Eating out can drain a lot of dough. It’s ok to commit a big splurge once in a great while, but you can eat out more frequently if you adjust your reasons for eating out, adjust your appetite when eating out, and add just the right menu items to your plate.
|Go out for atmosphere.|
- Go out for taste. You can eat a lot cheaper by buying less and slowing down to savor the taste of each bite. This is in contrast to figuring you should “get your money’s worth” by stuffing your stomach.
- Drink water. Restaurants usually have a high markup on beverages, which, when you think about it, are mostly just various calorie-laden flavors of water.
- Split meals. Some restaurants serve such huge portions that two – sometimes, even three – people could dine satisfyingly on just one order.
- Go out for atmosphere. Instead of getting all of your dining-out fulfillment from the menu, find a restaurant that also has an atmosphere that allows you to savor time with your dining companions – and the knowledge that you don’t have to cook or do dishes.
- Eat less. You won’t pay so much. And your gut won’t groan so much. And if you still need more food afterward, eat a guilt-free snack at home. Remember: Just because you may be hungry or aren’t “full” doesn’t mean you need more food.
- Take out cheap fast food. For real budget eating out, get just a dollar special and water at a fast food restaurant. Just enjoy the break that doesn’t break your budget. And you don’t have to leave a tip at these fast food joints.