Food News

How to eat out without breaking the bank: Five top tips

If you, like me, enjoy eating out, you will know it can come at a cost! However, there are a few clever ways to avoid the bill being too horrific when you dine out!

Here are my top five tips to help you enjoy good food whilst keeping the bank balance in check…

Go out and celebrate at the start of the week!

I know it is very tempting to turn up at Yo Sushi on a Friday night and go for it BUT if you go on Blue Monday you can get the same food at a fraction of the price. Whilst you might not be celebrating the end of another hard working week, you can at least celebrate the fact that the first working day is out of the way and things can only get better! With many other restaurants also offering promotions for going out early in the week, this is a great way to try and reduce your dining bill.

Get yourself a discount card

With Taste cards, Gourmet cards and many, many more cards on offer nowadays, there are some excellent deals to be had if you are prepared to pay out a little in advance. With local restaurants in Leeds such as The Olive Tree offering deals such as 2 for 1 with a Taste card, and Shalimar in Harrogate doing the same, this is certainly a good way to save a great deal of money, especially if you are going to be dining out regularly. One final thing to look out for is deals on the cards themselves; sometimes you can buy them for a 50% reduction, meaning that you’re paying out even less in the first place.

Go for the early bird

Okay, it may not be that late night romantic dinner you fancied and sure, there are a few more kids at the restaurant than you wanted, but look at the bill and you might just smile! With the likes of Nonna’s in Sheffield, Viva in Leeds, and many more offering great money saving early birds, it is worth having a good look at the boards and signs outside restaurants to make sure you can snaffle the deal you want! Italian restaurants always seem to offer decent early bird deals, with a glass of wine and a pasta or pizza dish usually found for less than the usual cost of one main meal.

One word of caution here: check that you have made the early bird time-wise before the bill comes. We recently went to one of our favourite Leeds Italians and managed to be swindled in this respect. Despite turning up before the early bird deadline expired and placing our order on time, we were still denied the early bird deal. Do just make sure you are getting the right deal before getting a nasty surprise!

Avoid the booze!

It might seem obvious that drinks cost money but it is worth bearing in mind just how much money that can be! We recently enjoyed a divine Sunday brunch at Hotel du Vin where we felt that everything was rather good value. That said, we could essentially have saved enough for one of us to go out and have the brunch again by choosing to avoid the temptation of one of the many marvellous cocktails or glasses of fizz on offer.

Especially when visiting top notch restaurants, you can find your bill being doubled with ease by choosing to go for that bottle of wine with your meal. If you are really all about the food and the booze is just a bonus, it will certainly save you a few bob if you don’t have it with your meal!

Get yourself a discount voucher!

With the likes of Groupon, Wowcher and many more voucher sites offering great discounts for a whole range of restaurants, it is certainly worth keeping an eye out for the latest deals on offer before picking where you are heading out to eat! While the normal reason for these loss leading offers is to bring in more business and encourage you to come back, it is certainly worth just checking to make sure that the restaurant is not offering you a deal that seems too good to be true!

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