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Eating out can be one of life’s most enjoyable pleasures, but like many things, it can also come with a high price tag. Just because you’re watching your budget though, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t dine in your favourite restaurants.
Here, we take a look at five easy ways to save money when eating out.
Look out for early dinner specials
You’re probably accustomed to eating dinner after 7pm, but did you realise that you could save a considerable chunk of cash just by eating earlier? Many restaurants offer special early bird menus for those that are willing to dine between 5 and 6.30pm. The food is often almost exactly the same, so you won’t be missing out on your favourite dishes.
Find coupons online
If you have access to the internet (which you will do if you’re reading this!), there’s really no reason to ever pay full price every again. There are so many coupons and offers out there that you could dine out every night for a fraction of the usual cost. Sign up to the newsletters of your favourite chains restaurants, and keep an eye on popular discount sites.
Join a dining club
For a yearly subscription fee, many dining clubs offer year-round discounts at a variety of restaurants. If you eat out regularly, you could end up saving a lot of money. Of course, do your maths in advance to establish whether or not it would work for you. New dining clubs are started all the time, so keep an eye on food industry news so you don’t miss out.
Take your own alcohol
In many cases, it’s the alcohol that really pushes up the cost of the meal. If you don’t want to give up your tipple, look for places that let you bring your own booze. There’s often a corkage charge, but this is usually nominal. Head to your local supermarket and pick up some wine for a third of the price that you’d pay in the restaurant.
Take any leftovers home
Don’t feel shy about asking to take your leftovers home. After all, you’ve paid for the full meal. You can then use the extra food to make lunch the next day. As well as saving money, it’s probably much more exciting than your usual desk based sandwich!
Dining out doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you’re willing to make a few changes to your usual habits and put these tips into action, you could find that it’s much more affordable than you initially thought.
Do you enjoy eating out? How do you keep the costs down? We’d love to hear your views.
This article was brought to you by Ruth Richards on behalf of Consumer Checkpoint. Ruth is a seasoned blogger and an expert in consumer technology and news. You may add her in Google+.
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