Friday, July 23, 2010

Financial Friday: Snack Before Splurging

This tip for Financial Friday may seem obvious to some people - but trust me when I tell you, it will save you a bundle.

I've made a part-time living from eating at restaurants and writing about my experiences for about six years now. I clearly love food and love the experience of dining out. However, when I go out to eat for non-work related meals, I can't spend the money on an appetizer, entree, dessert and drinks. Sure, sometimes I want to splurge and gorge on calamari, a steak, some creme brulee and a cosmo, but that is a once (or twice) in a year kind of situation. When I dine out on a "regular" occasion, I need to watch my wallet.

Since I am almost always hungry, my trick to not overspending (and thus, overeating) at a restaurant is to eat a snack before I go out. Not a huge, complex snack - just a serving of cashews or a banana or something small. Just by having a small snack before heading out to a restaurant prevents my eyes from being larger than my stomach, and thus resulting in me ordering way more food than I need. Whenever I have a snack beforehand, I also enjoy the experience more - I can relax and sip my first drink while I peruse the menu, instead of contemplating eating someone else's arm at the table while I frantically wait for my first course.

When I eat a snack, I usually only order an appetizer or a split an entree at the restaurant - saving me, on average, $5-10+ every time I go out. All those savings of $5-10 add up pretty quickly!

Bonus: By eating a snack beforehand, you're not only saving some money in your wallet - but your also saving your waistline. Most restaurants' entrees are at least two to three times the "normal" serving size.

How do you prevent yourself from overspending at restaurants?

1 comment:

  1. I think is a great tip - especially for the waistline! Also, I love having leftovers the next day for lunch!