Spending time with friends is a great way to relieve stress, but can also put pressure on your pocketbook. As much fun as you may have with your girlfriends, you must also remain mindful of your budget and the life you live after you leave the restaurant.
The most obvious way to avoid spending your money is to stay at home and avoid life, but you wouldn’t have any friends if you adopt that attitude.
There are going to be times when you are invited to celebrate a life-changing event with your girlfriends. It seems that visiting a restaurant is most prevalent when it comes to suggestions.
As you can’t avoid your friends and restaurants completely, you can be mindful of how much money you’re willing to spend.
Have a drink before leaving the house.
Alcohol isn’t cheap especially at a restaurant. You will also find that sodas aren’t reasonably priced either. Invite your girlfriends over before attending the restaurant for a glass of wine. The price of a bottle can be far less than the cost of one glass of wine at the restaurant. Having a glass of wine before you leave the house will save you the desire to have a glass once you order your meal and it ignites the conversation early.
Now you can save money by ordering a glass of water with lemon with your meal.
Order an appetizer as a meal.
Recently I order an appetizer that was the same size as my entrée, but half the price. The appetizer was extremely large, which compelled everyone to dig in. A great idea is for everyone to order different appetizers, share, and have a variety of food to eat; it’s a table buffet.
Enjoy the complimentary food
Depending on the restaurant your server will provide complimentary chips & dip, breadsticks, or salad without limits. It’s feasible to fill up on the free servings and engage in conversation while splurging on one drink.
Take advantage of the promotions
You can plan ahead by logging on to the restaurant for printable coupons. Log onto Restaurant.com, Groupon, and Living Social to find discounts and see if the restaurant that you are going to have gift certificates.
Some restaurants offer discount meals that includes an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. There are also ones with one dollar appetizers and drink specials.
Establish if you will have one bill or divide
As frugal as you are there are some friends who attempt to pass their bill onto yours. Before ordering make the decision to either have separate checks or one. You can’t afford to pay for an entrée if you have not budgeted for it.
Check your bill
Make sure the correct items are listed and the bill is accurate. If there are discount cards it should also be listed. Many times, servers will charge a gratuity with a party of five or more which means you too are responsible for equally dividing the tip. If you are charged a gratuity then there’s no need to add another tip to the bill.