I could still remember the joy when I dine out. I have always like the experience of eating out, being served by someone, without needing to do wash-ups and best of all just sit down relax. My home cook food is not bad at all. In my grandparents’ era, they could not afford to eat out. Even people from that era rarely ate out. Most housewives cook meals at home and the family would often eat the same type of food. Only during special occasions, people would go out and eat and this only happens once in a blue moon. It is always exciting times for both children and grown-ups. However time has changed, eating out is a common entity. People like to venture outside to explore gourmet food that you can’t possibly find at home unless you do have an all-rounded chef at home. Eating out becomes so expensive, we may have to revert to the traditional ways of eating at home.
Foodie are people who seek for quality food but at the same time budget is what most people concern are. There is still chances of eating out because everyone wish to treat themselves People enjoy eating out so why bother? There are still a lot of other ways to save money while dining out besides reading the menu while checking the prices. I do that most of the time. Like a scanner, I checked through the entire menu to see the overall prices then look at the prices of the food that I would like to order. It is definitely hard to satisfy high maintenance people when cheap food equals to not so delicious food. However we can still afford yummy food without needing to fork out a huge amount of money.
Firstly, be selective. When eating out, do not rush just because you are hungry. You would not like it when the restaurant owner laugh behind your back for paying the unworthy food with the unreasonable price. When you could not afford the price, just skip the restaurant. You may want to save some money before going into high class restaurants. Good news for big eaters because nowadays there are many restaurants that offer all you eat meal from BBQ meat, sushi, and buffet which is just right. For smaller eaters, go for platters for sharing because everyone get to try different dishes and at the same time not stuffing yourselves.
Secondly, research is imperative when it comes to dine in. Just like doing your homework, you have to browse through restaurants websites or their advertisement to see if any deals are on. Some restaurants offer discount in certain periods. Even if they don’t, there is always valuable price for high quality food. Many may think that paying more than what you have always paid is a rip off but they have to consider the food provided whether they are seafood or food that is well-presented than what you have always eaten. Call the restaurant up to check whether they are offering any fresh sashimi, crabs or any other special dishes that you could not afford normally. Compare the prices of cooking it at home, compare the market price and best of all you have to know the restaurant style of cooking whether it suits your taste buds. No matter how cheap or great quality the food is, if the chef is not good in handling the source, you might as well go for another restaurant.
Nowadays a lot of Asian restaurants are offering smaller portions for a cheaper price. Some may think that ordering a big bowl is often a bargain but if you are a small eater, these meals are the best. I have noticed that many restaurants do give privilege for the senior and children. There are days that senior gets half price or children get to eat free. These are the things that people should look out for if they want to save money on eating out.
Happy hour lounge specials are also a good weapon for budget eat-outers because you always get extras- either a free meal when you buy a drink or free chips. You get to sample a lot of great steaks in some pubs, they do pretty good ones. Some happy hours may fall on the weekdays in odd hours but by planning and giving some of you time, you will get to indulge great meals outside.
To go extra miles on saving when eating out is to subscribe groupons, living social and other great deals. You will receive tonnes of emails regarding locale area deals. Of course, you have to choose wisely which deal to go for and whether the restaurant has a good reputation on its food quality. By buying them online, you don’t have to pay any tips or bring extra cash for meals, just simply print out your vouchers. Usually, I would go for the offer of buy one get one free or a meal for two and by depending on these deals. For instance, you get to eat in a hotel where they serve you two course meal value at $60 but by purchasing online, you save $30 by just paying $20. Besides that, the food provided is not bad at all.
As we are living in a digital age, no doubt that everyone is largely depending on Internet to find great places. For convenience, there are apps on smart phones that provide guidelines on where to eat and you can key in the budget that you wish and the app will provide restaurants that you desire whether it is ranging from $5-$30 or $30-$100. Not only that, you can put in the area that you wish to eat at and the cuisine that you want. There are also ratings and comments on the eateries so that you can choose based on their dining experience.
I have noticed many people simply do not know how to save when it comes to eat-out. Try skipping drinks such as iced tea or soft drinks which are simply filled with sugar. Eating itself is already filling so why put in the extras? Such drinks each cost more than four dollars and you do not want to add into the 7 person bill if each person had a 4 dollar drink. It is a good exercise when you just order plain water as most restaurants do not charge for water. Water is healthy as well, it aids digestion and helps us to eat less, order less (thus, you save $$)
Last but not least, check your receipt occasionally. I can still recall that Hungry Jacks offer free cheese burger if you take a survey online. Therefore, do look out for free meals or any reward given. They desperately need to know about your dining experience. I guess eating out is not a difficult task. Sometimes, you do not need to go fancy restaurants for good food. Most Asia countries have hawker stalls providing delicious food in a very reasonable price. You get to taste a variety because the portion is not huge. On the other hand, finding restaurant that fits your criteria requires some planning and of course you need to restraint yourself once in a while, just so that your next dining experience is the time when you don’t have to think about budget!