It is an ironic thing that most of my close friends spend huge amounts of money eating out. It is not that they are not good cooks, they are just lazy.
You know who you are.
This blog entry started when a friend signed up to follow my blog and shortly therefore emailed me saying that while she enjoyed my writing she didn’t understand what the big deal was because, and I quote, “We don’t spend any money at all on food.”
I replied that she needed to factor in all the money she spent in restaurants and things went dark there for a few days until she got back to me and shamefully confessed that when she factored in all the money she and her spouse spent eating out, her food bill rivaled her rent. She was aghast and embarrassed. I was not surprised. When we hang out, we eat out which is fine because for me, it’s a treat, a special event. It’s not every day like it is for her.
So, this blog is for those of you who eat out. A lot. There are still ways you can trim your restaurant bills even if you choose to eat out on a regular basis:
- Don’t buy drinks, alcoholic or otherwise. Drink water and save the booze and sodas for home.
- Same for desert, unless it is your birthday, you can eat ice cream at home.
- Split an appetizer.
- Start with soup. It will fill you up and then you can order a small plate entre if they have it or order a la carte.
- Never under estimate the value of a special. Always ask about the specials.
- If you do order drinks, be sure and find out if refills are free. If they aren’t free, you could be spend $20 on that beverage alone.
- Salads can be really pricy considering that they are mostly greens with some dressing. Skip them if possible.
- Check out pricing for seniors and children. Don’t be shy, it’s your money after all. One of my favorite restaurant bargains is at IHop where seniors and kids can eat very reasonably.
- Speaking of restaurants like IHop, don’t turn your nose up at restaurant chains that serve breakfast all day. Breakfast for dinner can be surprisingly affordable.
- Always ask for a doggy bag. Most restaurants serve entrees that contain way too much food. Every time I eat out I consider it two meals for the price of one because I take leftovers home.