If plan well and don’t mind getting creative, you’ll find that there are various ways to stop wasting money on food
Inflation is rising in the USA, and so is the cost of eating out. The price of dining recently increased more than it has since 1982 – making it difficult to find a deal at your favorite restaurants. An obvious way to save money on eating out is to prepare food at home, but what’s the fun in that? Don’t bid farewell to your favorite meals; you can still enjoy them without breaking the bank!
Here are six ways to save money on eating out:
Look for Discounts
Before going to a restaurant, you should always look for a discount code. Many establishments (notably chain restaurants) have special promotions like buy one get one free or 50 percent off a menu item. Various websites enable you to save money eating out: Retailmenot, Groupon, and Slickdeals. The best practice is to look for the most recent discounts as older codes may have already expired. You can also look for bargains in local newspapers and magazines.
Bring Drinks with You
BYOB doesn’t just apply to parties – you can bring alcoholic beverages to restaurants, too! Everyone knows that restaurants charge a steep premium on alcoholic drinks. You can save a significant amount of money when purchasing your booze at the grocery store. Simply Google ‘BYOB restaurants’ and you should find a complete list of local restaurants that allow you to bring a drink. However, it’s essential to remember that some restaurants might charge a fee for BYOB (often called a ‘corkage fee’). This fee might outweigh the cost of purchasing alcohol at the restaurant, so always confirm if there’s a fee beforehand.
Make a Reservation Online
If you’re looking for ways to stop wasting money on food, you should consider booking online. Thousands of restaurants use applications like OpenTable, Resy, and Tock. You can use these platforms on your mobile application when you hunt for a mouthwatering meal. Best of all, many of these reservation applications offer special promotions, like a free drink or a percentage off your bill. Moreover, making a reservation online is convenient – you know exactly what’s available, and no more waiting on hold!
Eat with a Friend
Do you ever go out to eat only to leave home with a giant box of leftovers? If so, you’re probably ordering more than you need (especially if you let the leftovers go to waste). One of the best ways to stop wasting money on food is to share your meal with a friend. Of course, you’ll want to bring along a friend who enjoys the same food as you. And depending on your appetite, you may still leave the restaurant with a full stomach! The only thing you should watch out for is a plate share fee – a fee restaurants charges when two or more people share a meal.
Sign Up for a Dining Club
Dining clubs (otherwise known as ‘eating clubs’) aren’t a thing of the past – they’re very much well and alive! These convenient clubs let you save money at thousands of restaurants for a relatively inexpensive monthly fee. The monthly expense (typically $10 to $100 per month) is worth it, considering you can save up to 50% percent at select restaurants. Best of all, you typically don’t have to commit to a long membership; most clubs let you pay by the month.
Ditch the Main Meal
If you’re wondering how to spend less money on food, our last method might surprise you: ditch the main meal. Sometimes it’s cheaper to order appetizers and sides and create your own meal. In fact, you can even get complimentary appetizers, such as chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants and breadsticks at Italian joints. Try this technique while splitting the food with a friend, and you can save a significant amount each time you go out to eat.