In the current economy, many people are looking for ways to reduce their spending without giving up life’s little luxuries. One way to cut costs is to visit restaurants less often, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge yourself on special occasions. There are a range of ways to significantly lower the price you pay when eating out. Here are some practical tips for how to save money on fine dining.
Book a table online through a restaurant discount website. The eateries listed on these sites offer incentives such as a free bottle of wine, two-for-one meals or a 50% discount on your food bill. You can search for restaurants in your area serving your favorite type of cuisine. Review your choices and pick the place with the best deal.
Celebrate with friends in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner menus at the same restaurant often feature identical items at very different prices. You can almost always eat more for less at lunchtime. Look for lunchtime offers such as free drinks or three courses for the price of a main course.
Go out on weeknights. Restaurants are keen to attract customers on days when business tends to be slow. Details of free bonuses or discounts available Monday through Thursday can usually be found on a restaurant’s website.
Become a privileged customer. If a restaurant you like has a loyalty program, sign up to receive offers not open to the general public. You could be sent coupons on a regular basis or be rewarded with free food after a number of repeat visits.
If you want wine with your meal, bring your own. Wine served at a restaurant usually costs at least three times what you’d pay at a liquor store. Search online for BYOB restaurants in your town or city. Some charge a small corkage fee, but you’ll still make significant savings.
Get discounted gift certificates online. Some promotional websites allow you to buy gift certificates valid at participating restaurants for less than half their face value. Simply purchase the certificate through the website, print it out on your computer and use it to pay for your restaurant meal.
Share and save. If each person in a party of four or more orders a three course meal, chances are it won’t all be eaten. You can spend less and waste less by sharing more. Instead of separate appetizers, order a sampling platter for the table. If you’re full, but can’t resist dessert, ask for an extra plate and split a portion.
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