Helpful Tips For Eating Out When You’re On A Budget

It can be tough to eat out when you’re on a tight budget. But it’s not impossible!

This blog post will give tips for eating out without breaking the bank. Remember these tips when you head to your favorite restaurant.

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Check the menu beforehand

Thanks to the internet, you can usually find a restaurant’s menu online before you even step inside the place. This way, you will be able to see your options and get an idea of how much things will cost.

It’ll help narrow your choices and ensure you don’t order something too expensive. When you know the full menu prices, you will be better positioned to order something that doesn’t break your budget.

For instance, if you already know that the entrées are on the pricier side, you can request an appetizer and salad instead. Conversely, if the appetizers are expensive, you can order a couple of them to share as your meal.

Share a dish

If you’re trying to save money, consider sharing a dish with a friend or family member.

This is a great way to taste what you want without paying for an entire meal. Plus, it’ll help cut down on the amount of food waste. Just ensure you’re both on the same page about what you’re ordering and how much you’re willing to spend.

For instance, if you and your dining companion want the same $20 steak, it might be better just to order one and split the cost. However, if you wish to order the steak and your companion wants the $10 pasta dish, it might make sense to each order your meal but share a dessert.

Order water

It’s worth mentioning that water will always be the cheapest option on the menu, so why not save some money and order it instead of a soda or alcoholic beverage?

You can always get your fix of soda or alcohol once you leave the restaurant. But while you’re there, stick to water and save money. However, some restaurants only serve water upon request, so be sure to ask your server before assuming it’s complimentary.

In case you were wondering, iced tea is usually complimentary as well, but hot tea usually isn’t.

Skip the appetizers

Appetizers are often one of the most expensive items on a menu. So if you’re trying to save money, skip them altogether. This is because restaurants know that people are more likely to order an appetizer if they’re already feeling hungry. So they tend to charge more for them.

If you’re craving an appetizer, see if your server will let you order it as your main course. This way, you’ll still get to enjoy it, but you won’t have to pay as much.

Otherwise, as previously mentioned, you can always order an entrée or even share a dish with your dining companions. Just ensure you’re not demanding more food than you can reasonably eat. Otherwise, you’ll waste money on something you won’t even finish.

Opt for lunch instead of dinner

Lunchtime meals are typically cheaper than their dinnertime counterparts.

So, if you want to save money, consider eating out for lunch instead of dinner. You’ll still be able to enjoy all of your favorite foods without having to spend as much money. You’ll probably have a better chance of getting a table during lunch since it’s not as busy as dinner time.

Just keep in mind that some restaurants don’t serve lunch on weekends, so be sure to check their hours before you go. You should also be aware that some lunch items may not be available during dinner. But overall, you’ll still be able to save money by eating out during lunchtime.

Look for deals and specials

Many restaurants offer deals and specials, especially during slower hours. For example, some places might offer a discount on specific menu items during happy hour.

Or they might have a “special of the day” cheaper than usual. Some also offer discounts for people who order takeout instead of dining in. So if you’re trying to save money, look for these deals and specials. You might be surprised at how much money you can save by taking advantage of them.

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These are just a few tips to help you save money while eating out. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant without having to break the bank.

Rest assured that you can still enjoy a delicious meal without spending too much money with careful planning. So go out and enjoy yourself without having to worry about your budget.

Julie Higgins
Julie is a Staff Writer at She has been working in publishing houses before joining the editorial team at momooze. Julie's love and passion are topics around beauty, lifestyle, hair and nails.