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You might remember that my husband and I embarked on a challenge last September, which involved a weekly $5 date night. As we started that effort, I knew I was going to have to come up with a few creative ways for how to save money eating out. I’m happy to say that we were successful in our effort, and even though we’re not sticking to the strict $5 anymore, we do still try to save money when we eat out. If you want to bank a few extra bucks but still enjoy a night out on the town once in a while, try these ideas.
1. Use Coupons
It goes without saying that one way you can get a better deal on a restaurant meal is taking advantage of coupons. I don’t know about you, but we receive a weekly mailer that includes all kinds of coupons from local restaurants. I look through the mailer each week and cut/file any coupons that we may use. Then, when we get ready to plan a night out, I can flip through our coupons to see if one fits the bill.
2. Try Groupon
Groupon is pretty similar to using coupons, only you have to plan ahead a little more for these. With most deals on Groupon, you purchase the voucher upfront and then take it to redeem it when you’re ready to use it. Groupon has all kinds of deals at any time of the year, but I’ve found holidays to be the best time to score great deals on Groupon items.
3. Ask About Specials
If you’re not one to plan in advance, there are still ways for how to save money for you too. Most restaurants run specials all the time, and these can be a great way to save a little money. Specials are typically priced at a premium, so not only are you getting a high quality, specialty meal at a better price. Always be sure to ask about house specials if they aren’t mentioned or posted, and don’t be shy asking if there are any other ways to save, too.
4. Split a Meal
This is one of my favorite money-saving options when we eat out. Most of the time we’d end up taking food home with us anyway if we both order separate entrees, so it’s a great way for us to save money if we just split a meal. Obviously, some restaurants will be more open to this than others, but a way we often offset the cost is by purchasing a small appetizer along with our shared meal. And, we still end up ahead.
5. Do Dessert
Obviously, if you’re purchasing less food, you’ll save money, right? So, why not just do dessert, or you could even just do appetizers. You’ll still get to enjoy a fun night out, but you’ll save more money by purchasing a smaller ticket item.
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We enjoy a night out just as much as the next person, but we don’t like to pay a premium price every time. Quit asking how to save money and start using these tips when you go out. Save money and still eat out!
What tips do you have for how to save money when eating out?