How to Save Money Eating Out

by Andy Hough on October 3, 2014

Eating out is a convenience, but it is also expensive. When you have a family to feed, you need to look for the best deals to save the most money and make sure everyone has enough to eat.  For busy families, eating out is sometimes a better option just to save time and get everyone in bed at the right time. Below are some tips for saving money while eating out. You may feel some of these tips are common sense but you’d be surprised how much people spend on things they don’t need.

Use Groupon

Groupon has local deals with a variety of restaurants in each area. These deals are generally at least 50-percent less than what you would pay without the discount. You can find deals on everything from pizza shops to dessert places. Groupon sends daily emails to let you know what is available that day.

Look for Restaurant Specific Coupons

Some local restaurants, and even fast food locations, send coupons regularly in junk mail and Sunday newspapers. Some deals are also posted on their individual websites and/or social media. In order to take advantage of these discounts and meal packages, be sure to look through the advertisements as they come in.

Share an Entrée

Consider going to a restaurant that offers large portions. Pasta houses and pizza parlors are the ideal option for this. Most have salads that come with the meals, so that is ideal. Order an extra salad and split the entrée. This saves nearly 50-percent. Also consider water instead of a regular beverage, since those beverages are highly overpriced as it is.

Go out on Kids Eat Free Nights Only

Many franchises and even some local establishments offer kids eat free night. You’ll receive their meals free for ordering adult entrees. This is the way that most families on a budget are able to afford going out to eat. It’s a special treat. The restaurants usually offer these nights on their slowest of the week to help get business through the door. It isn’t really a financial loss to them since the cost of the adult meals often covers the small portions that children consume.

Saving money on eating out helps you to take a break from the kitchen and enjoy some family time. Using discounts does lower the restaurant’s profit but keep in mind, they only offer coupons that they can afford to offer. They still make a profit. Most restaurants have a food cost of 30-percent or less as 20-percent is average. Plan your meals around the nights when you can afford to eat out and take advantage of the discounts available whenever possible.

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