dining out

How to Save Money When Dining Out

Times are tough for a lot of people financially right now, that goes without saying. Saving money where we can without having to cut back too heavily on the things we want to do is the ultimate goal.

Nobody wants to have to give up the things they love, and one such thing for many of us is going out to eat. Nothing quite beats sitting down to a delicious dinner in a nice location with friends and family, perhaps with a few drinks. But of course, this can be a costly experience.

It doesn’t have to be as bad as that though, as there are a few things we can do to keep the cost down when we go out to eat, minimizing the impact it’ll have on our bank accounts. There are plenty of ways that you can still enjoy the same great food you love while making sure you’re being frugal; whether that be looking for money-saving codes, only going out on special occasions, or sharing a meal with a friend. Let’s look a bit deeper into these options and see which one is right for you.

Find some coupons

Before you go out for dinner, it’s always worth scanning the web for money-saving coupons. These exist as promotions for the restaurant, and they’re a lot more common than you might think.

Coupon codes aren’t only useful in restaurants, you can use them to save money in all areas of your life! Lots of different businesses have coupons or offer that you can take advantage of to save money, including supermarkets, retail stores, and even online casinos. A lot of the best online casinos have generous welcome offers that give you even more bang for your buck; such as no deposit bonuses, free spin bonuses, and matched deposit bonuses where the site will match your deposit amount up to $1000 – or maybe more! There are many games to choose from, so no matter what you enjoy playing, you’ll find something to enjoy. If you can save money in other areas of your life using bonus offers and discount codes, you’ll have more money to spend on dining out!

Enjoy a birthday deal

Any restaurant with a heart will offer some kind of discount or free product to those whose birthday it is. Even if it’s just a slice of cake, it can go a long way and make the whole eating out experience more enjoyable (and cheaper!)

If you want to find out what kind of birthday deal a restaurant has, you could always call ahead to find out. They’ll surely be glad to host you for your birthday!

Share a meal

Some restaurants offer enormous portion sizes that are simply too much for a single person to eat. At this point, you have two options: ask for a takeaway box to bring the leftovers back home and enjoy them another day, or just eat a single meal between two people.

If there are a few of you dining and you don’t want to take your chances of being hungry after you’ve finished, you could always divide the meals up in another way. For example, four of you could share three meals. That way, you’ll get to try more items on the menu which is always a nice thing.

You don’t have to eat your meal off the same plate! Just ask for an extra side plate and divide the portions evenly between two people. You may not want to do this if you’re dining with a particularly hungry person though…

Do your research

This one might seem a little obvious but it is often overlooked. Read the menus online before you book! That way, you can avoid turning up to your reservation only to find that the food is a lot more expensive than you realized.

Tip: if a restaurant doesn’t list its prices online, it’s likely to be quite pricey…

About the Author


Fernando James

James has offered expert financial insight at CouponAnnie since 2020. As a freelance writer, he has been published in a variety of prominent publications. He's been featured on the Washington Post and Financial Planning Magazine, and has been quoted by Money Magazine, Retailmenot, and more.