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Eating out on a budget is not that hard to do. There are many ways you can go out to eat without breaking the bank. Many people think eating out on a budget means stopping in at McDonald’s, but that’s not true at all. You can eat at sit-down restaurants on a budget too if you follow these money-saving strategies:
Use Coupons – A lot of restaurants mail out coupons or have coupons in the Sunday paper or on the Internet which you can use to eat out at a discount. There are also sometimes coupons online that you can print out and take with you. Check the restaurant’s website and also do a Google search for the restaurant coupons before you go in to eat. If you join a restaurant’s e-mail list, you’ll get coupons in your e-mail too.
Drink Water – Instead of ordering a soda or tea or milk with your meal, order water. All restaurants offer water cups for free. Choosing water over other beverages can save you quite a bit of money right there.
Kids Eat Free – Many restaurants have certain days and nights of the week where they allow kids to eat free. Search out these restaurants and then only eat there with kids on those specified days.
Early Bird Specials – Some restaurants have early bird specials where the dinner is much cheaper when you order before 6pm. When dining in those restaurants, time your visit to take advantage of the early bird special prices.
Share Your Meal – Meal portions at some restaurants are gigantic and could easily be enough for two people to have a full-sized meal. Find out how big the portions are and then split a plate with your spouse or friend, or have your kids share meals.
Skip Dessert – While the dessert options may look tempting, don’t spend the extra money on it. That dessert will end up costing you a lot more money than you need to spend. Instead, stop at the store on the way home and pick up a delicious cake or a gallon of ice cream and then enjoy your dessert at home for a fraction of the price.