How to enjoy fine dining on a fast food budget

“That way anyone can try a bit of everything, and your money goes even further,” she said. Ms Richards also suggests asking the waiter for recommendations, so you don’t miss out on any gems.

Food and budget experts also recommend staying away from alcohol. Partly to reduce the bill, but also to avoid costly mark-ups. ” Do not drink. I’m serious about it, ”Mr. Wells said. “Not even a drink, because the first drink makes the second almost inevitable.” If you’re really in the mood for an adult drink, there is a tip for that, too. “If you can only get over that by rewarding yourself, pick a bottle off the wine list and buy it retail later. Pocket the savings.

Going vegetarian also saves money while opening up a whole new world of creatively prepared meals. “The products are just cheaper than the protein, so if you cut the meat, you reduce the cost,” Ms. Izzo noted.

Before you even sit down, decide how to pay. Lisa Rowan, savings expert at The Penny Hoarder, explained that bill splitting works best if everyone’s meal prices are below $ 5. “Checking in quickly when you sit down to eat, to confirm if you will receive separate checks, split the bill evenly, or use another method of paying the bill can ease the stress at the end of the meal,” a- she declared.

During a dinner with friends, Ms. Richards stressed the importance of providing a small cushion. “Be careful with your estimates in the first place,” she said. “Remember, you’re not just paying for a $ 20 entree. What if the group wanted to share the aperitifs? How about a drink? What about taxes and tips? Build it all up from the start and add an extra 10%, just in case. “The more time you spend budgeting for these types of events, the less sticker shock you’ll avoid.”

With Yelp, TripAdvisor and social media, it’s never been easier to browse the menu in advance. Buy a restaurant as you would an apartment. Especially in large cities, the location provides valuable clues. “Every time you sit down at a restaurant table, you pay rent,” Mr. Wells said. “Generally speaking, you will get better value for your money when you eat in a neighborhood with lower rents. “

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