10 Ways to Save at Restaurants!

blessed beyond a doubt affiliate disclosure2The TOP 10 Ways to Save at Restaurants! Do you agree?Being a large homeschool family, going out to eat costs our family an arm and a leg!  Literally!

It’s a rare occasion, but we try to be frugal while still enjoying our time out together.

Here are 10 Ways We Save at Restaurants!

  1. Drink Water – soft drinks are terribly expensive.  Ask for lemon or lime to spruce up your ice water. I always bring my peppermint oil.
  2. Skip Appetizers and Desserts – if you must eat a dessert then eat ice cream when you get home.  Chances are you won’t want the extra calories after all.
  3. Be Aware of the Restaurant Specials – always ask what the special is for that day.  It usually is always less expensive.
  4. Kids Eat Free – find out what days kids eat free at all your favorite restaurants.
  5. Bring a Coupon – check restaurant.com or go directly to the restaurants website or facebook page before deciding on where to dine.
  6. Combine Coupons and Daily Specials – for example if you have a kids eat free coupon then order the special for even more savings.
  7. Share a Meal – always ask your server ahead of time, some restaurants have stipulations.  Split a dessert if you are both still hungry.
  8. Avoid Tipping at times- go to a restaurant that serves quality food, such as, Chipotle’s, Panera Bread, or Quiznos where you order your food at the counter.  (Before you send me any hate mail, I strongly believe in tipping your server, but there are times as these that I don’t think it is necessary)
  9. Go out to lunch – lunch items are always less expensive than dinner entrees.
  10. Restaurant Budget – use the envelope system while spending only the cash that is available.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.  Also, it will help you be more conscious of what you are ordering.

I hope some of these tips will help your family save while still experiencing an enjoyable dining experience.

What tips do you have to share with my readers?


  1. Good stuff!

  2. I agree with you – there are times when you have to budget and that means eating places where you aren’t “served” at the table. We like chick-fil-a as an option for family dinners out.

    Marissa @ http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com

  3. Try to find a mystery shopper deal…my hubby and I go out to eat about every 6 weeks or so…with sharing a dessert and coffee after our meal…and with tip the most we have spent above what we get back is $10…LOVE IT~

  4. Totally agree with you about going to places like Panera or Chipotle. Those are really the only places our family of 5 can afford regularly. Thanks for the tips!

  5. Something I do is if we go for fast food we don’t order kids meals, those are only for very special occasions.  We just order the sandwiches, a large fry or two to share and water cups.  It is usually plenty, though sometimes the kids think they are still hungry, I’ve noticed they aren’t asking for a snack the moment we walk in the door.

  6. Sixsistersstuff says:

    Thanks for the great tips on eating out! Thanks for joining us for “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”.  We loved having you and hope you’ll be back soon!  -The Sisters

  7. Mackenzie says:

    These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing on Saturday Show and Tell. I hope you’ll be back this week.

  8. Jill…do you know our family? We do all these things to save money at restaurants. Another thing we do is JUST have an appetizer or two for all of us to share if we are not wanting individual meals. Thank you for sharing fabulous ideas and for linking up at WJIM. 

  9. Flora Foster says:

    These are great tips for eating out. Right now my little guy is pretty small, so we don’t go out as much as we used to, but we are getting back in there. Thanks for the advice about the water. A drink can cost up to $4 around here!

  10. Some restaurants let you order from the lunch menus if you ask. Smaller portion also costs less sometimes we ask for a slice of lemon in our water

  11. Richard Buse says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. My wife and I frequently follow tip t#1 (Drink Water) and tiip #7 (Share a Meal). That saves money and calories. Some restaurants will charge several dollars more for the extra plate, and I understand that: After all, two individuals still need to be served and two sets of dirty dishes/silverware still need to be cleared away and washed afterward. We also try to remember to tip the server as though two full-priced meals were ordered.

  12. Michelle says:

    As I don’t go out very often and I LOVE dessert, I believe a special treat involves dessert. To afford this (and allow some tummy space), I choose a meal both my child and I can share (ask for an extra plate), then we share a decadent dessert .

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