22 Apr 5 Great Money Saving Tips
Dining out can be a great way to unwind after a busy week at work, to socialise with friends, and to enjoy some quality family time, but with the cost of food increasing three times faster than the average salary, more and more of us are looking for ways to cut down on our spending while still appreciating the finer things in life. Here are 5 great money saving tips to help you dine out guilt free…
1. Use Restaurant Vouchers
Vouchers for specific restaurants which offer discount dining, free food or drink, or other incentives certainly influence diner behaviour – it’s reported that 48 percent are more likely to dine at an establishment if they offer a loyalty card, and yet only one fifth of diners make use of restaurant discounts available to them. Why pay for something that you could have for free? Marketing trends amongst restaurants in the UK suggest that restaurant vouchers, loyalty cards, and money off coupons aren’t going anywhere, so you may as well use them!
2. Sign up for a Discount Card
Third party discount cards that are not associated with just a single restaurant are gaining popularity amongst UK diners due to their flexibility and versatility. These cards often cover everything from restaurants and groceries to fashion and hotel stays, offering diners greater opportunities to save money across a number of different sectors, for just the cost of a nominal membership fee. Discounts tend to vary between establishments, but some card providers promise diners they can save up to 50 percent on their meals.
3. Dine During Discount Hours
Believe it or not, the ‘early bird special’ isn’t just for the older generation! Dining before 6pm may seem early, but not only could it save you money, it could also have a positive effect on your diet. Studies suggest that people tend to eat more between 6pm and 10pm, so an early evening dinner could be good for the waistline. With the average office worker finishing at 5pm, and with others having snacked on biscuits all afternoon, restaurants are often less busy during the pre-6pm shift, which means they may offer food and drink discounts as an incentive to dine.
4. Order Strategically
The UK is seeing a new wave of American chain restaurants popping up, with Five Guys Burger & Fries, Shake Shack, and Chipotle Mexican Grill all launching this side of the pond in recent years. With them they’re bringing huge American portions that many of us aren’t accustomed to. Ordering strategically by choosing dishes that would taste great the next day heated up for lunch is a good way to get more for your money. 25 percent of Brits claim to be too embarrassed to ask for a ‘doggy bag’ when dining out, but by doing so you’re actually helping restaurants to reduce the 21 tonnes of waste that’s produced per restaurant per year.
5. Bring Your Own Bottle
The concept of ‘bring your own bottle’, or BYOB, is something that is traditionally associated with inexpensive curry houses that don’t hold an alcohol license, but this is a trend that’s actually making a major comeback, amongst even the most high end restaurants. More and more dining establishments are embracing the BYOB movement, which can really help save diners money. A standard mark up in restaurants is double the purchase price plus an addition £9, but some wines can be sold at up to five times the trade price, making for an expensive bill.
Harry Price is a freelance writer anartist from the south coast. He is a self confessed lover of food, travel and culture. Always on the look out for his next adventure.