We used to spend an insane amount of money on going out to eat at restaurants, and it’s something I am not proud of at all. I still like to go out to eat though, and I engage in many different behaviors to save money so that I can still enjoy this habit of mine.
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Whatever you do, I want to say that you should still tip the person waiting on you, and you should also tip on the full amount before any discounts or coupons. I do not agree with skipping or tipping less in order to save money. That is just not right to me at all.
There are so many coupons out there that you can use to save money at restaurants. My favorite way is to buy Restaurant.com coupons. You can usually buy $25 gift certificates for just a few dollars. This is a great way to save money.
Another way is to sign up for any email lists. Usually restaurants will occasionally send out coupons monthly. Also, when it’s around your birthday or anniversary, a crazy amount of coupons for free meals and significantly discounted meals are usually sent out.
When I go out, I almost always drink a water. It probably helps that I like water the most (I’m weird, right?) and since it’s usually free I just can’t help myself 🙂
Having lunch at a restaurant instead of dinner is usually cheaper. Usually the lunch sizes are a little bit smaller so they are a little bit cheaper. Also, sometimes places even have lunch specials to bring people in, which can make the same exact meal that you would be eating at dinner time cheaper as well.
Have takeout instead.
Ordering takeout instead of eating inside a restaurant can save a lot of money. This is because sometimes restaurants have different menus for takeout order. Keep in mind that you are usually supposed to still tip in this situation because someone still has to put together your meal, and this is usually done by a waiter or waitress and unless you tip them they are nearly working for free by working for your order.
What do you do to save money at restaurants?
Image via Flickr by Mark Ramsay