How to Save Money Eating Out

Tips to Save Money Eating Out

According to Americans spent an average of $2,736 eating out in 2009.  If you live in Austin, TX  you spent an average of $6,301 eating out.  Many Americans enjoy an active lifestyle which makes having meals at home a challenge.  Here are some tips to save money when you are eating out.

Save Money by Ordering from the Lunch Menu

The next time you eat out try eating an early dinner, before 4 PM for most restaurants, and order from the lunch menu.   Prices are typically 20%-25% less expensive on the lunch menu and you don't really need to eat a dinner sized portion do you?  Olive Garden offers items from their Dinner Menu all day Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays however,  according to Olive Garden's website, it is their policy to offer the lunch menu to anyone that asks for it.  Chicken Alfredo is $10.75 on lunch menu and $14.25 on dinner menu.  Savings for 2 Adults: $7

Save Money by Having Water Instead of a Drink

This is a tough one because I enjoy having a glass of wine with my meal as much as anyone.  I usually have an iced tea instead of ordering a glass of wine or a beer but you can save even more by having a nice refreshing glass of water with your meal. According to Technomic, alcohol accounted for 16% of sales at the top 50 Casual Restaurant Chains and generated some $6.3 Billion in sales.   I can believe that, have you seen the prices restaurants are charging for alcohol?   At Red Lobster  a glass of wine is $6.50 for glass of wine and up to $33 for a bottle.  Savings for 2 Adults: $13

Save Money by Skipping Dessert

Why not skip dessert entirely and go for a long walk or ride your bike?  Ok I am getting a little carried away but you get my point.  Another money saving option is to order one dessert and split it.  We do this all the time and it is fun sharing with your loved ones. Why not pick up an ice cream cake at Baskin Robbins for $10 and take it home and watch a movie with the kids?  Red Lobster offers New York Cheescake for $6.50 a slice.  Savings for 2 Adults:  $6.50-$13

Save Money by Signing up for Email List

T.G.I. Friday's emailed it's Give Me More Stripes Club members a coupon for buy one, get one free entrée offer with the purchase of two beverages. Romano's Macaroni Grill recently sent subscriber's a coupon for $5 off any purchase.  Red Lobster's Fresh Catch Club members get a special coupon (usually a free appetizer or dessert) upon signup, and another gift on your birthday.


How do you save money while dining out?

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