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How to save money when eating out at restaurants

By October 26, 2019 November 6th, 2019 No Comments

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Before you start your google search for “restaurants open near me.” Make sure that you’re not going to overextend and spend too much of your hard-earned money on food that will disappear within minutes. Good food doesn’t always have to have fine dining prices, while fast-food restaurants can have filing and healthy alternatives.

Family eating pasta together at a restaurant
Family eating pasta together at a restaurant

Order online and take out

Unless you’re familiar with your restaurant, be wary when you order online. Your eyes and imagination are always bigger than your stomach. And when it comes to payment methods. Digital is probably the worst since you don’t even need to swipe or type out a card number to finish a transaction these days.

As convenient as it can be, take-out does end up costing more. You need to consider tip or service charges to your order if you’re using food delivery services like UberEats, Postmates, or Doordash. 

Use Membership and Rewards Programs

Take advantage of memberships and rewards programs. Major brands like Starbucks and Mcdonalds have a membership program where you can earn points towards your next coffee or bagel. Even smaller establishments might have a stamp card where if you go often enough, you’ll get a free drink. 

Cashback from local resturants

If you want to support some up and coming small business, Swagbucks has partnerships with thousands of resturants around the nation to help you earn cashback. Type in whatever you’re craving, whether it be Italian, Asian, or Mexican, and get a map of local eateries in your area. 

Buy restaurant gift cards

Take a look at sites like MyGiftCardPlus, which has hundreds of gift cards from your favorite resturants and retailers like Applebees, Boston Market, and Cheesecake Factory. Some sales have up to 16% OFF.

Young parents enjoying a meal of pasta

Say no to alcohol and deserts

While it’s tempting to go to your local wine bar, alcoholic drinks tend to add up faster than the cost of your meal. Save yourself some cash and skip on the simple desserts that you can get at home like ice cream. 

Try to make it to happy hours

Happy hours can run on a particular day of the week. Some occur before peak dinner hours, and others are late-night that to fill up seats just before closing. Check online or call in before you arrive when happy hour runs. While happy hours usually don’t include entrees, you can still fill yourself up with appetizers. 

Find cheaper alternatives 

From eating poke instead of sushi or curbing your beef craving with a burger joint instead of a high-end steakhouse, there are always less expensive alternatives. Pancake and waffle houses like Denny’s and IHOP will typically have better savings than a trendy new brunch spot. 

Great food shouldn’t have to cost a lot. From delis, grilles, bistros, to fine dining, there are many ways you could save. So next time you search for “restaurants open near me” you can select the best choice for your wallet.

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