A Wall Street Journal report states that restaurants need to charge their customers roughly four times the amount used to purchase ingredients. In other words, you will be saving a lot by cooking your own meals.
Many articles advise you to avoid eating out as much as you can. You may find it hard not to do so occasionally. What about the times when you will be too tired to do your own cooking? What about those special occasions when eating out would seem like a perfect idea? In such cases, having the money saving ideas given below will come in handy.
- Take Advantage of Discounts and Coupons
You should always think about possible discounted prices and available coupons before patronizing a restaurant. Check their websites for these promotional offers before you budget for your meals. Ensure that you read the terms and conditions of each promotional offer to know if they are favorable or not. You may be spending more just to be eligible for them.
- Try the Lunch Menu
Sometimes, you may just be craving for the experience of eating out without it being a special occasion. Consider going for the lunch menu of your chosen restaurant. The lunch menus of many restaurants cost significantly lesser than their breakfast and dinner menus.
- Have Tap Water Instead
If you feel the prices of the meals in a restaurant are too high, you can consider skipping the drinks. Many restaurants charge as much as 400% or more of the cost price of their drinks. Try ordering tap water instead. It is free in many restaurants.
Having tap water may not feel right on some occasions. In such instances, you can patronize restaurants that allow customers to bring their own drinks (BYOB). It is advisable to ask for the corkage price before doing so. Some restaurants charge high fees for opening and decanting bottles for their customers.
- Order Takeout
You can save money by eating restaurant food in the comfort of your own home. There are restaurants where you can order just one item such as lasagna. When you do so, your budget will be lesser when you buy the ingredients for extras (such as salad, soup, etc.) and prepare them yourself.
This is for those who want to save the time that would be required for the preparation of many dishes. You could be saving as much as half of the total bill for the lasagna and the extras.
- Pay With a Cash Back Credit Card
Your credit card issuer can return as much as 5% of your money back. Some cards may offer a flat-rate discount on purchases made.
Budgeting for eating out is something you can do with a pen and paper. It is not as complex as preparing the budget for your business or writing business plans. For such tasks, you can hire financial experts and business plan writers respectively. Now, you can enjoy your meal knowing that it costs less than it did for you in the past.