How To Save Money When Dining Out With Friends
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How To Save Money When Dining Out With Friends

Dining out with friends on the weekend doesn't have to cost you an arm, a leg, and an empty bank account. Even if you have little financial give at the moment, you can still head out for dinner with friends without breaking your budget. The next time you meet with a group for dinner at a restaurant, try some of these tips to save your money.

Dining out with friends on the weekend doesn't have to cost you an arm, a leg, and an empty bank account. Even if you have little financial give at the moment, you can still head out for dinner with friends without breaking your budget.

The next time you meet with a group for dinner at a restaurant, try some of these tips to save your money.

Dibs On The Front Seat

Carpool to the restaurant rather than taking individual cars. You will save gas money and in addition help the environment by reducing collective emissions.

If you usually dine with the same group, take turns driving each week. If there are four people, for instance, you will pay one quarter of the gas for the month. There is equal financial contribution by each person.

Appetite for Appetizers

Divide the starter menu between your group members. Each person orders and pays for a single appetizer. When the food arrives at the table, share the plates between the groups. This lets you sample the menu and eat a serving size equal to an entree for the cheaper price of an appetizer. You will also eat a variety of foods rather than a single meal limited to one protein and two sides, depending on the restaurant of choice.

Half Off Please

Ask the waiter for a half-portion of the menu item that interests you. Often menus do not list half-portion sizes but will serve the smaller meal at a lower price to satisfy the customer.

Remember, the restaurant wants to maintain your business and you don't know unless you ask! Half-size portions are a growing trend according to the National Restaurant Association's What's Hot in 2011 survey, taken by more than 1,500 chefs belonging to the American Culinary Federation. "Half-portions/smaller portion for a smaller price" took thirteenth place in the Top 20 Trends for 2011.

Collection Plate

Prior to meeting for dinner, each person agrees to contribute a set amount of money toward the dinner. Dishes are then ordered based on total amount of funds collected. The food is shared between group members, a method that allows you to sample a variety of eats without paying a large amount of money. The more diners that are present, the lower the contribution rate. The tip can also be shared between diners.

Don't Desert the Dessert

To finish the night, try sharing a dessert with your fellow diners rather than each ordering one separately. Less money is spent by dividing the cost of only one dessert. And don't forget, fewer calories means less guilt over the sweet treat. A win-win situation!

Using a combination of the above tips will help reduce the amount of money you spend during a group dinner event. Sit back, smile, and order the combo of friends, dinner, and dining out.

Sources:

http://www.restaurant.org/pdfs/research/whats_hot_2011.pdf

Personal Experience

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Comments (11)

Excellent tips!

Thank you dear Christy. Nice article. Voted. Thanks for friendship and support.

Yes, great advice for anyone on a budget.

Nice ideas!

Thank-you all for stopping by to read and comment :)

Good ideas, actually my partner and I often share half our meals for the variety.

Excellent, never knew you could order a half portion, will have to try it and see. Voted!

More great tips, thanks! ; )

Thanks all for the great comments here!

Excellent Tips! Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas.

Thanks Katrina, nice to see you here!

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