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Saving Money When Eating Out

My family of five enjoys eating at restaurants now and then, but it really stretches our food budget. Do you have any tips?
Saving Money When Eating Out

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You can trim your restaurant bill with these ideas:

  1. Order water instead of other beverages and skip dessert. At $2 to $3 per beverage, opting for water could shave $10 to $15 from your bill.
  2. If you must have a sweet treat, order one dessert and cut it into the appropriate number of pieces so everyone gets a taste.
  3. Consider sharing meals. Some restaurants do not have child-sized portions, so you could order one adult-sized meal for two people - along with an extra plate.
  4. Take advantage of the "kids eat free" specials that some restaurants advertise. Usually for each adult meal purchased, one child meal is available free or at a reduced cost.
  5. Check out promotions, such as buy-one-get-one coupons or special deals offered on the restaurant's website or Facebook page. Some restaurants email coupons if you are a "fan" of their Facebook page.
  6. Find out if the restaurant has special deals for "early birds". Sometimes, restaurants offer reduced-cost meals or appetizers if you arrive earlier than their busy time.


Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise June 2014 newsletter (PDF)

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