Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't Break The Bank For a Night Out!

Going out to eat shouldn't ruin your food budget for the whole month, and it won't if you use some savvy money-saving tips. Although restaurants design their menus and promotions around getting customers to spend money, if you have a plan before heading out, you can actually score some great deals. You may even find that you can eat out twice as often because you're saving so much with these tips.

1. Enjoy a drink or two before going out to avoid ordering drinks at the restaurant. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are some of the restaurant items with the highest mark-ups. Getting water instead can save a bundle on the bill.

2. Purchase coupons online through daily deal sites or check the restaurant's website for free printable coupons. A fixed menu or buffet coupon is ideal because the meal’s cost is pre-determined.

3. Share a meal. Most appetizers are big enough for two people, and if you have an appetizer, you can probably split the entree as well.

4. Look for early bird or happy hour specials at your favorite restaurants. These give discounts just for heading out to dinner a little bit earlier in the evening. If it works with your schedule, you'll be getting more food for less money.

Just remember that going out is supposed to be fun, so it's not necessarily going to be worth it if you're focused on every penny you're spending while out. After you make a plan and pick a restaurant, kick back and enjoy your time out and a delicious meal!

*This is a guest post by Maire Hunter, she loves a good deal. She also enjoys yoga and loves her Scottish Terrier, Pete.

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