Everyone gets excited at the thought of eating out. If it were possible, the average person would eat out more than they would stay home and cook their meals. However, the high cost of healthy meals in restaurants is just repelling.
Eating a full-course meal in an upscale restaurant can cost you up to $50 dollars before adding taxes. Now, do the math for your entire family of five and you will see why restaurants are feared by many.
- Eat Out During Lunch
This might come as a surprise to you but it is nothing but the truth. Many chain restaurants are notorious for charging half the price of the same menus during lunch then they would at dinner time. Blame it on the traffic experienced in the evenings compared to lunchtime.
- Eat Out On Your Birthday
Did you know that most restaurants have a system of giving people discounts, free meals, coupons or free drinks during their birthdays? What’s more, they allow extension of the birthday freebies to cater for many days leading up the birthday or the days after. This is absolutely fantastic!
- Take Advantage Of Restaurant Coupons
If you looked hard enough, you will certainly come across a number of local restaurant coupons you can take advantage of. Some of the places you can check out include city-visitor centers, hotel lobbies, Coupon Dad and many other online sites.
- Split Meals
Fast food restaurants aren’t the only places that serve huge food portions. Some upscale restaurants and dining joints serve so much food that you can barely finish in one sitting. Why not visit them and split the portions into two or three satisfying meals?
- Drink Water
Sure, the wine or alcohol will do justice to your taste buds but is it worth the price? Averagely, a soda costs about $3 at a good restaurant. This means an added cost of $12 excluding tax for a family of four. Wines and alcohol cost even higher. To avoid all this craziness, take the free water offered and drink up.
- Utilize Daily Specials
Many restaurants have special nights where they offer healthy meals for rock bottom prices. You need to grab this offer and pick those as your night outs. For instance, find out when your favorite restaurant is offering taco night and head over there with your clan.
- Opt For A Self-Service Restaurant
It is no secret: the feeling of having someone else run around serving you is awesome. But when the wallet suffers for it, the luxury can be done away with. By going to a self-service restaurant, you will avoid the cost of tipping waiters and essentially get value for your money.
- Hang On To Your Leftovers
If you don’t want to split a giant-sized portion, you can ask the waiter to pack what’s left on your plate and take it home with you. This is one of the ways to discipline yourself to stop eating when you are full – an amazing bonus for your health.
- Bring A Friend
Grab the “Buy One Get One” deal regularly advertised in papers and ask your friend or spouse to come with you. You can go ahead and split the bill and let it be a win-win situation for both of you.
- Limit The Number Of Times You Eat Out
Let your normal routine include having inexpensive meals prepared at home. Else, your food costs will fly off the roof despite using all the strategies suggested above. Let eating out be an unusual experience; something you enjoy doing. This way, you will derive lots of value from it.
When fatigue gets the best of you to the point you can’t cook or you feel like sitting down and letting others bring good food to your table, don’t be afraid; walk over to your favorite restaurant and bask in the feeling. Just combine all the strategies above and spare yourself the heartache and pain of lack of financial discipline.