We all love a great meal out. Not only does it give us the chance to eat foods we love that we may not necessarily be able to create so well at home (or have the time to try), but we also get the luxury of no dirty dishes and cooking preparation when we dine out. There are plenty of perks, but one of the not so positive aspects to dining out is the cost. Especially if it tends to be a regular habit.
Dining out is a great way to enjoy the company of our partner and extended family, as well as a fun way to catch up with friends, so instead of avoiding it when we should be saving cash, there are plenty of ways to keep dining out on the cheap.
Here are some of our top tips for saving on dining out costs:
SKIP THE ENTRÉE
Entrees are great, but often they are not really necessary if we are ordering a big meal. Consider skipping the entrée and that’s easily a saving of $5-10 on average on your dining out bill.
Alternatively, if you are not overly hungry but still want something to eat, a lot of restaurants offer main and entrée sizes of some of their dishes, such as pastas or even smaller cuts of steak. Again, that could be saving you up to $10 on your meal.
Sometimes meals designed to share are great value and cheaper than buying your own separate meals. This is not always the case, but worth considering, such as a seafood platter for 2 instead of ordering two single serves.
Plenty of restaurants and cafes offer specials on different days of the week, such as a cheap meal Wednesday or kids eat free on Mondays. Get to know when these specials are on and plan your eating out to suit. Some places even offer a buy one get one free meal offer on certain nights of the week. That could be saving you $20 or more.
Then of course there are the massive range of deal websites that have a stack of discount dining offers available. This means eating at certain places during certain periods, but if somewhere you are keen on has a deal going, you can save up to 50% of the costs you would normally spend. This does mean planning ahead though.
Dining at restaurants with international cuisine, such as Indian, Chinese or Thai, we often want to sample a couple of different dishes. If you are going with a group of people, you can often take advantage of a banquet style meal where for a certain price, a range of popular dishes are placed on the table to share. Or you could just each pick a favourite and order it to share with the group. This means buying one dish and maybe sharing costs of sides, such as rice.
There are plenty of ways to dine out in style without spending a small fortune, so you can still have your cake and eat it too, as they say. Do you love dining out?