Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saving on Dining Out

Dining out at a nice restaurant doesn't have to be completely eliminated to live a frugal lifestyle. There are a few tips that you can do to enjoy an occasional dinner out without breaking the bank.

Keep your radar up. When the waiter or waitress suggests something for dessert like French silk pie, or maybe a cup of coffee after your meal, remember these suggestions add money to your bill. Keep your dinner simple to avoid paying extra.

Ordering water to drink is an easy way to save money while dining out. You usually have to pay for drinks separately and this can add an additional couple bucks per person to your tab. Ask them to add a lemon wedge to your water to give it some flavor.

Check your restaurant but typically eating out during lunchtime will be cheaper then eating at diner time.

Keep your eye out for coupons. Lots of restaurants put out half price coupons or buy one get one free entree coupons. is a great resource for coupons.

And lastly, lots of restaurants offer certain nights of the week where kids eat free.

Have any other tips to offer? Feel free to share in the comments.

For more Frugal Fridays visit Life as Mom.


  1. Kids eat free nights are good. Also, most restaurants serve way too much. Instead of a doggy bag, ask for an extra plate and share.

  2. Go out for breakfast or lunch dates..they are cheaper. And dont forget about early bird specials!


  3. We do all of those things, too! certificates save a lot. There's usually a code to save on the purchase price, as well.

    Sometimes the Entertainment Book is worth its cost, but not always. Our local book has four $5-off coupons for my supermarket; that almost pays for the book, so everything else is a bonus.

  4. My husband and I used to share a meal once in a while. Now that we have our daughter, she and I sometimes share a meal. (She doesn't eat as much of it as my hubby does!) I've found that ordering the larger size steak makes the meal just right for the two of us. It adds a couple of dollars to the meal cost, but that's cheaper than a kids' steak meal.

  5. you share the nicest web sites
    Thank you Dear Lady
    The coupons for restaurants would be a handy one for summer

  6. Definitely see if the restaurant has a website & sign up for their mailing list. You'll usually receive pretty good coupons. DH wanted Hooter's for his 21st birthday, so I signed up for their mailing list & got a coupon for a free appetizer. Thanks for the great ideas!

  7. My husband and I will sit at the bar area during Happy Hour. They have half price appetizers during Happy Hour. We will each get one and share. They make some with so much food, it is a perfect light meal for us both.

  8. hello! I love your site-here are some dining out tips from my website,
    now through 5/29, you can get a $25.00 gift certificate from for $2.00. If you have never done this, read my article first for some tips.
    I have 2 websites for "kids eat free meal deals" and a very long list of "free happy birthday deals", all on my site along with at least 100 additional ways to save money.
    all my best,
    Lori at

  9. A lot of restaurants have b-day clubs. BK and McDonalds give free happy meals. Peter piper pizza gives a free mini pizza for the b-day child. Lone star sends e-mails with coupons, (bookstores do this too). Check the websites of the restaurant before you go sometimes there are really good coupons on the web-site,(do the same for museums and before heading to the mall).


  10. At with code SPECIAL you can get a $25 certificate for $2. I usually by 6-8 certificates and this makes it really affordable for my family to go out for a meal.

    DISCOUNT: Save 80% off entire purchases. Expires 5/25/09.