I love going out to eat!

Going out to eat is a great way to socialize while enjoying a delicious meal without having to do any of the work.  Follow these tips to eat out while sticking to your budget:

Skip the appetizer. If you really are craving a certain entree on the menu of your favorite restaurant, splurge on that and skip the appetizer.  Average savings $8..

Say bye to booze.  I know it’s so hard to go out to eat and not order a beer or cocktail to enjoy while you’re waiting for your meal.  Sacrifice this novelty every other time you go out to eat so you’re still able to enjoy a drink with dinner sometimes.  Average savings $10.

An additional compromise: If you don’t want to give up your dinner cocktail, stick to ordering one drink and try to make it one of the specials or a domestic beer.

Order a salad. I know it sounds boring, but a lot of restaurants have delicious, giant salads at a great price.  Average savings $4.

Click chart to make larger

Eat Out Chart 2

Do lunchEnjoying a lunch at your favorite restaurant instead of dinner can save you money without sacrificing portion size.  Most restaurants have similar portion sizes no matter what time of day it is but serves it for less! Average savings $4.

Skip dessert. Restaurant desserts pack in about 1,000 calories per plate!  It also adds $5-$6 onto your bill…plus tax/tip.  Skip dessert and save 1,000 calories for your body and $5-$6 for your wallet.

Split with a friend.  Not only is splitting a meal with a friend more economical, but it’s easier on your waistline too!  Most restaurant portions are AT LEAST double the size of the suggested portion, so splitting with a friend will leave you feeling less guilty about your diet and your budget.

Costa Rica 010

There is no excuse for not splitting this HUGE Costa Rican style casada

Order an appetizer as your meal.  Most appetizers are a good size portion with only half the price of an entree.  Fill up and save!  Average savings $8.

DON’T skimp on the tip.  I know we’re all trying to save money here, but this is not the place to do it!  Who knows?! Maybe they’re trying to save up/pay off debt too 😉 

We want to hear how you save money when you go out with friends.  Leave a comment below to let us know!

Don’t forget to share this on Facebook, twitter, and pinterest if this helped you or can help a friend!

Sam

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