I get asked "how do you get to eat out so much" a lot and usually I respond by saying "well, I'm single and have no kids", but there is a method to my madness if you will and here are a few tips and tricks that will help next time you find yourself staring down a pricey menu before pay day.
Stick To Cheaper Staples
Every restaurant menu has its go-to staples that tend to sell for slightly less than everything else. We know then well, burgers, pasta, vegetarian dishes, and chicken. While a burger or the chicken might seem too simple for a fancy meal, don't take the less expensive plates for granted.
For example, chefs at great restaurants know how to make really, really amazing pasta that we could probably never hope to recreate at home. (We're talking about your average 30-minute weeknight dinner.) Thankfully, pasta tends to be one of the more inexpensive entrees on any menu. Sometimes it’s even available as an appetizer that’s big enough to be a main meal. Give pasta a chance. It’ll love you back.
We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the meal. The check comes. You got a $13 burger, and the pal next to you got the $55 rib eye. Said pal suggests that everyone just “throw in a card,” or he or she will "Venmo you later for it," thereby having everyone at the table subsidize his or her red-meat fix. Avoid this situation by paying in cash.
We know everyone is all about using Venmo now, but cash is the way to go. Throw down the exact amount you owe, and let everyone else at the table battle it out over cards and apps.
Stretch Dinner Into Another Meal
We know you're eating somewhere nicer than usual, but don't be afraid to ask for leftovers. Just make sure to order something that is easily transportable and will last a day or two — like sandwiches, pasta, or meat dishes. Avoid anything that is in danger of wilting (such as fish dishes or salads) fast. The best part is you get to enjoy your fancy dinner for a little while longer so it doesn't feel like a one-night stand....I mean splurge...one night splurge.
Look Out For Special Events
No one said being an adult would be fun but it does have some perks. Special/Work events are a really fun and often inexpensive way to experience a pricier restaurant. I’ve been to a pizza night hosted by a tasting-menu-only spot; you could order a slice, served on the place’s renowned bread, for only $5. My favorite fancy Chinese restaurant hosted a very affordable Chinese New Year buffet. Food news sites and restaurant social media pages and your favorite foodie blogger will post about these, so keep an eye out!
So there you have it, a few simple tips and tricks to keep you well fed, without putting you in the poor house. Bon Appetit