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]