Eating out can be downright expensive. I’ve seen more budgets blow up on the eating out “budget” alone. You don’t need to hang your head in solace- we are all guilty of it.
$5.00 Starbucks coffee (sorry, yes Starbucks does count as eating out), $10.00 lunch out, $8.00 “I just got to have it for dinner” and before you know it, you’ve spent a lot of money…in just one day!
While you can’t control the customer service or whether the chef came in that day and decided to make everything extra special or super bland, you do have some control over how your money is spent.
Here are 3 Secret Tips To Save Money While Eating out- Yum!
Secret Tip #1- For Gosh Sakes, Check Your Bill
Now I know this is going to sound like a no-brainer, but how many times do you pay your bill blindly and don’t even check to see if it is correct?
My hubby and I were just eating out at a nice restaurant in Ventura. We ordered everything, in fact we actually violated secret tip #2- shame on us- and I happened to glance at the bill before we paid and noticed we were charged more for our beverages.
Yes, it was only $1.50 more, but remember, every dollar counts. It is your money, so there is no need to spend more than you what you ordered. Most servers feel bad that they made the mistake and it is no biggie, but please do change our bill.
Secret Tip #2- Get Your Happy On
Just the mention of “get your happy on” makes me want to dance aimlessly to, “Because I’m Happy,” by Pharrell Williams…you too, right!
Where were we, oh yes, let us get happy. [Tweet “Shhh…Happy hour is one of the best secret eating out tips to save money. #themoneygameplan”]
You can save TONS of money with this one tip and it really does not require anything additional from you other than maybe shifting when you go out to eat.
So many high caliber restaurants are offering amazing happy hour menus that extend until 7PM. Parker’s Lighthouse is one of my favorite restaurants in Long Beach, CA that has an extensive happy hour menu. Just look at that view!
Probably the biggest happy hour secret- are you ready- most restaurants offer happy hour all night long on Monday nights! Can I get a Lionel Richie high-five? Monday is typically the slowest night and restaurants are hoping the happy hour will draw crowds.
Secret Tip #3- Get Friendly with the Interweb
The Interweb, as my hubby calls it, or better known to us as the web can be your biggest friend in saving a ton on your eating out budget.
It does not take more than a few seconds to type into Google the restaurant name you are going to, or the ones you are deciding between. Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com and Amazon Local all have great coupons, but don’t stop there. Sometimes an obscure site will have deals as well.
If you don’t have an Open Table account online, sign up for one now as well. Once you get 2,000 points (many restaurants offer 1,000 points so it is easy to get there after two eating out sessions) you can get a $20 dining check that you can use at any Open Table restaurant. Score!