If you are in college, you probably know the struggle of the college cafeteria. I even wrote a post on surviving the college cafeteria, if you want to read it. I am particularly picky about the cafeteria and when I eat there versus in my room, or, the topic of this post, out at a restaurant.
My college town has a surprising amount of different restaurants close to campus and some a little farther. There are some classics like McDonald’s or Pizza Hut and some local places, too. There’s also a small food court on campus where I can use my meal plan, but I can also just use my own money. In college, I usually end up eating out about once a week.
Here are some things that I have learned to keep costs down when eating out.
1. GEt Water When Possible.
Limit your drinks to water and only get soda or drinks that cost money every once in awhile. Water is free, so you save money on the cost of a drink. Sodas can cost upwards of two dollars or more in some places. If you are of age and choose to get alcohol, that gets even more expensive. While getting water doesn’t save as much money as not eating out, it is a good way to save some money when you do go out.
2. Split a MEal.
If you are going out with friends, splitting a meal with a friend can save you both money. American portions are huge, and I know I rarely finish a meal from a restaurant. Sharing an entree with a friends can cut your bill in half, and it can even save on food waste.
3. ASk for a Bag for Leftovers.
If you don’t have someone to share food with or you want your own meal, ask for a doggy bag. If you don’t eat all of your food, you can take your leftovers home. I, personally, only eat certain foods as leftovers, but if you love leftovers, this is a great way to save money. It’s two meals for the price of one!
4. Look for Specials.
One of the local restaurants in my college town has a lunch special where you get a slightly smaller but still decent portion for a couple dollars less. You can also find daily deals for different days of the week or a sort of happy hour. And, there’s always the dollar menu at McDonald’s for the brokest of all the broke college students. 🙂
Do you have any other tips for saving money at restaurants? Leave ’em down in the comments below!
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Thanks for reading!