Ideas for Saving Money
Save Money on Food at a Restaurant

These ideas for saving money at a restaurant will allow you to eat out more often while staying within your budget. On any given night, the restaurants' parking lots in my area are always full. Even with a so called bad economy, Americans as a culture are eating out just as much as before if not more. Yes, having your meal at home is the best way to save money on food; however getting out every so often to eat and socialize with others is a good thing and a great way to build relationships.

And with that said, I am here today to help you make a better decision financially with these ideas for saving money at a restaurant.

    1. Use coupons and be aware of specials. Because of the fierce competition, just about every restaurant will either have their coupon or special running in the local newspaper; or more than likely, you will be able to print one out from their website. If in your due diligence, you may even notice your favorite restaurant running them on a regular basis. The best bang for your buck is the two for one specials. Be sure to read the qualifications carefully, as most restaurants now require a drink purchase or possibly a dessert.

    2. Realize that lunch will be cheaper than dinner, so try to take advantage of the lunch specials when you can. Yes the portions are usually smaller, but do you not usually end up with having more food than you can eat anyways?

    3. And speaking of extra food, if the portion you receive is really large, set out to eat only half of it. Why gorge yourself when you can take the rest home, having another complete meal?

    4. This next way of saving money in a restaurant sort of builds off of #2 above: if you go a bit earlier for dinner, you will be able to catch the "early bird" specials. These deals are normally between 4:00 and 5:00 PM, being discounted to help fill the seats during the restaurants slow time. Besides, you will be seated quicker, have a smaller check and tip, and have a more relaxed atmosphere.

    5. Ask for something that is not on the menu. In and Out Burgers is famous for their hidden menu. Check to see if the restaurants have unannounced specials for a particular day of the week.

    6. Here is one my wife and I did frequently before the kids came along. We shared the dish. As you have already discovered, there are a lot of are restaurants that will load your plate with more than you not only are able to eat, but should. While it makes sense to box the rest up and take it home, why not simply ask for a separate plate and share the meal? If there are two of you who would like to eat the same, this is a great way to save money on food. Yes sometimes you will be charged a little extra for doing that but in the long run money is saved.

    7. Skip the appetizer if it is not part of the regular meal. They are usually overpriced anyway and this one tip will help you stretch your eating out money a lot further.

When looking for ideas for saving money at a restaurant, you do not have to sacrifice quality. Cutting back a little now to gain a whole lot more later makes smart personal financial sense and as long as it fits within your personal household budget, save money on food and go for it.

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