8 Ways to Save Big Money on Dinners

dinner settingDinners can be an expensive way to spend time with friends. Perhaps you are having a strain on your food budget because dinners are expensive. Well, you don’t have to sacrifice you entire food budget. You can save money on dinning out with these tips.


Use these ideas the next time you have a special dinner:


  1. Plan ahead and check websites. Many restaurants post their entire menu online with the prices.
  • Before you schedule a special dinner that leaves you with a shocking bill, check the website of the restaurant. The menus often include prices. You can also call ahead and check the prices.


  1. Sign up for deal alerts. Restaurants often offer deals online or discounts to their newsletter subscribers, so sign up at the website of your favorite eatery.
  • You can discreetly pay for your special dinner with a coupon or other deal if you talk to the manager ahead of time. They’re usually willing to work with customers and prevent embarrassment at the table.
  • Online deals can be mailed or emailed. You may have to download a deal to your phone or print it out.


  1. Look for specials on specific days. Many restaurants offer special deals on specific days of the week. If you pay attention to them and schedule your dinner at the right time, then you can save.
  • More deals are available during the week than on weekends. Restaurants tend to have fewer customers during the week compared to the weekend, so they offer more deals on weekdays, which fits in well with most business dinners.


  1. Consider switching to a lunch gathering instead of dinner. Lunch typically costs less than dinner. In many restaurants, every meal on the lunch menu costs less than the dinner menu. This is partially caused by more people coming to the restaurant at night.


  1. Check out hotel restaurants. Your local hotel restaurants may have good deals for business dinners. Hotel restaurants may not get as many customers as popular chains, so they’re more likely to have discounts.


  1. Consider restaurants near colleges. College students don’t have a lot of spending money, so many of the restaurants near colleges have great deals.
  • If you can find a restaurant that is acceptable for your dinner meeting, then you may save a lot of money. Restaurants near colleges also stay open later than others because students come in later at night.


  1. Sign up for deal sites. Websites that collect deals from restaurants can email you the information and latest bargains.
  • In addition, you can sign up for specific deal sites from restaurants. Chain restaurants often have their own websites with loyalty programs. Customers can save by redeeming points or other offers.


  1. Check the fine print. Hidden fees can quickly add up to make your restaurant bill high. Are you being charged for every drink refill? Did your request for more bread mean an extra charge on the bill? Hidden and unexplained fees can make your business dinner a financial nightmare.
  • Discuss the cost of everything with a manager or server before the dinner if you’re worried about feeling embarrassed. You can call ahead and ask questions.
  • It’s also crucial to check the bill before you pay. Mistakes can happen. You can discuss them in private with your server.


Dinners may be an essential part of your active and social lifestyle. However, they don’t have to leave you with a giant bill. Eat well while limiting your costs with these tips.


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