Friday, February 27, 2009

Dining out for less

One thing I love to do is eat out! This is one area where we "splurge". However, there is many ways you can dine out for less.
  1. Order water with your meal. Soda's generally cost $2.50. That really adds up on your bill.
  2. Take advantage of the free bread that many resaurants offer, and then order an appetizer for your meal.
  3. Split your meal between 2 people. You can often order another side to go along with it too, for alot less than the cost of a 2nd meal.
  4. Take advantage of restaurants that have kids eat free deals.
  5. Many restaurants offer a free meal for your birthday, be sure to sign up for all of those you can!
  6. Use, they offer $25 gift certificates for only $10. And be sure to sign up for their newsletter as well, you can also get %'s off your meals.
  7. Use coupons! Coupons aren't just for groceries, many restaurants offer coupons.
  8. For fast food restaurants, the value meals aren't always the best value. Many fast food restaurants offer "value menus" with most items costing around $1 each.
  9. Visit restaurants during the lunch hours, the lunch menu costs less than the dinner menu.
  10. Many restaurants offer a to go menu. By getting your meal to go, you don't have to pay for a drink or the tip.

I know different things work for different people, here are the things that works for our family.

  1. First & foremost, I believe in leaving a good tip! With a family of 6, we often leave a mess. :)
  2. When we do go out to eat, it is usually for a date night. We save money by 1, it only being my husband & I eating out & 2, we use coupons.
  3. When our whole family eats out, we have a pizza party in the van at Little Ceaser's. You can get 2 large pizzas, an order of breadsticks & a 2-liter bottle of soda for around $15. That is alot of food & feeds our entire family! For families not as big as ours, they also have 1 large pizza, breadsticks & soda for $9. We just bring plates, cups, & napkins with us.
  4. We take our kids on "date nights". Our kids are signed up for many kids clubs at restaurants, where they get a free meal for their birthday. Instead of taking our entire family, we just take one child out. This saves us money & gives us some one on one time with each of our kids.
  5. At fast food restaurants, for our 4 kids, we order 2 large sized value meals, it is more than enough food for them to share.

Got a tip to share? Leave it in the comments or email me directly.

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