If you are a foodie and love eating out, the amount you spend monthly on food might just drill a hole in your pocket. Hence, for food lovers on a budget, there are several ways they can watch themselves and save money while eating out. For instance, the easiest way to do so is to decide beforehand what you will be ordering at a restaurant by looking for their menus and prices online. For any restaurant in your vicinity, you can click here to see the prices of everything they have to offer. Given below are seven more ways how one can save money while eating out:
1. Ask if you are eligible for a discount
While you may find it embarrassing to ask whether you are eligible for a discount, restaurant owners and waiters do not mind this in the slightest. Discounts are put into place to garner more customers, and hence your waiter will be more than happy to check your eligibility for discounts. In most restaurants, children, military personnel, and students are eligible for discounts but they do not even realize it. If you or anyone you are dining with falls into such a category, be sure to avail that discount. In addition to that, you may also be eligible for a discount if you use a certain credit or debit card.
2. Join that mailing list
Many restaurants have mailing lists that require your email address to send you regular updates, newsletters, and promotions. By signing up for mailing lists for your favorite restaurants, you are likely to be in the loop for any ongoing promotions, and may also receive access to exclusive discounts and voucher codes that you may use while ordering food to avail of discounts on your total order. Some restaurants also automate sending discount codes for special dates such as an individual’s birthday.
3. Be smart about what you order
While ordering at a restaurant, it is always a good idea to be smart about what you order. For instance, you should try to order food that has ingredients that are available during a particular season to ensure that you aren’t ordering dishes with hard-to-get or expensive ingredients. Also, your drinks order can impact your overall bill significantly, as most drinks at a restaurant are available at a markup. Hence, it is a good idea to call ahead of time and check with your restaurant if you can bring your drinks along and whether they charge corkage fees for wine.
4. Always take surveys
Most restaurants offer customers discounts on their next order or a dessert to go with their current one if they agree to take a survey. Restaurants love to hear about their customers’ experience so that they may understand what customers love or hate about their establishment, and hence place a lot of importance on taking surveys. Customers should hence take surveys whenever they are offered to avail discounts and freebies.
5. Skip ordering appetizer
Most restaurants offer complementary bread and appetizers when you order an entree. Hence, if you are eating at a restaurant for the first time, always be sure to ask whether or not they have complementary bread so that you can skip ordering appetizers. Not only would this help you save your hunger, but you would also save a considerable amount of money on your final bill.
6. Split your meal
If you are visiting a restaurant that is known for its huge portion size, or if you aren’t feeling too hungry, it is a good idea to split or share your meal with whoever you are going to the restaurant with. You and your fellow diner could mutually decide on an entree that you both can share. This way, not only would you not waste any food or let uneaten food go to waste, but you would also save a considerable amount of money on your food bill.
7. Pack your leftovers
Whenever one eats out, there is always a little food remaining on their plate that they choose to discard. Not only is this unethical and a waste of good and nutritious food, but it is also a waste of money. Hence, you should always get your leftovers packed. If a particular restaurant has a big portion size, you may ask your server to pack half of your food at the start of your meal and eat the rest presented in front of you. You may choose to have the leftovers at a later time by reheating them at your home.
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you would have to kiss your food dreams goodbye. By following the above-mentioned ways and advice, you can eat out frequently despite being on a budget. Eating out doesn’t always have to be expensive, and if you are smart about it you can save a ton of money while enjoying your favorite food.