Monday, March 9, 2009

Money Saving Tips For Dining Out

Frugal Tip Of The Day - Money Saving Tips For Dining Out

Many people enjoy going out to dinner but if you are on a tight budget this may seem like an impossible thing to do often or at all. I know many people are focusing on ways to save money in this tough economy but that doesn't mean you need to completely give up on dining out. If dining out is something you enjoy doing with family and friends then there are a few money saving strategies you can do to make it more affordable.

Limit the amount of times you eat out each month. Cutting back in other areas of your budget can allow for a meal or two out each month and you and your family will truly look forward to those times.

Here is a list of money saving dining out tips:

* Order water in place of soda, tea or alcoholic beverages. An average soda at a restaurant can cost $2.00 or more! An average family of 4 would save at least $8 on their bill ! So go ahead and order a glass of's healthier for you too!

* Look for restaurants that offer early bird specials or coupons. Head out early and take advantage of these savings and enjoy smaller crowds!

* Buy an Entertainment Book of coupons online and save!. At an average cost of $15, depending on where you live, you can save hundreds if not more on dining out and entertainment. They often offer buy one get one 1/2 off dinners at many local and national restaurant chains. This is a fantastic way to keep your dining out bills lower. Just follow the link at the top left hand corner of my blog and you can find out where to purchase your Entertainment Book full of money saving coupons!

* Look for restaurants that offer free or reduced children's meals. Many restaurants offer birthday clubs. Sign your children up for free and they will receive a free meal coupon annually! What a great way to celebrate their birthday and have a budget meal out as a family. Two great sources are and Check them out and start saving!

* Share a large meal. Portion sizes have increased and that is especially true at restaurants. Share a meal with someone else at the table and save some money. This is especially true if you have young children! Have two children share a meal or share your meal with your children. This can add up to a good savings on your bill.

* Take leftovers home! This won't save on your bill but you will have your lunch or dinner for the next day and this will save a little on your groceries.

* Skip the costly appetizers. More often than not you will receive a basket of bread or rolls along with a salad with your meal. Why pay for an appetizer when you will have more than enough to eat with your meal!

* Order from the special's board. Make sure to check them out as you walk into the restaurant and if you missed them just ask the waitress. Ordering the special of the day can save a few dollars!

There are several ways to save and still enjoy a meal out. For so many of us it's a nice day out with family. Finding ways to save can mean more treats like this each month. One last money saving tip related to eating out: Check your local grocery store for restaurant gift cards. Our grocery store offers a fuel perks program where for every $50 you spend (including gift cards!) you earn 10 cents off a gallon of gas. If you know you are going out to eat pick up a gift card or two while grocery shopping and earn extra savings on your fuel. Look for promotions on those fuel perks too....every so often our local store offers double fuel earnings on gift cards...good time to stock up and really save on fuel!

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