While the most obvious way to save money on eating out is to not eat out, everyone deserves to have a high-quality meal cooked by someone else every once in a while. The next time you want to plan dinner at a nice restaurant with your partner, try these tips to save money but still get some tasty treats.
- Use Discounted Gift Cards
The internet is a wonderful place. In this case, it is because there are websites that sell unwanted gift cards at a discounted price. You can just search for the restaurants you’re interested in, and they’ll generate any available cards. Depending on the card and what it is selling for, you can save anywhere between 5% and 20% when you eat out at a restaurant.
- Hit Up Happy Hour
Restaurants will usually offer smaller portions during happy hours in the earlier portion of the night. By nabbing these deals, you’ll get majorly discounted drinks while getting smaller portions that won’t go to waste.
- Skip The Extras
Appetizers, soda, and desserts are some of the most tempting add-ons of a restaurant’s menu, but they’re also often the parts of a meal you can easily recreate at home. Although 5% of coffee consumption occurs during non-breakfast meals, it’s smarter to always opt for free water rather than coffee, soda, or tea. If the restaurant offers free, bottomless chips or bread before your main meal comes, enjoy a generous helping of that instead of fancy appetizers. Grab a pint of ice cream on your way home and your night will be set.
- Split A Dish
Most of the time, restaurant portions are way larger than what you will actually be able to eat. Consider splitting a large dish with your partner and ordering an extra side if you really think you’ll need something else to fill your stomach. If you’d rather each eat something different, be sure to eat only what makes you full, bring the rest home for tomorrow’s dinner, and swap meals.
- Pay With A Cash-Back Card
You can receive between 1% and 5% cash back on your restaurant bill depending on your credit card. Before you go out, look into your card’s benefits and be sure to use one with a good restaurant point system for the charge. Pay off the meal as soon as possible and then use the cash back for your next night out.
The restaurant industry is estimated to create about 1.6 million jobs by 2027, and you shouldn’t have to miss out on the new and delicious restaurants just because you’re trying to pinch pennies. Use these tips and you’ll get a taste of cuisine luxury while keeping your budget in check.