7 Tips to save money when eating out
Eating out can be extremely expensive, especially when you have kids and don’t keep an eye on what you order! But that doesn’t mean you have to avoid eating out all together. These 7 tips to save money when eating out will show you how you can still eat out, while not blowing the budget on one meal.
1. Use daily deal websites
A great way to save a significant amount of money on your meal is to use daily deal websites. Always be sure to read the terms and conditions as some deals will only be applicable to a fixed menu or only valid on fixed days. Try sites such as OurDeal and Groupon.
The Entertainment Book can also be great for saving money when eating out, with stacks of restaurants offering 25% off the total bill, or a free main meal when another meal is purchased. Another great place to hunt down coupons is the back of supermarket receipts.
2. Sign up for email newsletters
Sign up for the email newsletters of your favourite restaurants. Restaurants will often email out exclusive deals and coupons to their subscribers. Many restaurants also share their latest offers on social media.
3. Stick to water
Alcoholic and soft drinks attract extremely marked up prices, and can add a huge amount to your bill. Opt for tap water instead; the drinks restaurants serve are no different to those you can have at home, so have that Coke at home instead and avoid the inflated restaurant prices.
4. Dine out at lunch time
Most restaurants will have a specials lunch menu, offering the same items served at dinner, but often at 50% off the regular price. Look out for venues that offer a range of lunch meals at a fixed price, often around $9.90 per meal. You could always have a simple, lunch style meal at home that night.
5. Eat out only for dessert
Instead of going out for a multi-course meal, have dinner at home and then head out for dessert. It will be much cheaper than eating an entire meal out, and there is something fun about just going out for dessert.
6. Look out for kids eat free deals
If you have kids, kids eat free deals will save you huge amounts of money. Many restaurants offer them on selected days each week. Check out the kids eat free listings below:
7. Dine out on weeknights
Weeknights (Monday to Thursday) are often cheaper than weekends, given that weeknights are usually the quieter time of week.
8. Don’t buy kids meals
While free kids meals are great, they can be wasteful when you actually have to pay for them. So often they barely get touched. A better option is to share an adults meal between your kids, or even share your own meal. Restaurant meals are often huge, making them perfect for sharing.
When we eat out we use a combination of the above and our family of 4 can often eat out for under $30. For example, a local restaurant has lunchtime meals starting at $9.90, plus kids eat free on selected days of the week. That means if we skip the drinks and opt for the $9.90 meals, the 4 of us can eat for only $19.80. There are great deals to be had, you just need to know where to look.