Dining Out – Daily Financial Challenge

skip dessert - save moneyThe most effective way to reduce your food costs is to eat your meals at home rather than eating out at a restaurant. That being said, there are times when you’ll want to eat out for a variety of reasons. Even when you decide to eat out, there are three simple steps you can take to help reduce your bill. Knowing these will help keep your restaurant bill to a minimum:

  • Order A Set Menu – Choosing your meal a-la-carte is almost always more expensive than choosing a set meal. This holds true even at fast food restaurants.
  • Pass On The Beverages – Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are one of the places restaurants make large profits. Simply ask for a glass of water with a lemon twist in it.
  • Skip The Dessert & Coffee – Restaurants also make huge profits 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.

    Following these three simple steps should save you $5 or more every time you eat out which adds up to more than $250 a year if you eat out once a week. You can also get some more hints on reducing the cost of dining out by reading Restaurant Savings.

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    9 Responses to Dining Out – Daily Financial Challenge

    1. Charles Martin says:

      Also, cut out the appetizers as well. You’ll tend to actually enjoy the main dish more instead of eating only a portion of it and either throw it away or take home the leftovers.

    2. brcmapgirl says:

      Because most places have generous portions, eat half your meal and box the rest for lunch the next day. I find that being portion-conscious, losing weight isn’t that hard if I limit myself to about half of what’s on the plate.

    3. poundwise says:

      Ditto. Restaurant portions here in the US are huge. Take half home. Keep yourself in shape (or help yourself get there) and be frugal at the same time. Good advice brcmapgirl!

    4. Gina says:

      Mexican restaurants are a favorite with us. We found that you can order from the “light lunch” menu. It only adds fifty cents to the meal and even then we have leftovers. The lunch portions are big and the chips fill you up. We take home the extra chips and put them in a paper sack. Do not put them in the refrigerator or they will go soft.

    5. Gloria says:

      Kid’s items are so expensive. We usually order adult meals for them instead to save money but kids are so picky. Any advice?

    6. Priceplus says:

      I am at the point where I don’t really like to eat out anymore. It isn’t just the money at this point. I just like being home. The wife and I when we do go out always skip the coffee and desert. We can have those at home for far less and we can do so in a relaxed atmosphere!

    7. Interesting, this is completely opposite for me. I live in NYC and I eat out 90% of the time. However, these are good tips for the price concious diner!

      However, eating out is an experience. Sometimes, that glass of wine or that must have dessert is definately worth it! In fact, I will be posting a short review of my trip to Ninja New York soon. Here’s my previous entry on dining with ninjas (http://justanothermoneyblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/dining-with-ninjas-no-seriously.html).

    8. Frugal Momma says:

      I don’t know about going a la cart. I don’t see many resturants offering that any more. I typically get water and rarely drink soda. I usually take home 1/2 of my dinner to eat the next day.

    9. Tanya says:

      If possible eat out at lunch. You can get the same meal for less. If your children are at school you even save money on babysitting fees.
      Also order entrees as main meals. Usually this will be satisfying enough. If not then have desert. Entree plus desert is rarely dearer than the main meal itself.
      As for the kids I buy two kids meals and then divide them in half. Example I’ll order nuggets and chips and fish and chips and they both get some nuggets and some fish. I also take a plastic container for leftovers.

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