If you’re a stay at home mom, you know how very tempting it can be to just go through the drive-thru or order delivery for the whole family. Let’s face it; cooking dinner can be a very tough task to say the least some times. I just simply don’t feel like cooking dinner on certain nights and that’s an unhealthy habit to get into, both financially and physically. One month I decided to save the receipts for my trips to the drive-thru and look them over at the end of the month. I was absolutely appalled to say the least when I saw how much money I was spending on take out.
I know I’m not the only one that spends way too much money at the drive-thru, so I’ve decided to give you all some advice on how to save money on eating at restaurants and fast food establishments.
#1. Drink Water
It can be tempting to order something like a soda or maybe even some alcohol while you’re out at a restaurant, but it can be bad for your budget. Restaurants have a huge markup on beverages and it’s one of their biggest money makers. Therefore, you should just stick with water and save the extra cash.
#2. Take Coupons
We get a ton of coupons delivered to our mailbox every single day. Also, we’ve signed up for quite a few restaurant newsletters. That way, we receive coupons on a regular basis and know about all the discounts. Also, certain areas, particularly hotels and motels, will have coupon books that are loaded with coupons for local restaurants, so consider stopping by a hotel or motel and picking one up for free.
#3. Keep Your Eye Out for Commercials
Restaurants love to market themselves on the television. Pay attention to restaurant commercials, so you stay up to date with all the latest deals going on.
#4. Don’t Order Appetizers
For me, it’s always a mistake to order an appetizer. First off, they’re pretty expensive. I’ve seen appetizers that are more expensive than entrees. Also, if I eat an appetizer, I’m usually full by the time my meal comes out to the table. I would suggest ordering your meal and just wait for it instead of ordering an appetizer.
#5. Use a Credit Card with Cashback Rewards
I’m usually completely against the use of credit cards, but some credit cards offer a good percentage of cashback on purchases made at restaurants. One of our credit cards enables us to score as much as 5% cashback every time we go out to a restaurant. Just remember to keep your balance paid off.
#6. Take the Kids
If you have to hire a babysitter for your kids, you may want to just take them out to eat with you, instead. Most restaurants offer massive discounts for children, so it can be cheaper to take them with you versus hiring a babysitter. Also, they’ll definitely enjoy the experience.
#7 Take Advantage of Buffets
Eating at a buffet is typically cheaper than ordering off of the menu. Also, a restaurant in our area offers a $0.99 buffet price for children.