Money Monday: Dining Out

Hey Everyone!

Take a minute to think about all the types of things you did with your friends, family, and/or co-workers last week. Now, how many of those activities involved food?

Whenever my friends and I make plans, we always seem to start our night by going out to eat.  It doesn’t always have to be a full meal though. Sometimes it is just for an appetizer and drinks.
I personally love going out and socializing with my friends. Yet, it is always a bit of a damper to get the bill. Eating out is not cheap and like everything else, adds up very quickly. As a young adult it can really be a struggle from time to time to balance out your social life with your bank account. Instead of totally giving up on your social life, consider these tips to help ease the cost for eating out:

1. Plan for Leftovers
Plan to have leftovers to take home! Most of the time the serving sizes at restaurants are quite large and could really provide for two meals. I purposely try to make this happen! Whatever I order I try to consciously only eat a little over half. This is good for two reasons. 1) It also helps me eat less in one sitting. It is so easy to overstuff yourself. I am sure everyone has experienced the feeling of wanting to just be carried out of the restaurant because you are so full. If you are consciously thinking that you need to save some for tomorrow, you are more likely to eat a normal amount. 2) As I get the bill, I can divide it in half. Say the meal totals $20, but in my head this delicious meal only cost $10 today and then $10 tomorrow. That is a meal you don’t have to make or buy tomorrow!

2. Find Restaurants with College Discounts
You can always find a restaurant that understands our lack of funds! Take some time and research some good ones. In my old college town, many restaurants had discounts on specific days of the week. Like $5 all you can eat wings or $5 Burger Baskets. Who knows what you will find! You might just discover your new favorite restaurant.

3. Coupons! Coupons! Coupons!
Take advantage of coupons! They could be in newspapers, magazines, online, etc. If you were planning to go out anyways, you might as well go somewhere that gives you a deal. Spending a few extra minutes to look for a coupon could save you a few extra bucks!

4. Set a Budget
Since we know this is part of our social lives, make room for it in your budget. Be realistic and stick to it. It is the best way to avoid the surprise of a very low bank account. Better yet, make a cash envelope. Set aside a certain amount of money to spend on food/dining out each week. You can only spend what you have in the envelope. Once you are out, you are out for the entire week. So spend wisely 🙂


What tips do you have to save money on dining out? Please share with us in a comment below!


Until Next Time,

Jessica M.

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