With lean economic times seemingly the norm these days, many people are searching for ways to save money. In an effort to save money, some families have eliminated or lessened the frequency of their restaurant visits. As an accounting graduate and someone who has lived a debt-free lifestyle for a couple of years now, I know the importance of sticking to a budget and saving money. However, I also like to eat out regularly. Not willing to give up my occasional night dining out, I’ve learned a few common sense ways to save money at my favorite restaurants.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Some people enjoy their beverages when dining out more than they enjoy their food. However, a restaurant beverage is usually one of the most marked up items in price on the menu. For example, that glass of tea that you pay a couple of dollars for probably costs the restaurant a few mere cents to make. If one person switched from drinking tea to drinking water when dining out three times a week, then he or she would most likely save at least 25 dollars a month. Using this estimate, a family of four could save $100 a month.
Many popular restaurant chains and local eateries offer deals for patrons who dine early for dinner. The portion sizes for the early dinner options are usually smaller than the regular dinner entrée portion size. However, these early dinner options can save the consumer a significant amount of money. I regularly save four or five dollars for a seafood dinner by dining early at one of my favorite local eateries. While all restaurants do not offer early savings on a dinner entrée, some restaurants will allow a consumer to purchase a meal off of the lunch menu late into the afternoon or even at night.…