Thrifty Thursday #1: How to Save Money When Eating Out

What’s not to love about eating out? No washing up, the chance to try new food, great for social gatherings – It has many perks. However, on a student budget one thing that I don’t love is the price. I simply can’t justify spending £15 quid on a meal when it’s half the price of my WEEKLY food shop. 

Not to worry though there are some great ways to save money when eating out and you lovely readers, are about to get a slice of that money saving action!

One – DONT pay for a drink. Ask for a glass of water which is free and miles better for you than juice or alcohol anyway. Make sure you ask for tap water though as you will still be charged for anything that comes in a bottle!

Two – DO carry out your research. The amount of times I’ve eaten at Pizza Express because they e-mail me discounts is crazy, maybe disgusting even. Sign up to the mailing lists of your favourite restaurants, check out their websites for any exclusive deals they might have, ‘Like’ their Facebook, ‘Follow’ their Twitter – become their number one fan.

Three – DONT forget to leave feedback. I once had a bad experience at Nando’s with cold, burnt food and wrote to them about it. A week or so later I received an apologetic letter and a voucher for a full platter for two. When we got to the restaurant they proceeded to give us two free desserts which weren’t even included in the voucher! This isn’t to say pick on every little detail in order to get freebies but let them know about your experience you never know what you might get out of it, this goes for positive feedback too!

Four – DO take advantage of your group size. Several Asian restaurants (and also a few others) offer set menus for different group sizes. I’m not sure of the exact reasoning behind it, but often buying a set menu deal is significantly cheaper than ordering your own individual portions

Five – DONT order a three course meal the likelihood that you’d eat it all is very slim and there is nothing worse than wasted food, especially when you’re eating on a budget.

Six – DO Bring your own booze. If you do enjoy the odd glass of wine with your meals why not go to an unlicensed restaurant where you can take your own? Most restaurants charge a ludicrous amount for a bottle of house wine so it makes sense really to go to somewhere you can take your own. Check out this link for a directory of these restaurants.

So there you have it, those are some of my top tips on how to save money whilst eating out! What are your tips and do you do any of these? Let me know!