Eating out is probably most people’s single biggest monthly expense . My wife and I spend around $350 a month eating out. We eat out about 4 times a week. I know some of you are probably thinking that is cheap and yes you are right. Keep in mind we eat out at all types of restaurant, from hole-in-the-walls to fine dining. To give you a better idea of the places we normally eat out at, they cost around $25-30PP. So if you are trying to do the math that is about $22, for 2 people, every time we eat out including tax and tip. So what is the trick to saving money NO soda, share your meals and tip based on the level of service.
1. Do not order any soda, drink water (it is better for you anyway). Soda on average costs about $2.65 at most restaurants. So when you do the math what does 2 sodas actually cost, $6.74. Below is a breakdown of the costs.
Not to mention the negative health effects soda and especially diet soda has on your body.
2. Share you meals, order only one entrée and if you are really hungry order an appetizer. We live in a country where the portion sizes are so huge that in a 3rd world country a family of 4 can eat from just one American entrée. Most restaurants do not have a problem with sharing a meal but most people just assume or maybe it’s the social thing that make them feel uncomfortable ordering one meal. Just think about the last time you went out and whatever you ordered, did you finish it? If you did not finish it, did you take it home? When you took it home did you actually eat it or just go out to eat again and throw out your doggy bag? Yes it can be a vicious cycle. Just order less, thanks to the generosity of most restaurant’s portion size you will not leave hungry. There is also a health benefit here, you are not walking away with that “I’m so f*&k%$# full” feeling, it sucks. If you are by yourself you can get just the kids meals most places.
3. Tip based on the level of service you received and not on what you think everyone is tipping (screw the social pressures of tipping). Do not be a smuck and tip a bad waiter/waitress 20% or more. Tip 20% and never more only if they really earned it. Think of it like this, does your boss give you a raise based upon your performance, yes most probably. So you should use the same model, pay for performance. When the service is really bad I leave a big fat $0 with comments on the receipt, so the waiter/waitress knows why they earned what they did and hopefully the next person will get better service.