It’s very easy to overspend on restaurants. Here are some money saving tips:
1) Bring lunch to work. Do the math: $10-15/day really adds up. The food (mostly sandwiches, burgers and pizza) usually isn’t very healthy and gets dull quickly. Breaking this habit really pays dividends. Taking a few minutes everyday to pack a lunch will you save you hundreds of dollars a month.
2) Cut back on daily coffee. I’m sure you’ve seen your coworkers buy 2-3 sugary caffeinated drinks everyday. This is another habit that is unhealthy and costly.
3) Stick to quality. You’ll be surprised how much people spend on fast food and at the mall food court. The food is usually just frozen and then fried. Why not spend your money on something more satisfying? Save this money and spend it on a higher quality meal.
4) Watch the alcohol. Wine and beer are usually pricey. Try sticking to one drink. If you want to get intoxicated, consider drinking at your house before going to the restaurant. This is assuming you have a designated driver, of course.
5) Price does not always equal quality. Just because a steak house charges $60 a plate does not make it good. Likewise, a $6 burrito might be an amazing buy. There are plenty of low priced restaurants that offer very good value for their money.
6) Lunch menu please. Many places offer a lunch menu (with designated times)that is cheaper than dinner. With proper planning, you can easily save 20% or more.
7) Research. There are many bad restaurants out there. Spend the time to properly research where you are eating so you do not waste money.
8) Get your rewards. If you dine out a lot, it might be worth it to get a credit card that offers special rewards. Some of them are offering 2% back on restaurant meals.
9) Coupon services. To promote a new restaurant, owners will frequently put up money saving deals on Group and LivingSocial. If you’re willing to test the unknown, they are often a good value for the money.