Frugal Tips: Advice For Dining Out For Little Money

Information on saving money on a fancy dinner at a nice resturaunt.

Who doesn't like a nice dinner out every now and then? For some people on a limited budget, a night on the town remains a fantasy or a once-or twice-yearly event to celebrate a special occasion. There are ways to enjoy a delicious meal in a nice restaurant without breaking the bank. Below are several tips to help those who might want to save money on a fancy dinner out.

The local newspapers and Pennysavers can be a frugal diner's best friend. Often, local restaurants advertise in the pages of these publications, hoping to draw in customers with special offers, discounts and coupons for a free entree or two-for-one dinners. Many of these offers are valid only for certain types of entrees or during certain days of the week or hours of the day, but for budget-conscious individuals, this shouldn't be a problem.

Sometimes, it's not only the cost of the meal that's expensive, but also the cost of two or three drinks per person. A glass of wine or a cold beer does make a nice meal more enjoyable, but you'll have to ask yourself if these, or expensive mixed drinks, are a necessary part of your dining experience. A glass of refreshing iced tea or lemonade is just as tasty and, in most cases, a glass of ice water, which goes with any meal, by the way, doesn't cost a dime. If the reason for the drink is to quench your thirst, you can't go wrong with water.

Do you know that you can save money by dining in a group? Call your restaurant of choice and ask if they offer group discounts. You may have to choose from a special menu or dine in a private room, but what can be better than a pleasant dining experience with friends? In fact, many of these special menus offer a soup or salad, entree, beverage, bread and dessert at a special discounted price.

Appetizers and desserts also add to the expense of dining out, but this doesn't have to be the case. Ask yourself if you really need all those extras, or if you're ordering the food only because it's on the menu. Do you eat appetizers and desserts at home? Another alternative is to skip dessert at the restaurant but stop at the ice cream parlor on the way home. An ice cream cone, in most cases, costs less than a fancy dessert at a trendy restaurant. How about a cup of coffee and piece of pie at the local diner? Better yet, why not buy a carton of ice cream at the supermarket and enjoy a treat in the comfort of your own home?

Most people aren't aware of this, but many fine restaurants offer take out items as well. By taking out, you save money that would otherwise be spent on the tip. You may also be less inclined to order extras such as appetizers and beverages when you're ordering food to eat at home.

Instead of skipping the appetizers, you might consider making them your entree. Some of the items offered "to start" are bigger than the meals we eat at home on a regular basis. Why not eat an appetizer or two instead of ordering the more expensive bigger meal? Appetizers are also great for the children.

Hopefully, some of these ideas will inspire you to have a nice night out without spending a lot of money. If you put your mind to it, there are many different ways to enjoy affordable fine dining. In fact, you may save so much money; you may not even have to wait for a special occasion.

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