Tips For Cutting The Bill While Eating Out

Just because we might not have hefty bank accounts doesn’t mean Americans are staying away from eating out at restaurants. So if you’ve got the urge to splurge on a meal away from home, take these money-saving tips into account and your dining out experience won’t have to hurt your wallet quite so much.

ShopSmart Mag — one of our delightful siblings in the Consumer Reports family — cites National Restaurant Association figures which say we spend $1.7 billion on an average day eating out.

They offer a few tips to cut costs while still enjoying a meal you didn’t have to cook:

Order tap water: Sparkly stuff costs money! Tap water is usually (and should be) free.

Drink from the well: Ordering a well cocktail instead of a name brand liquor will save you some bucks. If you have no shame, do what we do and just say, “whatever’s cheapest!” when asked which particular vodka/rum/whisky you’d like in your drink.

Get what is popular in that region: Clam chowder in boston, deep-dish pizza in Chicago, and so on. Regional favorites have to compete with other restaurants in their area so prices are likely to be lower.

Don’t ask the waitstaff’s opinion: They’ll probably tell you their favorite dish is the most expensive so they can get a bigger tip.

For more ideas, check out the entire post at ShopSmartmag.org.

Tips for reducing your restaurant bill [ShopSmart Mag]