How to save money eating out

How to save money eating out

If you’re on a tight budget, one of the first things to usually get cut from your spending is eating out. However, if you are a big fan of dining out, this can be a hard habit to sustain in the long term. With a little creativity, you can make dining out far more affordable.

How to save money eating out

Bring home leftovers

Stop eating when you are full and make sure to bring home any leftovers. If you can get more mileage out of your restaurant meal, by having enough food for one meal the next day, you are reducing the overall cost.


Buffets can be pricey, but if you pick your time and day you can often get good value for money. Go hungry and fill up your plates.

Occasion dining

If you are going out, why not pick a day when you’ll be entitled to special treatment (i.e. free things)? Many restaurants offer free meals or other rewards to the birthday girl or boy. Even if a restaurant doesn’t  advertise a free birthday item, ask anyways. They are often happy to oblige.

Your occasion celebrating doesn’t have to end with birthdays. See what you can get for an anniversary to.

Get it to go

Many restaurants will let you order food and pick it up to go. That way you save on the tip for dining in the restaurant.


There’s no reason you can’t split a dish or two with your dining partner. That’s generally a cheaper way to go.

Do an entrée only

Save your dining dollars for the main event. Skip the appetizers, cocktails, coffee/tea and desserts.

Daily deals and dining

Find out what restaurants are offering discounts or packages through your local daily deal website, like Groupon  or Living Social.

Read your receipt

Often if you read all the way to the bottom of your receipt, there may be a coupon or other incentive to get you to return on your next visit. Make sure you check it out before you throw it out.