5 Ways to Cut Costs When Dining Out

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Eating out at a restaurant is fun, giving us the chance to avoid cooking for a night, and often, to spend time with friends or family without the added stress of getting food or place settings ready ourselves. According to a 2013 national survey of 1,000 Americans by Rasmussen Reports, fifty-eight percent of American adults dine out at least once per week. With nearly three fifths of American adults eating out each week, it makes sense that the projected restaurant industry sales for 2014 is $683.4 billion. As fun as eating out is, the cost can really add up if you go regularly, or even weekly; try to save money by considering where you are going ahead of time, and planning on how much money you want to spend. As expensive as eating out at a restaurant can get, there are many ways you can cut your costs down by making smart choices about what you order.

1. Don’t order drinks

This is probably the most obvious advice on this list, but it is still extremely important. Try to skip extras whenever you can at restaurants. This means that you should order a cup of water instead of paying for soft drinks or juices. Especially if you are dining out as a family, several drinks can really add up. Alcohol is especially expensive; restaurants often hope to achieve a seventy-to-eighty percent profit on alcohol. Although many people enjoy having special drinks when they go out to restaurants, drinks significantly increase the cost of going out, and therefor they also affect the cost of your tip. If you really want alcohol, or your kids really want soda, buy some at the store at a separate time.