Mostly everyone likes eating out, at least now and then. If you are looking for a good meal at a good price, the following ideas offer many different dining options.
A relatively inexpensive dining out idea is pizza, salad, and a beverage. Lots of restaurants that serve pizza offer soda by the pitcher, so if everyone can agree on one type of soda, this is another way to keep costs down. A variety platter appetizer, which everyone can share, is another good way to save money. Ordering pizza without extra toppings can also help your budget.
2. Early Bird and Daily Specials
These two choices can help keep you within your budget. Early bird specials are usually served during a particular time period and meal choices might vary from day to day. You need to call the restaurant ahead of time for more information. Ask your server about daily specials, before ordering your meal. Sometimes choices might include a dish that you were not thinking of ordering, but a great value price might get you to change your mind, while saving you money.
3. Fast Food
Even the cost of a simple, quick fast food meal can get expensive. If you are ordering your meal for “take-out”, you can save more money by bringing your own beverage from home. If you are dining in the restaurant and really want that extra beverage try finding a restaurant that offers free refills. Another way to save money is to avoid purchasing “super-sized” food items. Many restaurants offer low priced menu choices, giving you more ways to save money.
Be on the lookout for coupons offering buy one get one free meals. You might even find coupons offering a free cup of coffee with a particular purchase, or if you are lucky you might find a coupon offering a free cup of coffee without making a purchase. These coupons can be found in your local newspaper, chain or local restaurant websites, or even in your mailbox. These coupons can help with your eating out budget.
5. Keep Within Your Budget When Ordering
Remember that you do not need to order an appetizer and dessert each time you dine out. Treat yourself to these choices once in awhile. These items can quickly increase your eating out costs.
Most buffet restaurants offer standard items, such as chicken, salad, soup, etc. each day along with food choices that change day to day. It is a good idea to call ahead to find out what is being offered on the day you want to eat out. For the most part, all you can eat buffets are usually well priced and some restaurants even include beverages and dessert at no extra cost.
7. All Day Breakfast Restaurants
Some restaurants that serve breakfast all day might be having specially priced breakfast meals. Even though these are breakfast meals, they are a good option for an out of the ordinary lunch or dinner. These special meals are usually well priced allowing you to save money.
8. Specials for Children
If dining out with children, find out which restaurants offer low-cost menu choices for children. If you are lucky, you might be able to locate a restaurant that offers children a free meal, but an adult meal usually must be purchased to receive the child’s meal for free. You need to call the restaurant ahead of time for more information.
9. Specials for Seniors
Senior citizens can look for restaurants that offer smaller senior portions at a discounted price. Some fast food restaurants offer “senior coffee” at a lower price. The “senior coffee” is usually not listed on the menu, so you need to ask if this choice is available when placing your order.
10. Bring Your Leftovers Home
Finally, do not forget to ask your server if the restaurant allows you to take home your leftovers. You can enjoy them for a light meal or snack the next day.