If you love eating out every other night, it can soon put a strain on your finances, especially if you like fine dining. However, we all deserve a little treat from time to time, whether for family time or date night and eating out doesn’t have to cost the earth if you know how to be savvy.
Use vouchers and special offers
This might seem like a predictable tip, but it’s a good one. Look out for vouchers and special offers for places you want to go. Chains often offer vouchers for cheaper meals on quieter nights or sign up for a rewards scheme like Rewards Network.
A lot of these deals can be time-sensitive, so you can also sign up for newsletters that round up the best deals, so you don’t miss out on a good deal.
Signing up for a voucher code app is also a good idea. Look for one that uses GPS to point out offers in restaurants that are close to where you are.
Don’t order alcohol with your meal
You’ve probably noticed when your bill arrives at the end of the meal, if you’re drinking alcohol, this alone will cost just as much, if not more, as the price of the food. As an added problem, most restaurant vouchers and other offers don’t cover alcohol.
To keep your costs down, order soft drinks with your meal or lookout for deals that have a free glass of wine included in the price.
If you do want to drink alcohol, just head to a bar after dinner. The prices will be lower than your average restaurant. It’ll be even cheaper if you head to a bar during happy hour.
Look out for pre-theatre deals
Many high-end restaurants offer specials for diners who visit earlier in the evening before the restaurant gets busy.
Known as pre-theatre deals, these menus are intended for those looking for a quick meal before heading to the theatre. They give you a few courses at a discounted price as they know you’ll be in and out quickly and they can get more people in.
Usually, these are set menus without much choice (for example, three courses with only two options to choose from for each course), but the prices are normally much lower than if you choose from the regular menu.
Just remember that pre-theatre menus aren’t normally offered at weekends as restaurants are busier.
Sign up for newsletters
A lot of the bigger chain restaurants have a newsletter that you can sign up for and will send you information about deals and offers.
These newsletters often send out vouchers, especially for occasions like your birthday, so it’s definitely worth being on their list if you like eating at a particular chain restaurant, as the savings can soon start to add up.
Limit your newsletter to only two or three of your favorite restaurants, so you get the best offers without clogging up your inbox, or you can set up a special email address just for deals.