.
Sharing platters: These are a great way to reduce the overall cost of a meal. If you enjoy having a little bit of this and that, you could order a sharing platter so you still have the experience of eating out and enjoying the social side but you won’t be too bloated afterwards.
Always order tap water: If you enjoy a glass of water with your meal, ask for a jug of tap water or you WILL be charged for bottled water. This is an unnecessary expense.
Share with little ones: Small children, especially toddlers never eat a full meal- so give them something from your plate instead and make them up a little buffet on a side plate. That way, if they leave it, you haven’t shelled out for a child’s meal, which are often overpriced for what they are anyway.
Avoid add ons: Chances are when you order, your server will ask you if you want something while you wait- garlic bread, prawn crackers, dough balls and tortillas are the usual culprits- say no as these are just a ruse to make you spend more money on something that costs the restaurant very little to serve up.