Eating out is usually the first place you should cut unnecessary spending, but going out for a night on the town does not always have to be top dollar. With a few corners that can be cut, there are a few ways you can save on your next restaurant bill. No need to hit that five-star white glove restaurant that will cost you a weeks paycheck. This often leads to charging up your credit card, and if you can’t afford the bill now, what makes you think you can afford it when the credit card bill comes due? How long do payments stay on credit report scores? Far longer than it will take you to digest that meal.
Search for a Discount
With so much restaurant competition, unless there is consistently a line out the door, you can most likely find discounts available for your local restaurants. Groupon is a great place to look that will offer a price to receive a certain spending dollar amount, for example, spending $50 might get you $75 worth of dinner credit. A restaurant on social media such as Facebook and Twitter may have coupons or listed discounts so you know when a great time to dine in is. Sign up for emails for your favorite restaurants and you can even get free meals on your birthday, such as Red Robin, that offers a free burger.
Do Not Show Up on an Empty Stomach
You will hate yourself after seeing the restaurant bill and likely half eaten meals if you show up hungry. If you are starving you will order an appetizer as soon as you sit down, order a full entrée, and even add a salad to the meal. If there is bread at the table you will scarf that down and hardly even save room. If you plan to eat out, try eating a little beforehand so you can make a rational decision to eat light.
Happy Hour is great for Food & Drinks
When you think of Happy Hour you think of drinks with co-workers, friends, or family after a long day of work, but it can also be a great time to grab a few different appetizers at a fraction of the cost. Pick off of a few plates while you enjoy a few cocktails and you can skip dinner, and probably be ready for bed by the time you get home.
Stick to Water Over Soft Drinks
If you are planning on drinking soda with your meal, you should stick to water. It is free, there are no calories, and did I mention it is free?
Dessert is Unnecessary
If you are full after a meal, stop there. Dessert is extra money, pounds, and self-loathing that can be avoided. Trust me.