I was amazed to read the average American household spends more than $2,200 dining out, according to New Strategist Publications. So, we do need to be good consumers and pay attention to what we are ordering at our favorite restaurants. Be sure to ask the price of the specials, my husband and I have found it is not unusual for them to be more expensive than every other item on the menu. Simply ask how much they are as the waiter lists them.
Another profit making item is bottled water offered at many eateries, even your fast food stops offer bottled water. Bottled water is a huge profit for restaurants. If you order wine with dinner, order a glass of the house wine, it is much more $ friendly, or do like my husband and I do, have small glass of wine and a piece of cheese before you leave for the restaurant.
When we get to the restaurant we are not as hungry so we order a dinner that comes with a salad to split and order one extra salad. If you do order a bottle of wine, be certain the bottle you order is the bottle you receive. Sometimes less expensive varieties are substituted for pricier versions. Some restaurants will cavalierly substitute a less expensive year, but still charge you the higher.
By Bobbie from Rockwall, TX
Many restaurants serve large portions. Don't be afraid to take half of your meal home. Many servers say they are noticing that diners are bringing their own plastic containers to take home the food. Much better than Styrofoam. (01/12/2009)
I always order a glass of ice water at restaurants. A beverage with the meal can add $1.50 or more. (01/12/2009)
Many chain restaurants have an email club on their main website. Upon joining you receive a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert, and sometimes money off coupons.They will also send you a free offer for appetizer or dessert on your birthday. I always check a restaurants website for offers before dining out. (01/12/2009)
If there's a kids entree, ask for it. Also a number of restaurants are offering 1/2 portions. If you cannot share an entree, order an appetizer as your entree. Many of the appetizers are smaller portions of the main entree. When ordering a bottle of wine, be sure you see the label as the server peels off the top seal and uncorks it. Reputable restaurants do this as a matter of integrity. (01/13/2009)
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