52 Money Save Ways: Week 36: Eat Out The Smart Way

52 Money Save Ways: Week 36: Eat Out The Smart Way

Welcome to week 36 of the Money Save Ways tips series designed to help you save money in as many ways as possible throughout the year! This week, we will touch on how to save money while eating out as well as why you should skip it if you can and ways to help you avoid it. If you are following along, this week deposit $36 into your 52 week money jar or $21 if you are doing the challenge in reverse. Let’s look at how you can save money if you are eating out.


52 Money Save Ways week 36 eat out the smart way


52 Money Save Ways: Week 36: Eat Out The Smart Way

Eating out is fun and sometimes unavoidable, but if it becomes too much of a habit, it can really dig a huge wedge into your budget, especially if you are feeding your whole family when you do it. Here are some ways to avoid it and how to do it for cheaper if you end up needing to on the fly.

Don’t eat out because of lack of planning. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid eating out. Simply do a meal plan each week and keep it flexible so if something comes up, you have a backup plan. The best way to do this is to keep some meals in the freezer that are easy to prepare on nights where you are finding time is short.

Budget for meals that you will be eating out. This includes not only deciding what you will spend when you do go out to eat, but also how many times you will use eating out each month.

Save eating out for nights when it really is an only option. Eating out should only be used in cases of illness on a parent’s part who usually does the cooking, on special occasions such a birthdays, holidays or sleepovers and when you simply will not have time to cook anything at all due to scheduling conflicts. You should never use eating out as something you do when you just don’t feel like cooking. Otherwise, it can quickly become this several times a week.

If you do want to eat out make sure you eat where you can get discounts. Pick a couple restaurants that you will frequent enough and ask if they have frequent diner cards or rewards. Make sure to get credit when you eat out so you can get free meals in the future.

Choose establishments that offer free dining for kids as an option and only go there if you have young children. This way, you will essentially only be paying for adults at the table.

Rather than each person getting their own entree, look for restaurants that serve large portions and split it between two people. This can be very helpful for light eaters or children.


What are some ways you keep costs down for eating out? Do you eat out very often? How do you avoid eating out when you are busy?

Did you miss a previous week’s Money Save Ways tip? Click on previous weeks to see more tips for saving you more!

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