Most people truly enjoy eating out. There is something about going out to eat that is so fun. However, it is not really economical. If you have a family with kids (especially 8 like my family), that cost increases even more. Because eating out can be so expensive, we are constantly looking for ways to save. There are quite a few things out there and each of them have value. Here are eight of the best tips for saving money while eating out…
1. Learn about the kid’s eat free opportunities
It has gotten to where just about every sit down restaurant has a kid’s eat free night at least once per week. There are some exceptions, but not many. Most places realize that their competition is offering such things so they have to keep up. Because of this, you can save a ton of cash when you go out to eat. A quick search online can net you all the information you need about kid’s eat free nights. Just punch in your area and kid’s eat free nights to the search field and you will find the savings you are seeking.
2. Watch out for coupons
Coupons are free money and they are made for just about everything that we spend money on. Going out to eat is no exception. Find them, clip them and save money. It really is that simple. Just be sure to read the fine print. We often post restaurant coupons that we find here too.
3. Get social
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are taking over the economic landscape and pretty much every business has a page or an account. Look up your favorites and then friend or like them to get all kinds of offers to save.
4. Check out the specials
No, you might not normally pick the pot roast. If the pot roast is half price and it is something you have enjoyed before, however, perhaps you should give it a go. Weekly and monthly food specials can save you a great deal of cash. Look around and learn the places that have your favorites on special. Eventually you will figure out the nights you should visit for the best specials.
5. Sign up for Birthday Freebies
There is nothing more fun than freebies on your birthday. Make sure you check out our birthday freebies page of all the restaurants you can sign up for on your birthday to get free stuff. We just love taking advantage of these freebies.
6. Don’t automatically hit up the kid’s menu
If you have kids, you know that kid’s menu items are either great bargains or really bad deals. There is generally not much middle ground. Instead of automatically hitting up the kid’s menu, consider splitting a regular entry between two kids. Some portion sizes are so large you can feed more than two. Learning the portion sizes and sharing your food is a great way to beat the kid’s menu traps that some places employ.
7. Drink water
You would be shocked at how many people will pay 2.50 for a cup of soda and then pitch a fit over the rising costs of a $20.00 steak. Fight a battle you can actually win! A family of five can spend up to $25.00 on soda in one sitting depending on location. If Mom or Dad has a mixed drink or beer you can start adding to that quickly.
Water? Totally free in most places. That is simply too easy not to do to save money.
8. Share dinner
If you don’t mind sharing your food with others, have everyone get a basic entree of something different and share. This can allow you to taste many different things and skip the appetizers and various other things rather easily. This beats paying super high prices for “samplers” and other specialty dishes that are usually overpriced and give limited variety.
When we go out to eat my husband and I always share a dinner. The meals are just too big for us to eat so we simply share. When we are really hungry we will pay an extra $3 for another side salad. It is an easy way to save some extra money and some extra calories. 😉
Those are my favorite tips for saving money while eating out. What are yours?