The holiday season is upon us and sometimes we just don’t want to cook after a long day! We all know that the holiday season means shelling out some money to get gifts for those that mean the most to you. We may worry about how much money we’ve got left, or just try to close our eyes and pretend we don’t care… but we really do. If you’ve been following us we recently released an article to help you stay on budget for Christmas, if not you can read it here.
We’ve compiled a short list for you all to save money while eating out this holiday season, but it can be used for every day of the year! We like to think of them as simple life hacks!
Just a quick fact for you, restaurants usually charge about four times as much for a meal as it did for the actual ingredients! This has been looked at time and time again and the Wall Street Journal usually likes to cover it!
1. Get It to Go!
A lot of places will offer a discount when you go in to order-out, so ask! You’re still not cooking your own meal and you get to enjoy your favourite restaurant. On top of the discount the restaurant might offer, you also will be saving money by not ordering a lot of different sides. When we dine in we usually like to accompany a meal with a beverage, whether it be wine, beer, or soft-drink… and we know how expensive that can add up to be! When you order out, you can’t get a glass of wine to go! We wish you could though. Once you get home you can add the extras yourself. That $8 glass of wine, well you’ve got a whole bottle of wine at home a lot more value!
2. Ditch Dinner, Make It Lunch!
If you’ve got the itch to get your favourite meal and you just can’t pass it up, make it a lunch! A lot of places will offer the same meal at lunch-time for the fraction of the price. So, it’s a win-win. You get your meal you’re craving, but also save a good chunk of change. You might not get that nice white table cloth for lunchtime, but your wallet will be thanking you.
Split your meal! If you’re going out with some mates, your boyfriend, girlfriend, any friend… ask if they want to split a dish. At some restaurants the dish is massive and a doggy bag is needed… and we know some people that are too picky to eat leftovers. To avoid this why not split a meal? You may be able to split the dish and get that small side dish you wanted then and stick within your budget. Give it a try.
4. Thirsty? Too Bad. Skip the Drinks!
By thirsty, we mean itching for wine! Who doesn’t love wine? Beer? Vodka… or tequila… how bad are your problems? No, we’re just kidding. Don’t drink your feelings away! Alcohol is expensive, so skip the drinks. You can shell out for a bottle of your favourite, and enjoy that rather than paying for a cocktail for $17 a pop! You’ll get more out of your bottle than individually buying drinks out. This goes for any drink though! Soft drinks are marked up and so is tea/coffee! Best to stick to water, and let’s be honest… do you even drink enough water to stay hydrated?!
5. Feeling Special?
Go for the special! A lot of places offer a daily special and you can really save. Think of it as an opportunity to expand your tastebud horizons. You might find a new favourite! There’s no ifs and buts about this. Everyone can do this, so why not? If you’re worried about spending too much money going out to dinner for a mates birthday, special occasions, or just a catch-up just get the special!
6. Celebrate Your Birthday!
Next time you’re in your favourite pub, restaurant, cafe, anything ask if they have a birthday sign up list! You never know. Some places don’t advertise it, but a lot of places do it! Even if it means just a small dish or a discounted price on your birthday, take advantage! There is literally no reason you shouldn’t. It’s your birthday after all so treat yourself, or let the restaurant treat you!
Look for places that offer discounts. The best way to do this is UberEats, FirstTable, and Groupon! If you haven’t heard of any of them, you ought to have a good look! Groupon is a fruitful discount site of anything you could think of. Currently, in Sydney there’s an all you can eat tacos for $25. All you have to do is buy the Groupon and follow the T&Cs. Why not take advantage of the discounts on offer? It’d be silly not to! Quite often there will be a lot of unique places on offer, so again expand those tastebud horizons. You never know what you might be missing.
There’s lots of way to save money while eating out. We know it’s common place to get a group of mates together and eat out. It’s a great way to socialise and keep in-touch, but it can add up if you’re not careful. Next time you find yourself wanting to eat out try out these 7 tips. Some of them you can even combine to save even more money. We’re all about ways to save, but still enjoy life!
Have any other ways you save money whilst eating out? Let us know, we’d love to hear!