Just because you think eating out is expensive doesn’t mean it is!
There are loads of ways to cut back when you head out to a favourite restaurant without having to pick the cheapest side salad on the menu.
Whether it’s for a special occasion, date night or even a random Saturday night, there are plenty of ways to avoid spending too much.
Take a look at five tips and tricks you can start to do immediately that will save your bank account from a hefty bill.
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1. Get up to 50% off
Let’s start with a whopping discount!
You can get a guaranteed 50% off at loads of independent restaurants and big discounts such as 2 for 1 offers or 25% off food & drinks at several big-name chains.
There are loads of restaurant deals with tastecard (plus you can get a 60-day trial to test it out for £1).
You can use a taste card for discounts in restaurants such as Prezzo, Zizzi, Café Rouge, Carluccio’s, ASK Italian and more.
The price of beer or wine at a restaurant can surge the price of the bill.
Instead of sipping on water all night, find a local restaurant that offers Bring Your Own Bottle.
Then, you can select the booze you need from a supermarket or off licence at a much better price and bring the cost of your overall meal down.
Double check if they charge a “corkage fee”, as this might put the costs straight back up.
3. Become a secret shopper
Mystery shopping is not just taking place in high street shops.
There is a calling for people to test out restaurants and give feedback on their food and overall service.
You’re undercover, so you can’t let the restaurant staff know – which may make your restaurant experience even more fun!
You will usually need to pay for the meal in advance, but you will get refunded for your costs (up to a set agreed limit). You will also need to complete a written report afterwards about the details of what happened during your meal.
Find out more about becoming a mystery shopper.
4. Get a birthday freebie
Did you know there are loads of shops, café and restaurants that give you free stuff because it’s your birthday?!
Simply sign up for their newsletters or create an account and let them know your date of birth and you’ll get sent a special offer around your birthday time.
With restaurants, you usually get offered complimentary Prosecco, wine, a pudding, or even a discount on your final bill.
Make sure to sign up in plenty of time for your evening out.
5. Always check the bill
When the night comes to an end, and you ask for the check, always double check it. Mistakes can happen, and the slip of a button can add three starters instead of two.
This has happened to me before, but the staff were hugely apologetic and immediately removed the extra charges.
Some restaurants add a discretionary service charge; however, you are not obliged to pay it.
While many people pay it regardless, thinking it’s a mandatory charge, you can ask them to remove any added tips and instead leave what you feel is appropriate.