It is possible to save money by eating out strategically.
- Inflation has taken a toll on restaurant prices (like everything else).
- Skip the booze and consider ordering an appetizer as your meal.
- Choose the right dining out credit card to earn cash back or points on your restaurant bills.
Eating out is one of those daily luxuries that most people can afford at least once in a while. It’s so nice to walk into a restaurant, be seated, order what you want and have it served. No need to cook or wash dishes afterwards. That said, it’s very easy to blow your budget when you go out to eat.
According to the latest report from the Consumer Price Index, the cost of “dining away from home” (as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics designates non-grocery food spending) will increase from November 2021 to 2022. It increased by 8.5% through November 2011. Thank you inflation.
I’m a big fan of small, non-chain restaurants in my city, and have recently been frustrated by the high cost of food. Hope these businesses survive, so I’m glad I can still buy restaurant meals – it’s been a tough few years for restaurants, too. rice field. Read on for some ideas to try next time you’re out and about.
1. Avoid alcohol
Ordering alcohol at a restaurant has an immediate and significant impact on your final bill. Alcohol price hikes in restaurants are often around 200%, according to How Stuff Works. Additionally, restaurants that serve alcohol require additional (and sometimes expensive) licenses, especially if they serve hard liquor in addition to beer and wine. For this reason, if you don’t want to spend a night out with a big credit card tab, it’s a good idea to skip drinking.
2. Think appetizers
I am often more concerned with the appetizer section of the menu than with the meals. If this is you too, why don’t you lean on me? You can save some money by choosing an appetizer instead of a full meal. If it doesn’t feel “complete,” serve it with a side salad.
3. Find coupons and deals
Using coupons and other direct methods to reduce your spending is a great move. You can find restaurant coupons on various websites, apps and even in your home mailbox. It’s worth flipping through the bunch of coupons you might get from time to time to see if there are coupons for restaurants you frequent. See if there are deals for meals, discounts for military or seniors, etc. Finally, your credit card may have cash back deals with certain restaurants. The card’s mobile app is the perfect place to find them.
4. Don’t order anything you make at home
This is my mom’s trick and I absolutely use it too. Eating out is supposed to be special, so I try to order food that I wouldn’t make at home. For one thing, I know how to cook a steak perfectly medium rare, but I’ve never eaten at a restaurant that could manage it. You’ll only regret paying 3 times what you should have. If you want good value for money, order what you like. Note: This doesn’t give me permission to order $40 lobster if it’s not in my budget.
Every time I go to a new restaurant, I look up the menu online. This will prepare you in several ways. I can confirm that the restaurant really appeals to me (Have you ever visited a restaurant where nothing looks good on the menu?). And I can also research prices. If you know you’re going to spend $30 on lunch, and based on menu prices, that bistro he sells $50 lunches, you’ll need to find somewhere else.
6. Use the right credit card
Using a restaurant credit card doesn’t directly save you money, but it does give you the opportunity to earn cash or points for your restaurant payments. This is definitely a good thing.
One of the most popular ways to save money that is mentioned everywhere is to “stop eating out.” Eating out at a restaurant can be expensive, but I think it’s best to find ways to save money if you have something that brings joy into your life. If you can change your approach to restaurant dining and leave more money in your bank account, it’s a win-win.
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