Money-Saving Tips for

Dining Out on A Budget










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Pay attention to any "Restaurant Week" advertisements appearing in your area. And act quickly to reserve seating at your favorite participating restaurants. Treat yourself to quality and service at fraction of the usual cost.

Consider going out the first days of the week. Restaurants are becoming creative (good for the customer!) with special offerings to combat slow business.

Rather than fixating on "dinner," think "out of the box." Specials are increasingly appearing at other meals like breakfast and late-at-night.



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"Would it surprise you to know that almost 50 percent of every household dollar spent on food goes toward eating away from home?"

asks, Patsy Swendson of the San Antonio Express-News.

Her money-saving tips include:

* Don't deny yourself the pleasure just cut down on the number of meals you eat out per week.

* Pick one night of the week for dining out. It may become more of a pleasure than your usual four-five nights a week because you'll anticipate the occasion.

* Think breakfast, lunch and brunch. These meals tend to be less expensive than dinner.

* Always ask the price of the "Special of The Day." They may not prove so "special," nor necessarily less expensive than standard items on the menu.

* Watch for coupons in the newspaper or other publications.

* Watch for early bird specials or use your "seasoned citizen" status and keep an eye out for senior discounts.

* Have dinner at home and then go out for dessert and coffee.

* New or recently opened restaurants often have introductory dining offerings that can be real money savers.

* Save money by only having water. Wine, cocktails or even ice tea will increase the price of a meal.

* Sometimes ordering two appetizers rather than an entree portion will save you money and you'll find it a fun change.

* Skip dessert; the markup is high.

* Vegetarian foods are often less expensive than meat-based.

* Some restaurants offer weekday specials, and you'll find the prices less than on weekends.

* Eat half your entree and take the rest home. Create something wonderful with the leftovers for your next meal.


"Go light on restaurants with waiter service"

according to the "Perrin Report" - Condé Nast Traveler


"Many chic European restaurants have a separate wine bar section with tables where you can grab a glass of Chianti and a plate of hors d'oeuvres for about $22 and call it dinner.

Some hot spots offer a buffet dinner from 7 to 9pm, after which they turn back into traditional restaurants with formal service.

You'll find other good deals dining on the specialties of large local immigrant populations. Think Turkish kebab restaurants in Germany and Indian curry houses in London."

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