Dining Out for Less

by Debra Vaughn

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10 Tips for Dining Out on the Cheap

Eating Out

Frugal Fine Dining

Eating dinner at a restaurant is one of those wonderful conveniences that almost everyone looks forward to once in a while. The problem is that it can add up to quite a bill. Try these tips to cut the cost of the final bill:

  • Eat lunch instead of dinner. Prices at most restaurants are significantly lower for lunch and you get about the same amount of food.

  • Always get a doggie bag. If you have left over food, bring it home! Chances are good that it will make a wonderful lunch for the next day.

  • Save dining out for special occasions, not just because you forgot to take something out for dinner.

  • Save on the tip by getting your food to go.

  • Eat dessert somewhere other than the restaurant. These tasty treats are often overpriced. If you insist on having dessert at the restaurant, share it with someone else.

  • If you are in an unfamiliar place, ask a local where they grab their lunch.

  • Never be shy about telling the server that the portion was too small. They usually bring more.

  • If you are not satisfied with the service or meal, don't be afraid to tell the manager. They will often knock a percentage off your ticket. If the manager does not help you, call the corporate office.

  • Eat at buffets on those days that you are especially hungry.

  • Fill out the suggestion/comment card. They sometimes send coupons or complimentary freebees.

  • Water is always free at restaurants but if you want a little excitement, ask the server for some lemon slices. Magic! Lemonade!

Debra Vaughn is a stay at home mother to 3 young girls. She is a freelance writer in her sparetime.

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