smart spending

How to save money at restaurants


Who says going out to eat has to eat up your budget? We've got some money saving tips on how to make the most of dining out.  

Here comes the waiter to rattle off the evening's specials. Have you ever noticed that one thing he doesn't mention is the prices?

Don't be afraid to ask for prices if they're not clear so there won't be any surprises when the bill arrives.

Maybe the specials aren't for you, so you browse the menu a bit. Notice anything missing? How about dollar signs? Restaurants may put prices on the menu with no dollar signs to soften the blow of high prices.

Be mindful of the prices, no matter how they appear on the menu.

And what about your beverages? Whether you choose beer, wine or spirits, alcoholic drinks are the easiest way for restaurants to make money. They're able to mark up alcohol by as much as 300 percent.

If you're looking to get a good deal on drinks, hit the restaurant at happy hour! Restaurants can offer bargain prices on alcohol, and sometimes food items, too!

When it's time to pay for your meal, save by using coupons and vouchers offered by "daily deals" websites. But beware of expiration dates and restrictions, and know that tax and tip are extra.

For more ways to save at restaurants and for all your other personal finance needs, visit I'm Amanda Rowe.

Photo credits: © kontur-vid/, © The Little Prince/, © yurakur/, © MilaLui/


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