Making a habit out of eating out every other night can put a bit of a strain on your bank account, especially as a student or a family. However, we all deserve a little treat every now and again, and who says eating out in restaurants needs to cost the equivalent of your entire weekly food shop! There are ways of saving money when going out to eat, so you can enjoy yourself and the food, without that guilty feeling. Below are 5 tips for dining out on a budget- be money smart!

Use Vouchers and Special Offers

The food and drink industry is very competitive; therefore, many restaurants and takeaway places now do vouchers and offers; sometimes these will be for specific groups of people e.g., students, children, OAP’s, etc. or sometimes there will be specific days when offers are valid, such as ‘BOGOF Fridays’. By checking for vouchers and special offers before deciding where to go, you can make sure you are saving money while spending it. You can find loads of good deals at

Do not order Alcohol with your Meal

Often when you check your bill after going out for a meal and some drinks, you will see that the cost of the alcohol totals up to the same amount (or more!) than the food! Also, when you are eating, you get thirsty and are therefore more likely to order multiple drinks… not only will this hurt your head in the morning! But also, your bank account. Therefore, it is a better idea to just have soft drinks with your meal and wait for happy hour later in the evening and maybe go to a cheaper bar or… if you are really on a budget then stick to tap water!

Go to an All you can Eat Buffet

Something that can be really great for getting your money’s worth is an all-you-can-eat buffet; usually, you will be required to pay a fixed price, and then you can fill up your plate as many times are you like! This is a good option for those of us who are indecisive and can never choose what to eat! However, these places are the WORST for food waste, as people often pile up their plates and then cannot eat everything, so why not bring home a doggy bag?

Eat out on your Birthday

A lot of restaurants now give you a free meal and drink on your birthday! So why not take advantage of this and eat out at your favorite restaurant on your birthday?! Of course, if you wish to invite people then they will have to pay for their meals but who cares? You will be saving money and that’s all that matters!

Use Zero-waste Food Apps

There are apps that allow you to buy the leftover meals that did not get used that day for as little as $3. Various restaurants and cafes can sign up to be part of this service; not only are many of them very generous so you can get a cheap meal, but you are also helping with food waste! Check out what apps are available in your area!

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