With women in the working world now, it’s more convenient than ever to take the family out to eat when dinner time rolls around. However, the cost of a “Night Out” can strain a family’s budget, even in a two-income family!
Eat dinner out and everyone can choose what they want from the menu. There are no groceries to shop for, dishes to wash, and no kitchen clean up afterward. The only problem with eating out is… the bill. Depending on the restaurant you visit and your family’s appetites, the bill could easily top fifty dollars or more to feed your hungry brood! But, don’t be alarmed. You can still afford to take your family out to eat at a restaurant as long as you’re a frugal consumer. A “frugal” consumer follows these tips in order to make their family’s eating out experiences affordable, and fun, at the same time!
Tip 1 – Use Coupons, Coupons, Coupons,
Money-saving coupons for a variety of restaurants can be found in many places. Check your local newspaper, in the coupon section of your phone book, inside fliers that come in the mail, and at the restaurants your family visits. Of course, the best coupons you can use to save big on are ones that offer free food. The most popular of these is the “Buy One, Get One Free” type. If you buy a sandwich, for example, you can get a second sandwich of equal value for free. And who can’t use free food? These coupons also offer free entrees, desserts, et cetera.
Getting coupons online is also these days. You can download these printable coupons from websites like dealexpert.net that offer you some of the best deals that are there in the market. This way not only you save money but all the hassle of going through newspaper and magazines as well.
You should also take a look at “Entertainment Coupon Books”. These books are usually sold in the fall of the year. They cost around twenty dollars, which may sound a little steep. But the coupons inside can save you a couple hundred dollars or more! If you’re not sure whether “Entertainment Coupon Books” are sold in your area of the country, check with your local
chamber of commerce office.
Tip 2 – Eat Dinner At an Earlier Time
Most sit-down restaurants include “Lunch Specials” on their menus. These specials are always a good value for your money. The only requirement is that you must eat your meal at certain times. Times vary, but they can extend up to four o’clock in the afternoon. The difference in price between a lunch special and an evening meal is always several dollars! So, in order to take advantage of this money-saver, get the family together and eat dinner out earlier before the prices go up!
Tip 3 – Share an Order and Save Money…and Calories!
How many times have you ordered a spaghetti dinner and received a platter full of pasta that was piled high? Restaurants are usually generous in their portions. So generous, in fact, that you have to let your belt out a notch just to finish your meal! And, if you’re watching your waistline, a portion of food can often be too big and contain too many calories!
You can save money and stay on your diet at the same time if you just order one meal and share it with a member of your family. Many restaurants will give you one meal with an extra plate and silverware if you just ask! Not only will this tip save you money, but it will also save your waistline!
Tip 4 – Find Restaurants That Serve Buffets
A buffet-style meal is the best of all worlds come together. You can eat a variety of foods for one price. And, that one price is usually pretty reasonable. No one goes away hungry from a buffet table! You can choose from hot foods, cold foods, appetizers, salads, and desserts.
Another money-saver with a buffet-style meal is that, since you and your family serve yourselves, there’s no need to tip a waitress or a waiter. Also, sometimes, kids are allowed to eat for free!