Everyone loves going out to eat. There are not many better feelings than having a meal prepared for you and being waited on. Whether its breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner most people would agree that they would rather go out than cook and clean themselves. There are some issues with eating out, though. The most important one is probably the cost that it brings to families when they eat out. Drinks, appetizers, meals, and the tip can really add up when it comes to the final bill.

Local restaurants are an important part of a community’s economy. People should always try to eat out and support those businesses if they can. What can families do to cut down on restaurant meal prices? Here are 5 ways that you can save money the next time you eat out.

1. Skip drinks – Drinks can really add to the overall price of a meal. Water is the most healthy drink that you can consume anyways. You may be surprised at how much money you save by not getting drinks at a restaurant. If you eat out 5 times a month you could save over $100 dollars a month. That could pay your cell phone bill!

2. Go out to eat on weekdays – Restaurants have the highest demand on weekends. This is when most people have the time to go out because they are not working. Because of this, a lot of places will run specials and even let kids eat free earlier in the week. A smart consumer will take advantage of this and take their family out on these nights for maximum savings. Think about how much money you can save at your favorite place if you take place of a “buy one get one” or “kids eat free” type of deal. This will really add up over the course of the year.

3. Split that meal – Restaurant portions are almost getting out of hand in their size. You probably end up taking half your meal home anyways. Why not save money by taking that meal and sharing it with someone at your table? Boom, you just cut your meal cost in half while still being satisfied.

4. Order Carry Out – Getting carry out is a great way to remedy this problem. You can get the food that you like from the restaurant without having to pay for the service part of it. You’re going to have to clean up after yourselves, but you still won’t have to do any dishes.

5. Entertainment Book – An entertainment book is going to be filled with deals from local eateries trying to attract your business. This is a great option because it saves you money and gives you the opportunity to try out new restaurants.

Eating out doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it does. Use these 5 tips to help you save money and still have some great meals from great restaurants. You might be surprised at how much money you are wasting currently on dinner.

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