Tips for Dining on a Budget


Some tips on how to dine out without breaking the bank.


While it's always tempting to try some expensive, hot restaurants in the city, getting caught up in the hype can leave you broke at the end of the month. Here are a few tips to get you through the experience so that you have some leftover coin for Friday night.


Hit Happy Hour: While not every establishment may have this option, some happy hours go until 6:30 which is a reasonable enough time to go to dinner. Typically I'll get two happy hour menu items and one main for two people and leave it at that which can often save me up to $7 off the bill which really adds up over the month. My happy hour recommendations are: Anthem, Better Half and North Italia

When one drink costs the same as an entree, you really have to ask yourself if it is worth it!

Avoid Drinks and Dessert: Okay, okay, this one is no fun but man, when one drink costs the same as an entree, you really have to ask yourself if it is worth it. If you just absolutely need to drink with dinner, consider opting for a simple mixed beverage or a beer instead. In regards to dessert, this is commonly known as one of the easiest ways for a server to up the bill slightly at the end of the meal. If you're really not hungry, leave it out or hit up a coffee shop/bakery on the way home instead to grab a $3 cookie.


Don't Leave the House Starving: You might think this tip is ridiculous but hear me out. You are trying out a new restaurant but your goal is only to spend $15 and when you arrive, your eyes are bigger than your stomach, the next thing you know, you've ordered a few extra items. If I know I'm going to a place just for drinks or apps, I'll make sure I'm not ravenous before I go so I'm not tempted to binge on other items.

Between these two dishes, what do you think is more filling?

Ask the Server About Portion Size: Often I'll ask, "between these two dishes, what do you think is more filling?" and select based upon their advice. Usually, I will end up with leftovers that I can take home and turn into a second meal the next day. That's the ultimate value, a two for one!



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