9 Ways to Dine Out Cheaply and Enjoy It!

Let’s face it – eating out is fun. It’s something everyone enjoys. It’s one of the easiest ways to get a group of people together with minimal effort. No one has to plan a meal, grocery shop, cook, or clean up. However, dining out adds up quickly, especially if you go for all the bells and whistles like drinks, appetizers, and dessert in addition to your main course. You don’t have to ditch dining out altogether to maintain your budget. You just have to know which corners to cut and when. You’ll see that most of our tips require just a smidge of research and ensure you get the most out of your dining experience without breaking the bank. Check out our 9 easy tips to dine out cheaply without depriving yourself of what you want!

1) Drink Water

Beverages, especially the alcoholic kind, contribute significantly to a costly bill. Sodas and fruit juices are less expensive, but they still tack on extra dollars. To minimize the bill, order ice water instead. Tap water is free! Just be sure to specify this, because bottled water isn’t! Drinking water not only makes eating out cheap, but it’s also a healthy option with no calories. Most places will include lemon or lime at no extra charge. It’s better for the waistline and the wallet. Of course, many folks like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage and depriving yourself is no fun. So, go ahead and enjoy your cocktail at home – before you head out. Invite your friends over beforehand to do the same. And instead of heading to a bar after dinner for a night-cap, head home, and enjoy another drink with your friends there.



Can’t stand the thought of a meal without a glass of wine? You’re not alone. Luckily, there are a growing number of restaurants that let you bring your own bottle of wine and drink it for far less than ordering a bottle off their menu. This has been dubbed “corkage culture” and it’s gaining popularity for obvious reasons. How does it work? Some restaurants allow you to BYO bottle of wine and charge a minimal corkage fee to open the bottle, serve it, decant it (if necessary), and use of the stemware. It’s very important to remember that you can’t just roll up to any ol’ restaurant and expect them to permit this. The best way to find out (and avoid an uncomfortable situation) is to call ahead and ask. The corkage fee will vary depending on the place but expect it to be far less than purchasing it in-house. Money, saved.


3) Pay Attention to Weekday Specials

Business is booming for bars and restaurants during the weekend. Friday and Saturday night are the most popular nights to hit the town and spend money. But by eating out during the week you can have the same amount of fun, but for less. Many restaurants try to keep their businesses busy during the week (when less people are going out) by creating great weekday specials. Ever heard of Taco Tuesday or Wing Wednesday,  Thirsty Thursday or Price Fixe menu’s? These are all great examples of how restaurants tempt people into going out and spending money during the week. And it totally works – for both parties. The restaurant gets business it wouldn’t have otherwise, and you get a great meal at a bargain price. This method is tried and true and it’s likely your favorite watering hole and restaurant has weekday specials, too.


4) Indulge in Happy Hour

Like the above, except happy hours usually appear more frequently, they operate within the span of a few hours daily. Restaurants love happy hours because it gets people into their establishments early and they usually end up staying well after the “happy hour” prices finish. Benefiting from happy hour is easy – just don’t linger after the prices return to normal. Most happy hours start around 4pm and finished a few hours later. It’s a great time to have a few pre-dinner drinks and appetizers for super cheap. Some happy hours run later, so you can even eat dinner on a happy hour menu without having to order it at 5pm. Remember, some restaurants have special seating for those who want to take advantage of the happy hour menu. Sometimes sitting at the bar or in the vicinity is required. Check in with the hostess before you’re seated.


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