I am a real foodie and love to eat out on a regular basis. There is nothing like discovering new places and trying the menu.
It doesn’t always have to be a slap up meal, just something new and different or just a little time away from the kitchen. Just having someone else prepare your meal while you can have some quality time around the table with your loved ones. Unfortunately we haven’t all got the budget to be able to eat out all the time. It can sometimes be a struggle when battling with childcare too, to stump up the extra cash for food and drinks. Whether you take along your whole tribe or want a savvy date night with your other half, you can always cut the cost down a bit.
We often go out for breakfast at our local Brewers Fayre with our children. It gives us a bit of a break from washing all the breakfast pots and it is an all you can eat with drinks included. It costs us £8.99 per adult, so £17.98 in total. Our four children go absolutely free! If we time it right, then this fills them for most of the day as they can help themselves to anything that they like. On top of this we also have a loyalty card and our points really do add up. Each meal contributes to a discount that you can cash in when you get a certain number of points. We know that this is still £17.98 that we could have spent elsewhere. To be honest they could have had cereal at home, but to feed a family of 6 who want to go out to eat, the price is great.
Here I show you how to reduce the cost of eating with 5 savvy ways to eat out on a budget.
- Join compare the market
Yes. Taking out a one-day travel insurance in the UK for a couple of pounds will qualify you for Meerkat Meals and Meerkat Movies for one whole year. You can get 2 for 1 on cinema tickets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and also on meals at the restaurants listed. These include starters, mains and desserts at lots of popular places. Restaurants include Frankie & Benny’s, Prezzo, Pizza Hut, Ask Italian and Zizzi, plus many more.
- Join loyalty schemes
Lots of restaurants and eating establishments run loyalty schemes so that you can claim free food, either as a new sign up or for your loyalty. Subway and K.F.C have lots of regular offers. Your collect points with every visit and can get a free sub or salad, coffee, cookies from Subway and free sides, snacks and a £5 discount on KFC plus extra offers.
- Sign up for newsletters
Whenever a restaurant has a promotion or special offer, they will email you and if it sparks your interest you could be quids in. Some places offer big discounts for signing up or have special themed nights that also include drinks. Enter your birthday when you sign up to most newsletters and you may also be able to get a free meal or wine.
- Become a mystery shopper
I take part in regular mystery shops and get the price of my meal refunded. I also get an extra payment for my time. You can tie this in with a day out or shopping trip and make it part of your day. If you are willing to take notes on your trip to their spec and complete their survey, then it is a great way of eating out on a budget. You get paid to eat!
- Use discount codes, vouchers and apps
Before planning to eat out, look up the restaurant online to see if they offer a discount when booking. If not then Google discount codes or see if they appear on a cashback site such as Top Cashback. There are also so many apps to use such as the Frankie and Benny’s or Chiquito’s app. They offer huge discounts like 50% off, and on special occasions free drinks. Just show them the app when ordering and save on your entire bill.
I have found that I have saved so much money over the years by using all of these methods, so they really are tried and tested. Don’t get me wrong, going out doesn’t come free, but we can lighten the load by using these simple tips. Try them yourself and when you next fancy a bite to eat and see how much you can save.