Feel like going out? Here are some tips to help you stay within your budget…
- Kids Eat for Free—Check with your local restaurants to find out if they have a “kids eat for free” program. You can also check out www.kidseatfree.com to find restaurants in your state that offer this incentive as well.
- When ordering, stay away from alcohol and soda, which are often marked up 100% at many restaurants and bars. While you dine, stick with water and make sure you specify that you just want tap water. FYI: Food digests better when you do not consume beverages during the meal—so just think, you are aiding in your digestion AND saving money.
- Rather than ordering an entrée, opt to order an appetizer and side dish instead, or split the entrée with your dining companion and order an extra salad, soup or appetizer to fill out meal.
- Look at the menu first before sitting down at a restaurant. Make sure the restaurant is within your price range. For a while, restaurants that served “comfort food” were all the rage but the pieces were often anything but comforting.
- Don’t go to the restaurant starved! Make sure you have a mini meal or snack with fiber (which takes longer to digest, leaving you feeling fuller) to ensure you do not over-order.
- If you do want to order an entrée, eat only half and bring the rest home in a doggie bag for tomorrow’s lunch.
- Heed my grandmother’s advice: Eat like a king at breakfast, a queen at lunch and pauper at dinner. You can often get the most value at breakfast and lunch when you want to eat the largest quantity of food.
- If you are going to indulge in eating at a restaurant, choose one you LOVE—so you will feel you are getting your money’s worth.