Being a poor college student can be hard sometimes, especially when you want to go out to eat. Here are some tips to save money when you go out so that you can enjoy that time with family and friends:
1. Choose a restaurant that doesn’t require a tip. At all, if not most, “sit-downs” in America you’ll have to give a 20-25% tip in addition to your bill. Opt out and you save muchos of monies!
2. Scan the menu for cheaper items, but of course, make sure you’ll enjoy them :)
3. Order Soup and salad. Olive Garden unlimited soup and salad AND bread sticks. Best. deal. ever.
4. Split an entrée with a friend. Usually portions are quite large, especially at Mexican and Italian restaurants. Note: “Higher end” places usually serve smaller sizes for more money. I’ve split meals at Moe’s (burritos), Subway ($5 footlong), The Cheesecake factory (pasta dish), McAlister’s (Spud Max – it’s huge!), Mexican (fajitas) and other places. It’s totally do-able. Especially if you don’t like to eat leftovers.
5. When eating fast food, check the dollar menu first. My dad always orders Wendy’s baked potato with chives and sour cream and a small burger for $2 with tax!
6. Drink water instead of soda, alcohol, tea or lemonade. Treating yourself every now and then is okay, but every time will add up!
7. And along with the drinks, pass on desserts except every now then. Decide what you’re going to eat before you go out. Maybe one day you can go out just for dessert, another time for just dinner. Special occasions are acceptable, but keep in mind that prices tend to increase with the holidays :)