How much does the average restaurant meal cost a family of four? Somewhere around 50 or 60 dollars? Maybe a little more if you get appetizers and a few margaritas for mom? Sure, a break from cooking and doing dishes is totally worth it, but if you dine out often (at least once a week), those breaks can add up.
The good news is, it’s pretty easy to save money while dining out. What’s that mean? It means you can dine out more often … or save that money to hire a maid to do your cooking and dishes for you!
- Don’t Forget the Coupon! – Oh sure, when you go grocery shopping, you’ve got binders full of coupons, but where are those money-saving scraps of paper when you’re dining out? Find them and use them to score free appetizers, half price desserts, and good deals on drinks.
- Just Say No to Drinks – This one takes a lot of willpower, but you can shave 10 to 20 percent off your dinner tab simply by order water (free!) instead of regular drinks. If you usually order alcoholic beverages, try cutting those first (they’re the costliest) and opt instead for soda or iced tea, which usually include free refills.
- Just Say No to Appetizers – While we’re in the habit of saying no to things, skip the appetizer, too. Yeah, you’re hungry and those jalapeño poppers look amazing, but they’re not $8 amazing and they’re not worth ruining your appetite over.
- Skip the Kids Meal – Yeah, kids meals usually only cost about $5, but that’s five bucks you don’t need to spend. Instead, give your tot a taste of what mom and dad is having by sharing a little bit of your entrees. Those meals are gigantic enough, so you won’t really miss a few bites, will you?
- Score a Free Kids Meal – Some restaurants offer “kids eat free” discounts, which means you can ignore tip #4 and have your dinner all to yourself. To find one of these deals near you, check out My Kids Eat Free – a website that lists more than 6,500 family-friendly restaurants nationwide.