Good Morning Green Panda Readers.  Easter weekend is quickly approaching and that means that within the next few days we may all be sitting down to eat a nice big dinner with our family.  I don’t know about you but I don’t like to cook, actually I don’t really know how to cook.  I personally spend a lot of money on snacks, eating out, and dining at restaurants due to my lack of cooking skills.  I would someday like to learn how to cook and I have tried several times but the truth is that I just don’t have the time.  It’s a lot easier to grab some food on the way home from work, but it’s probably not the most economical habit.  If I wasn’t lazy, if I didn’t hate washing dishes, and if I could actually take the time to learn how to cook I could definitely save a lot of money on eating out.

Here are 5 Tips to Help you Save Money When Eating Out:

1. Eat with friends.  If we go out to restaurants and eat with our friends then we can share the cost of our meal. Many restaurants such as Applebee’s and TGI Friday’s offer meals for two at discounted prices.  Sharing meals helps cut our costs and our calories.

2. Order an appetizer.  Many restaurants offer their meals in large proportions and sometimes an appetizer is all we need to be full.  If we order an appetizer for our main meal we can enjoy eating out and save money on the total cost of our restaurant bill.

3. Pick it up yourself.  We can save on the cost of delivery charges as well as on the cost of having to tip the delivery driver if we order food and then go and pick it up our self at the restaurant. I personally feel better about the cost of eating out when I can save some extra money on the cost of delivery and tipping.

4. Skip The Drinks.  One of the biggest money makers for restaurants and one of the biggest expenses for diners who eat out is the cost of alcohol.  If we enjoy some beverages at home before we go out then we can save a lot of money on the cost of alcoholic drinks. Think about the total cost of the bill last time you ate out at a restaurant, was the majority of the cost related to alcoholic drinks?

5. Avoid Cravings.  Impulse purchases and splurging on cravings can be a major expense when we eat out.  If we have a snack at home before we go out to eat then we can save on the cost of satisfying our cravings.  Very often we crave something and then we run out to buy it or we order delivery to our home.  Impulse purchases and splurging on cravings is very costly, especially since most restaurants have a minimum charge for delivery.  If we give into temptations then we may end up satisfying our craving, but we may also end up overpaying for our meal just to meet the minimum delivery charge requirements.

Photo by dalbera

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya Kristina

Tahnya is 30 years old and lives in Montreal Quebec. She graduated in 2005 from Concordia University, and she currently works for a major International Financial Institution. She recently launched You can follow her on Twitter @TahnyaP.