No announcement yet.

Save Money When Dining Out - Restaurant Savings

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Save Money When Dining Out - Restaurant Savings

    One of the best ways to save money when you're on a budget is to cook your own food rather than dine out. Preparing your own meals and brown bagging your lunches to work can save a significant amount of money each month. Still, there are times when you want or must dine out, but that doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune. Here are some hints on ways you can save when dining out.

    Where To Dine: Obviously there is a huge price range depending on which type of restaurant you decide to dine at. A chain family restaurant is likely to be more expensive than a fast food establishment, but less expensive than a fancier specialty restaurant. Choosing a restaurant with an appropriate price range is an important first step to saving while dining out.

    No matter what price range you decide upon, there are still ways that you can reduce the cost of your meal. Take the time to search for newly opened restaurants. The restaurant business is extremely competitive and new restaurants have to entice you through their doors to establish themselves. Many do this by offering meals at a discount when they first open to get you to try their food in hopes that you will become a repeat customer.

    Another way that many restaurants bring in new customers is by offering coupon discounts. These can be anything from a percentage off a meal discount on a meal to 2 for the price of 1 offers. While some of these offers may come to your door through advertising mailings and newspaper inserts, you can also make a more proactive attempt to find these discounts.

    One of the easiest ways to get restaurant discounts is to go to sites such as <a href="" target="_top" ></a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0"> that offer coupons at various restaurants that you can purchase at a 50% discount. Simply search to see if there are any restaurants that you frequent that are part of the program and if there are, you have instant savings. It is also a good place to get a discount if you are looking to try a new restaurant.

    Another place to look for discount coupons that are free is at your local tourist bureau or in free magazines aimed at tourists. These are often overlooked by locals, but usually contain a wealth of discounts for local eating establishments. Another place to check is the yellow pages of your local phone book. More and more restaurants are offering discounts inside the yellow pages to attract new customers.

    <script type="text/javascript">google_ad_client = "pub-8949118578199171";google_ad_width = 728;google_ad_height = 90;google_ad_format = "728x90_as";google_ad_channel ="";google_color_border = "EAEAEA";google_color_bg = "EAEAEA";google_color_link = "4271B5";google_color_url = "99CC66";google_color_text = "000000";</script>
    <center><script type="text/javascript"src=""></script></center>

    Another excellent place to get a 2 for 1 meal coupons is through your local city <a href="" target="_top" onmouseover="window.status='';return true;" onmouseout="window.status=' ';return true;">Entertainmet Book</a><img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0">. Although best known for the 50% discounts they give on hotel rooms, they also offer a wide variety of restaurant discounts for the particular city they are produced around. These coupon books are also an excellent way to save money when traveling to other cities since you know you will have to dine out. If you will be there more than a couple of days, these books will usually more than pay for themselves.

    When To Dine: Once you have looked for discounts, the next area where you can create savings is by choosing the time you dine out. If the time of day is an option, a general rule is that breakfast will cost less than lunch which will cost less than dinner. It is not uncommon to have the exact he same meal cost 50% more in the evening compared to the afternoon at the same eating establishment.

    If your meal has to be in the evening, shoot for an early evening. Early bird specials between 4:00 and 6:00 can save you 20% or more than waiting to eat the same meal a couple of hours later.

    The day of the week you decide to dine out can also affect the price. Restaurants are much busier on weekends and the prices can reflect this, especially with the restaurant specials. Monday through Thursday are usually the best times to save on the daily specials since restaurants are not as crowded on these days as the weekends

    What To Order: Once you enter a restaurant you have yet another opportunity to save money depending on what you order. First, always inquire about the daily special. These are usually not on the set menu and are fresh or seasonal items that are often a good bargain compared to the set menu prices. If appropriate, you should also inquire about children and seniors menus that usually provide smaller portions and a smaller price.

    Restaurant meals are usually served in portions larger than most people need. If you are dining out with a friend, choose to split a meal. While this may embarrass some, it shouldn't. Simply state that you can't eat entire restaurant meals by yourself when the waiter/waitress comes to take your order and ask for an extra plate to split the meal. Some restaurants may charge a small fee for splitting meals, but most places won't. Even if you leave an extra generous tip to the wait staff, you'll still come out ahead.

    When ordering, choose set menus instead of picking dishes a la carte. In most cases, set combination meals are less expensive. This holds true even at fast food restaurants. Also pass on the wine and soft drinks and order water. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are one of the places restaurants make huge profits.

    The other area restaurants make huge profits is on desserts. Pass on the cake and coffee at the restaurant and scoop yourself some ice-cream and brew up your favorite blend once you get home if dessert is a must.

    While dining out less is an appropriate way to reduce you monthly budget, it shouldn't mean that you can never go out for a meal. Keeping the above dining out saving suggestions in mind can mean you can eat out from time to time and still remain within your budget.

    Re: Save Money When Dining Out - Restaurant Savings

    Here's a way to save your green and eat it too! McDonalds' currently has $1.00 coupons (exp. 6/13/05) inside their pkgs. of eating utensils which are good on their new Fruit and Walnut, get a pkg. BEFORE you eat....and maybe an extra one (like me)....and make sure you buy a water,OJ or med. drink and you're all set


      Re: Save Money When Dining Out - Restaurant Savings

      around christmas a lot of restaurants have gift certificates, buy a certain dollar amoutn and get a certain dollar amt for yourself. ($100/$10). when you dont' know waht to get someone, that works and then you get free money for you!


        #4 offers certificates for certain dollar amounts. They are having a special until 10/31/08. You receive 80% off the certificates!


          Some restaurants will give big meal portions. If you know you're not going to eat everything and the person with you is going to order the same thing, why not ask for two plates and split the meal instead of letting food go to waste. That's what my friend does.