5 Ways To Save Money Eating Out

For several reasons I actually like eating out sometimes. I know this is not popular in the FIRE community, we are supposed to cook every meal at home. Yes, I agree most meals should be prepared at home. This leads to cost savings and in many cases can lead to healthier eating. Although, sometimes it is nice to eat out or get takeout, no cooking prep or dishes! All this said, we are a very busy family at the moment and sometimes we like to grab different kinds of foods for pleasure and convenience. So, we have developed several methods to minimize the bill, but still get to enjoy some meals from other places: 1. No drinks:  Drinks are marked up like crazy and especially alcohol. I pretty much always go for free water. 2. Quality takeout, no fancy sit down places:  I am frankly not a fan of super fancy places to eat. The food is expensive and I do not feel the need to be waited on to the extreme. Try and pick places with the right price point for quality, but reduce costs by removing the table service and white table cloths. Several years ago Mrs. Money Viking won a contest  for some gift certificates to some of the fanciest places in town. I could not believe how expensive some of these joints were, and honestly the food was good, but not that good! We only went because we had $100 gift certificates. 3. Use boosts and coupons:  Lately I am a big fan of the boosts that Jerry uses that take 10% off a fast food type meal like Chick-fil-a, or a dollar off any coffee purchase. Also, keep an eye out in your local paper for coupons. I see coupons all the time for our favorite Italian, etc. http://oracle.davidkanter.com/2018/09/24/cashapp-boosts-are-getting-better-everyday/ 4. Split meals:  Many places simply serve too large of portions. It is important to split meals as often as possible. This has obvious health and energy benefits. A person will feel satisfied but less lethargic from over eating. 5. Make leftovers last:  If we bring home takeout, it typically becomes two meals. That instantly reduces the cost in half. If we spend $25 on take out for a family of 3, then make some of it lunch the next day, that gets the per meal cost down to around $3, it is actually hard to beat that cooking at home. Try and maximize the food dollars by grocery shopping and preparing meals at home. But keep in mind there are ways to stretch the eating out dollars too!  

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