Eating Cheap at Restaurants

Five Tips On Saving At Restaurants

Times are difficult with the way our economy is now, and one of the top items that are cut out of the budget has been eating out.   If one took a moment to find some fantastic deals, then eating out can even be cheaper than cooking at home.  Plus, we do need a treat from time to time to reward ourselves with a job well done.  Here  are a few tips that you can try and  even eat for free.

Start With The Menu

Why not order off of the appetizer side?   Some of these dishes are large, filling, and cheap.  There are slider burgers, sampler plates where you may have three items,  and a wide variety of items for you to choose.  Some restaurants will allow you to share an entrée with a friend.    Try ordering a half order of an item.  This is an excellent tip if you are dieting.  Many restaurants are very accommodating to one’s special diet needs.

Specials and Discounts

One thing is the economy but restaurants are offering outstanding deals to tempt you into their restaurant.  Two can dine on steak meals with two sides or a three course meall for under $20.  The catch-you have to order only what they offer.  Some places provide all you can eat nights.  This is great for those that have a family that can eat a lot.  You will make sure that you get your money’s worth.  This does not work for those that only eat a little bit.  Do not forget those coupons that you get in the mail. Some places offer an Early Bird Special where you can get a particular dinner for half of the price.

Kids Eat Free

This tip could have been put with the previous, but these special deals certainly are right for those that want a date night without the kids.  Kids eat Free typically must include the purchase of an adult meal. This works well for those nights that we are just too busy to cook.

All You Can Eat Buffets

I have a secret about some all you can eat buffets.  Normally the lunch buffet is cheaper but you can find some great deals during the week.  All you can eat buffets work well for all members of your family as they will have something that each one will love to eat.  When eating with children, the price is very low making it cheap on the pocketbook.  Just do not let them eat too much of the desert bar and ice cream. 

The Final Tip

The last tip are two ideas are not commonly used, but has been done and proven to have worked.  There are websites that you can join  that will give you coupons at a discount price.  Perhaps you may be able to buy a gift card worth $50 for $25.  When this first was started, you would see a program on TV where you could order the coupons, but now they are available on a few different sites.  Another idea is being a mystery shopper.  Yes, there are some that are legitimate.  The first recommendation on mystery shopping is you never pay the company to give you work.  When you do find a company that does mystery shopping for restaurants, you go in and accept the work.  You must commit yourself to complete the task by their deadline, so you must make sure that you can go out to eat when they are asking.  Sometimes they may have a date that you can select and then there are times where you must go visit the restaurant at a specific day and time.  You must pay for the meal upfront and then there will be a report that you fill out and submit with your receipt.  Most companies reimburse your meal within a month.  Certain companies will only reimburse you for a certain amount.

So even though your budget is nil to none, you can still treat your self to a nice meal from time to time without breaking the piggy bank.

1. 12 Ways to Dine Out on the Cheap | Personal Finance | US News
2. TLC Diet
3. The 16 Hottest Los Angeles Cheap Eats Restaurants, Spring 2016

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