Are you ready to eat out properly? Most young folks are not good at eating out. We blow far too much money on eating out. We end up using our credit cards or wiping out our checking account just to fill our bellies.
I spend a ton of money on food. I love to eat. I love to train. I love to eat after training. I love to eat after drinking. I enjoy eating. I also happen to enjoy saving money. This can be a tough balancing act at times.
How can you save money on restaurants? How can you finally eat out without going broke?
What you can do before you event enter the restaurant…
The first thing that you need to do is to figure out how much money you actually have and are willing to spend on food. I would suggest that you set a goal for the total amount that you’re willing to spend on food every week or month. This will depend on how you budget your money and how you run your finances.
Next you need to gear up to fight the restaurants. Menus are designed to take your money. Your designed to save money. Who’s going to win the personal finance battle? Will the restaurant take all of your money? Will you fight back?
The first tactical move you can make in advance is to check the menu online. This might sound weird at first, but it makes perfect sense. I always check the menu to see what they have to offer and what would interest me. Plus, I’m a pretty picky eater.
The problem with checking the menu at the restaurant is that we all have a similar tendency. When all of the prices are listed on the right in a neat column, we all look for the cheapest item. You won’t always get the most satisfying dish this way.
The next move is to eat before you go out. I always try to eat a small meal at home before I go out so that I’m not completely starving when I go out. That’s a guaranteed way to spend $100 on random food.
Time to go out.
How you can survive the restaurant without emptying your checking account…
Now you’re out with your friends. It’s time to have some fun. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by making it a point to tell everyone that you want to save money. That’s your own personal goal.
When it’s time to order food you can just grab an appetizer. Tell your friends that you ate before and that you’re not hungry at all. Nobody can force you to eat. Hopefully you checked out the menu in advance so you know what you want.
When the bill comes, remind everyone that you only had the appetizer. Your bill shouldn’t be too rough.
One more final point about saving money when out at a restaurant…
Take out cash at the beginning of the night, not after a few drinks. I wasn’t going to write about eating out at restaurants without sharing some pointers on alcohol.
Not all nights out involve drinks. Many will. The same logic applies to drinking as does food. Try to drink before you go out. When you’re finally out, try to be realistic. If you’re going to drink, be prepared to spend more money. Once you have that first shot, it’s going to be difficult to stop.
This is why I always try to take money out before I drink. Once you start drinking you lose all control. You wake up with a receipt from your bank account that shows you pulled out $200 at midnight. Oops!
That’s how you can hit up all of the restaurants that you want without going broke. It’s totally possible to eat well without going broke.