My wife and I will occasionally dine out, which I know isn’t good for saving money, but have you ever noticed that food portions are huge? I did a little research and found a great article demonstrating how portion sizes have changed over time, check it out here.
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Save Money by Sharing Meals
The good news is this opens up an opportunity for saving money! My wife and I like to split these huge portions into two meals, also known as sharing :-).
At first, we were hesitant because we were used to the large portions, but we realized that we don’t need that much food! We took the dive and cut our food down the middle. It saves us a bunch of money, and a bunch of unneeded calories!
Saving money on restaurant beverages
In addition, we now order water with lemon rather than soda which saves us about $5.00 each time we go out! That is more than a 15% savings on most of our meals. If you buy alcohol at restaurants, then saving money on beverages will be that much more substantial with a switch to water, or even to soda!
Money saving tips for fast food restaurants
Sure, this is a great method to save money at a restaurant, but what about at fast food restaurants? A good example, albeit not the healthiest, is the Volcano Box from Taco Bell. This monster comes with a Volcano Burrito, a Volcano Taco, a Regular Taco, an order of Cinnamon Twists, and a Large Drink.
If that doesn’t sound like enough food to share, then I don’t know what does! This is easily enough food for two people, yet it is sold as a meal for one person! Before I would have nailed down the whole meal, but now my wife and I split it.
It is more than enough food for us when split and it only costs $5.00 (in my market, I’ve seen it priced at $7.00 in others)! Cut the portion in half, cut the bill in half, and enjoy the savings!
Saving Money with Happy Hours!
My wife and I will attend certain bar/grills because of their happy hours which generously offer half-priced drinks and appetizers. How do we save money? We don’t buy the drinks and our meals consist of a bunch of appetizers. It’s an awesome way to enjoy the night out cheaply. Give it a shot!
10 Quick Tips to Save Money When Dining Out
- Kids eat free – use it!
- Share your meal.
- If you can’t share, ask about half-portions.
- Replace your meal with an appetizer.
- Replace Alcohol with Soda, or Replace any beverages with water and lemon.
- Carside-to-go- helps avoid drinks, up-sells (any room for dessert?) and it has a lower gratuity (typically 10%).
- Happy hours often include discounted food.
- Weekday price discounts and specials are golden.
- Restaurants often have deals like 2 for $20 where two adults eat for $20.
- Sign up for restaurant newsletters, they often provide coupons you can’t get anywhere else.