Saving Money When Eating Out


We don’t eat out at a sit down restaurant often, but when we do most of the time we pick Ruby Tuesday’s. They have a wonderful salad bar to keep the kids happy while the food arrives! Plus they seem to have coupons out often. Here are some tips for eating our on a budget.

6 Tips to Save Money When Eating Out

by Mrs. Not Made of Money

Dining out is like a gift we like to give ourselves and our families after a long week of working hard. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift if you go to the right places on the right nights. Utilizing all of the tools that are available to you will help you save where you can. Here are six tips that will help you save money when eating out.

Choose the Right Place
Just about all restaurants have a night that kids can eat for free or at a reduced price. Choose that night to take your family out to eat. Some places have all you can eat buffets. This is a good choice because the prices are reasonable and you can eat as much as you want. All you can eat buffets are good for larger families. For some of us going out on dates is routine. If going on a date, choose the special, as it is usually cheaper.

Choose the Right Food
Eating good food or the food you prefer to eat can be a bit pricey. Try eating appetizers instead of entrees. Some of the appetizers are just as large in proportion as the entrée, but cheaper. Many restaurants have a variety in the appetizers that includes a little bit of everything. This may balance your meal more evenly.

Sodas and juices can also be pricey. Instead of ordering the more pricey drinks, order water. Water is good for you and in most restaurants is free. If it is a dinner for adults, try drinking the house wine instead of the more expensive wine.

Lunch or Dinner
If eating out is a must for you try going out to lunch instead of dinner. Lunch entrees are much cheaper than dinner entrees. Some places only serve lunch between certain hours so make sure to check what those are. For the adults, try choosing the house wine instead of the more expensive wine.

Skip Dessert
Sometimes desserts at restaurants can be very expensive. To save some money you could skip dessert entirely at the restaurant and have a treat somewhere else like a local ice cream store or even at McDonalds. McDonalds has a great soft serve ice cream or apple pie for a dollar.

Many of us receive coupon packages in the mail. Have you looked through those lately? Most times local restaurants send out coupons for lunch or dinner in those packets. It’s a great way to save some money yet still enjoy a dinner out. (or use to order gift certificates)

Reprinted with permission from Not Made of Money.

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  1. More on eating out;

    Always chck a restaurant’s web site befor eyou go for printable offers, like free apitizers or deserts.

    When you go in, ask if they sell gift cards or certificates and if they have any promotions on them. Many will sell them, say a $25 card for $20. Buy the “gift” card and use it to pay for dinner.

    If you shop at kroger, buy the gift card there before going to the restaurant. Won’t cost any more but on gift cards Kroger has double fuel points!

    • Great tips Rick! Sometimes Kroger will have a promo too. If you buy a certain amount of gift cards they will give you a $5 or $10 gift card for free. I always buy gas at Kroger- the cheapest place for me! Thanks!