Eat Well, Dine Out While on a Budget

After working all day many people are just too tired to cook. You want to have a hot meal and you don’t want to make it yourself or clean up. If you are on a budget though you may think that you cannot do this. The good news is that you can go out to eat when you are on a budget if you dine out wisely.

Here are some smart ways to dine out when you are on a budget:

No expensive beverages: Beverages that are ordered out at a restaurant can be expensive. Soft drinks, frappes, smoothie, alcoholic beverages and others can add up in the finance department. This alone will ruin your budget. Instead of drinking anything fancy try drinking water instead. Water is not only healthier for you and has zero calories, but it costs nothing.

Dining at lunchtime: Many restaurants will offer their lunch prices that are on the menu until late afternoon. Instead of dining out for your evening meal go to the restaurant a little bit earlier and save money. Besides saving money, dining out in the late afternoon will give you a head start on the crowd that will come in shortly after for their evening meal. A restaurant that offers a buffet type meal can also be a good deal. You generally pay one price and eat all that you want. Some restaurants offer a “kids eat free” special.

Birthday clubs: Almost all restaurants have a birthday club. You can register for it either online or in the restaurant. A variety of “gifts” in the form of food and beverages will be given to the birthday person to use in their restaurant. If you sign up for several of them you can dine out and get a freebie several times around your actual birthday. These “gifts” will either come in the mail or through an email.

No dessert: Desserts in a restaurant always look so special and enticing. They are also quite expensive. For what one piece of cake will cost you in the restaurant you can buy a whole cake in the store or even make a cake. After you have enjoyed your dinner out go home and have your coffee and cake.

Use coupons: There are an abundance of coupons for dining out everywhere you look. They come in the mail, the newspaper, in your email and they will even pop up on your Smartphone if you are registered to receive them. For those types of coupons all that you need to do is show the cashier at the restaurant your cell phone message for the discount to be honored.

Gift cards: Ask for gift cards to your favorite restaurant any time that someone asks you what you want for your birthday. You can also buy discounted gift cards and coupons that offer a 50 percent off deal. If you like to surf the web you can earn points to use later on a purchase of a gift card to a restaurant. There are also coupons books that are sold each year with some great offers in them for restaurants. They will usually require you to purchase a certain dollar amount in order to use the coupon. You can also order extra to meet that requirement and put the extra food away for later or the next day.

Appetizers or entrees: If you are getting an entrée for your meal that will be plenty to fill you up. It makes no sense to order an appetizer and it will cut the cost down considerably. On the other hand, if you are light eater and only require an appetizer to satisfy your hunger then just order that and no entrée. This will also cut your expenses down.

Seniors honored: If you are in your golden years you are quite special. Many places will give you a senior discount on your meal. This can really help to keep the costs down and stay within your budget. Now that you have the senior discount – don’t be afraid to use.

Dining out is a great treat and most enjoyable after you have fulfilled all of your responsibilities for the day. It is your chance to kick back, relax and enjoy yourself and you deserve it. Budgeting your money carefully will allow you to treat yourself to a meal out a few times a week if you take advantage of the offers that are available. When you are budgeting for the week, or month, be sure to include this “treat” for you and your family. At, we’d like to help you with a number of money management and money savings ideas that will help you to better financial footing, while still being able to dine out once in a bit.

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