Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Discount Dining


Karen Saley Extension Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences

Eating out doesn’t have to be a wallet-buster. Pinching pennies seems to be the theme of the day so here are some ideas that may help you save a few dollars the next time you visit your favorite restaurant.

Look for coupons in the newspapers and online
Don’t feel bad about using them. Restaurants know what their food margins are and what they are able to give away. It’s in their best interest to offer coupons to attract new business.

Skip the beverages and drink water
It’s healthier for you anyway! The average fountain drink costs the establishment around twenty cents, you pay over a dollar and sometimes a lot more. So skip the beverages and pocket the change, and if you pass on the alcohol you’ll save a lot more than just pocket change!

Order appetizers instead of full meals
The size of some meals today is so outrageous that we are consuming two, three or four meals at one sitting. Appetizers are more portion friendly and can be very economical usually costing just a few dollars.

Share your meals
Again, portion sizes are usually much larger than they should be so consider splitting an entrée with your dining partner. Save yourself excess calories and a lot of dough.

Skip the dessert
If you must have that sweet indulgence at the end of the meal, why not have it at home. Buy yourself a little treat from the grocery store at a fraction of the cost and pair it with that two cent cup of coffee you can make yourself.

Be an early bird
Take advantage of the early bird specials. Eating a little earlier in the day can save you twenty to thirty percent and you’ll have the whole evening to go for a nice stroll.

Get it to go
No need to order beverages and you get to keep the tip by ordering your meal to go. Take your delicious meal home, light some candles, put on some music and you’ll feel like you’re at a top-notch restaurant without having to pay the high cost.


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Company and product listings do not represent endorsement by either: Pinellas County Extension, Pinellas County or the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.