The Go-To Dishes To Order At A Restaurant If You're On A Budget

For people who are trying to save money, high restaurant prices act as a constant reminder of what an indulgence having food cooked and served to you actually is. Thankfully, being mindful of your spending doesn't mean you can't still enjoy eating out. By being aware of a few menu hacks and the items that are most likely to be worth your hard-earned cash, you can dine comfortably, even on a budget.

Keep an eye out for dishes that feature inexpensive meats like chicken or pork. For example, if you go to a Mexican restaurant, you might want to order a plate of chicken tacos rather than beef ones. A few dollars here and a few dollars there will eventually add up. Depending on where you are geographically, proteins like white fish may be on the affordable side.

When perusing the menu, you should also focus your attention on the appetizers. Appetizers are usually much less expensive, so you can get a couple of tasty dishes for the same price as an entree and have plenty of leftovers to take home. Avoid dishes that are primarily carb-based, like pasta. These options may be cheap, but the lack of protein means they won't fill you up for very long and won't be worth it in the long run.

Sometimes it pays not to listen to the waiter

Another way to get the most bang for your buck while eating out is to ignore your waiter when they offer suggestions. You can nod politely, but remember that everything they say is an attempt to get you to spend more money. That includes the memorized list of specials, recommendations, and offers to bring you another drink. On that note, skipping soft drinks and teas in favor of water is yet another great way to save a couple of bucks when eating out, but if you do decide to order a beverage, you should confirm with your waiter whether or not refills are free. Of course, you can still tip your waiter since they are just doing their job, but don't let them influence you out of ordering something affordable.

Being on a budget can make the simple things in life stressful at times, but while there's value in being frugal, it's also important to enjoy life and do things that make you happy. By being smart about what you order at a restaurant, you can have the best of both worlds.