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Going Out to Eat: If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em!

I’m ready to admit it. I’m pretty much a terrible PF blogger.


I still pay for TV service.

I pay for a gym membership every month.

I pay someone to clean my house.

I like to eat out.

There I said it. I LIKE TO GO OUT TO EAT!

As much as I’ve talked about how to cook for one and how to save on groceries, I still like to eat out even though I’m in debt (and apparently I’m not the only one).

Now don’t get me wrong. I like to cook and eat at home most of time, plus it can really save you a lot of money and make your meals healthier. But I still eat out probably 2 times each week with friends or family. The reason you haven’t heard a lot about this is that I don’t really budget for it with my FT job’s income (which is the only income I use in my budget reports). I pay for my eating out with my PT job or side hustle income.

Even though I like to eat out (and do so regularly), I do try to keep it as frugal as possible without ruining the enjoyment of it. Here are a few things I do to help cut down on eating out costs:

Go Out for Lunch

I try to go out to lunch rather than dinner with my girlfriends as often as possible. Lunch is so much cheaper! At my favorite restaurant, the portions on the lunch and supper menu are the same but the lunch menu is about 25% cheaper. If we absolutely can’t go to lunch and end up out for supper, I usually try to order something they have on special, or I politely ask if I order off the lunch menu. Sometimes they say yes and sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t hurt to try!

Split Meals or Take Home Leftovers

One really good place to eat in my hometown is a locally owned coffee shop that also serves different dishes for lunch everyday. It’s delicious, moderately priced, locally owned, and filled with homemade food. The best part about this place is the portion size – they are huge! Usually I split a meal with my friend or I take 1/2 of my lunch home and eat it for supper that night. Two meals for the price of one!

Skip the Drinks

Another way I cut down on the cost of eating out is to skip drinks with my meals. At my lunch dates I don’t get pop. I just order water, which is complimentary.

Skipping alcoholic drinks will save you even more money than skipping the soda, but sometimes I splurge on one alcoholic drink with my meal. If I decide to do this I order mind fully. For instance, the mexican restaurant’s margaritas are $8.50 while their daiquiris are only $4.25 so I always get the daiquiri if I decide to order any alcohol. Skipping alcohol with my meal isn’t usually a problem because my friends and I will often go home and have some wine or homemade daiquiris or margaritas instead! 🙂


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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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