10 Ways to Save Money when Eating Out

When saving money, meals in restaurants are rightfully one of the first expenses to be cut, but if you hate to cook as much as I do, budgeting for a meal or two out each week may save enough of your sanity to be worth the expense. On the days you do choose to eat out, you need not empty your wallet to get a good meal. Here a few ways to save on restaurant meals:

Go out for breakfast or lunch. The 4:00 lines at Florida buffets may be fodder for amateur comedians, but those senior citizens know how to make their money stretch. Most restaurants have menus with lower price ranges for breakfast and lunch, so if you can plan to have your day’s largest meal during those times, you can keep


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8 Responses to 10 Ways to Save Money when Eating Out

  1. Chris says:

    The best way to save money is to choose the right place and avoid drinks. A Taco Bell or Mc Donald’s value menu plus water will give you 3 meals for the price of an appetizer at an Applebee’s. I also like to avoid combos when I can get more food for the same price.

    Of course little beats the meal made of some combination of a Totino’s party pizza (1 dollar), hot dogs (80 cents for 8), rice, and Swanson pot pies (50 cents)

  2. my boyfriend and i regularly split a salad and light meal together. it fills us up, we get that little bit of salad which makes it a bit healthier for you, and it’s usually about $10 in savings.

  3. Mike says:

    Drinks, as you mentioned are way overpriced. In restaurants I often get glass of water and ice, squeeze 3 lemon slices into it, and add 1/2package of the pink stuff=sweet and low. Good taste, better for you than soda, and saved you a buck and a half, or
    I order the fast food, like Wendys to go, and take my own soda, get 2 cups of water and ice with meal, dump the water, add my soda, and save 1/3 the price of the meal.
    Bon Apetit

  4. allison says:

    I definitely agree with using Restaurant.com and the Entertainment Book judiciously. Even though you have to spend a bit at the Restaurant.com restaurants, you usually can have a fancy meal at a price you can afford (or splurge just a bit for a special night out). As for the Entertainment Book, it’s fabulous incentive to try restaurants in all of those special neighborhoods in your city, and the savings from two real meals usually pays for the book right there.

    On the other hand, I don’t totally agree with eating the cheap meals at McDonald’s or having most frozen pizzas. Don’t get me wrong — I was a college girl and ate that way to save, save, save. But you’re really not getting nutritious or even palatable meals that way. A McDonald’s hamburger might only be $1, but it’s not good sustanence. It really stinks that salads are more expensive than burger combo meals at fast food places. I know you have to eat fast food sometimes, like on a road trip (though I always advocate packing healthy snacks). Instead of McDonald’s, though, we opt for a small veggie sub from Penn Station or burritos at Qdoba and of course we supplement those with water. Still fairly inexpensive and a bit more healthy and filling.

  5. joe somerville says:

    this is a web site that i own in the atlanta ga area — save 50% food bev – up to $250 per table — we are planing on expanding nationally – http://www.DiningPerks.com

  6. fatchewing guy says:

    buy one get one free coupons are the best, and 40% or 50% discount coupons are often met with restaurants requiring customers to have minimum number of guests and minimum amount of dollar of orders, turning out to be no savings at all,

  7. John says:

    I really like happy hours. A place close to my house has $1 burgers every Tuesday. I haven’t had very good luck with restaurant.com because they have so many restrictions.

  8. Ariel Monde says:

    I love using coupons to go out to eat and I follow Pocket Your Dollars’ site religiously. I just want to add one thing: I am also a waitress and while coupons get a lot of our customers in the doors these days, people are tipping poorly OR tipping on the after-coupon total. The waitress still sold the same amount of food regardless of coupon, so it’s hard when people tip on after-coupon amounts! Just a friendly thought!!

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