If you live in a big city like Los Angeles, there is always a new restaurant to try and money to be spent. There are 3 super secret, ok maybe not so secret, but still 3 tips to eat out for less this holiday season.
Yum, who’s hungry?
Even if you don’t eat out a lot, the temptation to let someone else cook your meal after a long day is quite appetizing for sure. Why not eat out for less?
You Against Your Budget
Want to scare yourself?
Add up how much you spent last month on eating out. Print off your most recent bank statement and highlight every eating out purchase from Starbucks to fancy dining, and everything in between and then add them all together. Yes, we could all feed a small village in Africa in just our monthly eating out expenses.
Good news is there are deals and tricks to eating out for less everywhere this holiday season. You just need to STOP…take a minute…and search. What’s one extra minute if it saves you hundreds, or even thousands a year?
Look for deals right in your wallet.
Most credit cards offer special discounts and rewards. Even if you have a “just say no to credit cards” attitude, there are times to make an exception. Points, cash back and deal offers can be a nice incentive to pull out the plastic at your next dinner. Just make sure you have the cash to pay off the balance once you get the credit card statement.
Check out Citi Table, Citi Bank’s new program offering card members exclusive dining experiences and special offers at top restaurants.
Between the deals, thank you points, and a partnership with a new free mobile pay app called Tabbed Out that lets you settle your bar and restaurant bill with a few clicks, Citi gets a high-five for saving us all some $$.
Citi cardmembers who download the TabbedOut application and make a purchase at a participating New York City or Los Angeles restaurant with their Citi credit card through January 5, 2015 will receive $20 off their first check of $25 or more at participating restaurants.
• In Los Angeles, participating restaurants include: Acabar, Hutchinson, Local Peasant, Feed Body & Soul, Jones Hollywood, The Belmont, The Churchill, Vitello’s Restaurant and Maria’s Italian Kitchen.
• In New York, participating restaurants include: Birreria, Serafina Group, Catch NYC, Claudette, Los Feliz, Beautique, Pennsylvania
Citi Table is only in Los Angeles now, but moving across the US soon.
You can make a kick-butt cocktail right at home (post meal of course- no drinking and driving).
There are so many great mixes to make a signature drink just as good as any bartender for half the price, and calories. Cocktails are an item that bars and restaurants love to serve in plenty because the profit margins are so incredibly high. What that means is that typically a beverage that might cost the restaurant $2.00 to make, they sell for $10.00, thus pocketing the $8.00 profit.
That’s not so good news for your bank account though.
If you spend $12.00 on just one drink, and you average 4 drinks a week, that’s a whopping $48.00 just on cocktails alone, or $578 a year. That doesn’t include tip and taxes. Treat your friends or boyfriend/girlfriend to drinks and your bill can skyrocket without you even noticing.
We’ve all heard of SkinnyGirl Cocktails, but I want you to meet a great alternative called Bare Organic Mixers.
Started by Natalie Susi as a hip replacement to expensive bar drinks, Bare Organic Mixers prove that anyone can make a signature cocktail. From Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo, to Lemon Drop to Margarita, all that you need is a cocktail mixer and either vodka, champagne or sparking water to add to the mix.
Fall in love with Happy hour!
I can’t talk enough about this secret savings tip. Many awesome restaurants now have a great happy hour for half the price.
No longer are the happy hour menus full of only nuts, wings and cheesy chips. Happy hour at Ruth Chris Steakhouse features gourmet items at bargain basement prices. Their Sizzle, Swizzle, Swirl menu features items like a Crab BLT with Zucchini Fries and Spicy Lobster at a fraction of the regular menu price.
When you get to the restaurant always make sure that you request the happy hour menu. Some restaurants are eager to help you save some money, while others would rather see you pay full price. It’s your money, you get to choose how you spend it.
Tell your honey to get all dressed up, but be ready before 7 PM as that is normally when happy hour ends.
[Tweet “$100 meals out are so 2013. Follow these three tips to save money eating out during the holidays.”]
Do you know what the richest people do? They save money, and they save money on things that we over spend on everyday. I don’t know about you, but I would rather be like Warren Buffet. I’m sure he likes a good meal, but I’m also sure he likes a good deal.