Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Friday, October 05, 2012 2:45 PM
Even when you're on the tightest budget it's nice to eat out now and again. These smart tips can guarantee you a fabulous meal without breaking the bank!
Choose lunch over dinner. You can save a bundle on a meal out by choosing to dine at lunch time instead of dinner. Make sure you ask about the daily special, even if you can't see one, as it can often be a good deal. If you want to save even more, go out for breakfast!
Check for discounts. Make popular eating places offer discount codes or coupons. Jump online before you head out to check for any special offers in the area you are visiting, or if you have a particular eating place in mind, check their website to see if you can make any savings. Many restaurants offer special family days, or 'kids eat for free' days and so on. Call ahead and take advantage of them.
Do your homework. Avoid any nasty budget-blowing surprises by choosing an affordable restaurant in advance. Many establishments offer examples of their menu online so you can check their prices and do the maths before you leave home.
No need to go the whole hog. Restaurants typically serve far too much. For a delicious and affordable meal for one, order side items such as a salad and an appetiser, rather than a main meal. If you go with a friend or partner, instead of ordering two dinners, try ordering just one main dish and an entree and split it. You'll still feel full, there'll be less waste and you can save up to 50%!
Check out the newbies. It often pays to visit the newest establishment in town. Restaurants and cafes which have just opened are usually keen to attract new customers with discounts and specials. Keep an eye out for promotions in your mailbox or local newspaper.
Discount drinks. When you eat out, do you choose a restaurant for their excellent food – or the drink? Instead of paying through the nose for soft drink or alcohol, stick to water and make some huge savings.
Better value dessert. We all love a sweet treat but dessert is often the biggest rip-off on the restaurant menu. Instead of forking out top dollar for a couple of scoops of ice cream, pick up a tub on the way home and enjoy as much as you like for a fraction of the price!
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