If you don’t know, the future is so uncertain to eat everything that you have today. Frugal living is very important especially if you are young and hoping for a brighter future. Therefore, if you are planning to eat out, it is very important that you plan yourself well; otherwise, you are likely to overspend. What you must know is that cheap eating does not mean eating substandard food; the fact is that you can eat super quality food at a very low cost. Alternatively, you can eat low quality food at a very high cost, Going out for launch or dinner is always an option and in fact is the preferred option for many people when it comes to meal preparation.The following tips are very important, as they can help you save a lot of money when eating out :
1. Have a comprehensive budget
Even before walking into that restaurant for lunch, breakfast, or supper, you need to state categorically how much money you intent to spend. Having a proper budget is very important tool for limiting unplanned spending. Without a proper plan, you are most likely to face impulse buying, which is economically unhealthy. Therefore, always make sure that you know how much you want to spend and advisably, make your budget as low as possible.
2. Have alternatives
Intuitively, different restaurants have different price structures for the same meals. You need to know which restaurant offers quality cheaper meals and choose it over the one that charges higher prices for the meal you want eat. Otherwise, walking into a restaurant not knowing how much you are likely to pay for the meal you are looking for can leave you stranded, especially if you have a fixed budget.
3. Check for alternative charges in the restaurant
You need to check if the restaurant has additional service charges. If yes, it is advisable that you find another restaurant that does not have such additional charges. Basically, you only want to pay for the meal not for the additional service charges.
4. Eat lunch and breakfast out
Eating out in the evening is such a wonderful feeling. However, it is costly, hence you need to consider eating out during lunch hours, when the restaurant staffs are not rushed, since you are likely to be treated with royalty and even get cheaper prices for meals. In addition, consider having your breakfast out as many restaurants charge low prices for breakfast to lure customers back.
5. Avoid eating out on holidays
Ideally, restaurants experience high turnovers during holidays and festive seasons such as valentines and Christmas. Holidays are not good days to eat out if you want to eat out cheaply. During this period, restaurants hike their prices due to increased demand.
6. Avoid wines or expensive Drinks in restaurants
Restaurants charge exorbitant prices for wine than they charge other fast foods. Therefore, instead of having wine in a restaurant, it is advisable that you buy your own wine elsewhere and not in a fast food shop.
7. Avoid mineral water
Mineral water is expensive, especially when you are thirty and need to drink plenty to quench the thirst. Therefore, you need not be ashamed of asking for a glass of cold tap water. Normally, this water is served in a jug or a glass with ice or even lemon to give it flavor. Otherwise, if you must drink mineral water, then ensure that you order one-liter bottle, as it is cheaper than buying two 250ml bottles or two 500ml bottles.
8. Avoid foods with special quotations
You are likely to find some foods marked (SQ) in the menu. SQ means special quote. Foods which are marked with “SQ’’ are likely to be seasonal and have inflated prices. Therefore, try as much as possible to avoid any fast food with such a mark.
9. Compare menu prices
Obviously, a typical menu has different prices for different combinations of foods. Therefore, ensure that you go for the cheapest combination.
10. Raise complaints
It is very important to raise an alarm immediately when you feel you are dissatisfied with the quality or quantity of the food. As sometimes, when the waiters are tired, they are likely to mix up orders and give you a wrong meal.
11. Listen carefully to the waiter
In most of the cases, waiters begin with special foods in the menu. Therefore, you need to listen and give him or her time to finish before placing your order. Otherwise, you are likely to place an expensive order without intent.
12. Choose restaurants with smaller menus
You are most likely to find fresh fast food in restaurants with compressed menus than in restaurants with bigger menus. This is because restaurants with smaller menus deal with fresh food most of the time, while restaurants with bigger menus are likely to keep other foods in the refrigerator for long until when they are ordered.
13. Follow you favorite restaurant on social media
Another way to save money on food is to follow your favorite restaurant on Facebook or twitter. Many restaurants will give special deals to their followers, so be a follower and get special deals from your favorite restaurants. Make sure you give these social media outlets a look before you head out the door. It is not difficult to save money when you are eating out. however you need to be cognizant of tricks of the restaurant trade and learn to take advantage of options that can save you money when eating out.
14. Dining mid week is another great way to save money while dining out
You can typically save 50 percent when you choose to eat mid week as many restaurants will offer specials at that time. You can also take advantage of early bird specials. Eating a late lunch instead of dinner is also a way to save money as lunch items are often much less expensive than dinner items, although the portions may be a bit smaller.
15. Share you Food
Restaurant portions are also often very large so you can save money when you are buying restaurant meal portions. Although some restaurants frown on this, sharing food while dining out is also an appropriate thing to do, and can save you money on your entrees. Other ways to save money are to take advantage of loyalty cards, and birthday clubs as well, as a way to save money on food. These are the way you can save money on various food items. Also Taking advantage of special options and deals like two for one specials is another good way to save money when you eat out.