Going out for a meal with my wife is one of my favorite things to do. We turn it into a bit of a date night and dress up smart and put a little bit of effort in as it makes all the difference. We also like to save money on eating out.
The main issue is that if you do eat out more than once a month it does tend to become expensive. You don’t even have to go to expensive places for it to cost more than you were expecting.
A decent meal for two and a couple of drinks in the area I live in can end up costing you around £70-90.
So how do we keep things cheap? What cost-cutting methods do we use when going out to eat. I’m always looking for cheap places to eat out near me. My wife, however, is always looking for healthy eating out options. It does get difficult and leads to a bit of compromise (Usually on my part)
Top Ways To Save Money Eating Out
Below is a list of our top 10 favorite ways to save money eating out. We implement at least one of these methods and sometimes combine two to make it even cheaper.
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons, I can’t say it enough, If you leave the house to go and eat and you haven’t found a discount coupon then you are eating in the wrong places, my friend. Coupons can be found for nearly every popular restaurant in your city and if you are looking to save money eating out then this is the first way to save.
A website I use is www.vouchercodes.co.uk they have great offers. They have offers specifically for students which is very helpful and also a top 20 voucher category where they show you the very best offers for that week.
You can search for restaurants accepting vouchers and discounts using a postcode checker, this means you can save money but also stay close to home should you need to.
Vouchercloud is another website which sources the best discount codes and compiles them in one place just for you. They also offer great competitions and a blog whereby you can find extra discounts amongst other users.
What the hell are you talking about Lee, I’m out enjoying myself and eating good food, I want a beer god damn it! I know how you feel trust me. The first time we went out to eat with the sole purpose of saving money we had already discussed this as the easiest option to immediately make a saving.
Make sure you ask for tap water as they legally have to serve you that if you ask for it. Not only does drinking water obviously keep the costs down think of it as also keeping you healthy. Cutting out one alcoholic drink each and swapping it with tap water will save you anywhere from £6-10. Big saving just by drinking water.
When searching for a restaurant with daily deals on meals we always search for places to eat near me. We then visit the website of that particular restaurant and see if they have any meal deals. You will usually find they will have 2 for 1 offers. These will potentially be midweek deals so they can get more trade during the slower periods.
Make sure you say no to any extras and like above watch out for the expensive drinks. They have to make their money back when giving out these 2 for 1 offers.
Most restaurants these days can be found on any cashback sites so scour these before deciding where to eat. We always use Quidco which is one of the best ones out there when it comes to cashback and the number of options they have on their site.
You will find many many restaurants whereby you can get a percentage of your money back. When you also add cashback via your bank for paying with your card you can sometimes get anywhere between 10%-%15 of your money back. On a £50 meal that’s not to be sniffed at.
Decide When Full:
Sounds a bit weird but decide where you are next going for a meal when you are not hungry. When you are hungry you can easily make rash decisions and pick somewhere which won’t have any deals or is a bit more expensive than you were thinking. You were simply thinking with your stomach.
Trust me on this, the number of times I have just ordered a massive 2 for 1 deal on takeaway pizza just because I felt greedy then get left with the pizza I don’t really want the next day plus I end up paying way more than I wanted. Choose your next meal out late evening when you are full and content to make better choices.
Hear me out, I’m not talking about a takeaway I’m talking about ordering takeout from your favorite restaurants. You will find a lot of your favorite restaurants offer a takeout service whereby you can order the sort of meal you would usually get there but you just go and pick it up instead. This saves the restaurant on staff costs and keeps their tables free at busy times. This means it usually ends up being much cheaper to do this.
Happy Birthday To Me:
It’s a shame you can’t just pretend it’s your birthday every day. I dont think you would get away with it. However, check the restaurant’s website as quite a few of them offer freebies if it is your birthday. Mostly it will be a free drink or perhaps a dessert but this certainly keeps the costs down.
You Can’t Buy Loyalty:
Well, you can, If you eat out a lot and are looking to add extra savings then try booking your table through and online booking site such as Opentable. They offer freebies such as gift cards and other great loyalty rewards when you have used them a certain amount of times. The same applies when you have booked the same restaurant a certain number of times.
I know and I wholeheartedly agree, Dessert is the best thing ever, Unfortunately in a lot of restaurants, you are just getting the same thing you could get in your local supermarket but then paying a huge mark up on price. Either skip the dessert and think of the health benefits or simply pick one up on the way home for half the price. I’m thinking a beautiful cheesecake!!
I am absolutely the worst at this. I get to a restaurant and I am so hungry that I just over order. It happens every time and even though I am giving you this advice I will completely ignore it and do the very same thing next time I go out to eat.
Try eating a piece of fruit before you go out to eat. This way you are getting one of your five a day but also arriving at the restaurant not as hungry. This leads to you making more sensible choices which what and how much food you order.
Going to a restaurant should be fun at the end of the day. I dont want to suck all of the fun out of it for you. You can still implement a couple of the above ideas and save money eating out. Good luck and let me know if there are any different ways you have used to save money when eating out.