Eating out the right way!

Author : teriann

I love a good meal. However as a busy working mother, I always face the challenge of trying to balance preparing home cooked meals or choosing healthy options when eating out. Of course I also have to ensure that I stick to the budget.

Eating Out Options

The most popular options for eating out are often the fast food restaurants.  Their menu options usually contain heavily fried foods.  They might be tasty but they are not healthy.

Although these restaurants have mostly fried food, some do offer salads and wraps which are better for your children’s diet.  A better alternative of course would be to choose a restaurant that has more options. Those kinds of restaurants can be expensive.

How can you afford to dine out on a budget?

Remember your budget!

One way to save money is to drink water, skip dessert, and rarely order appetizers. That might seem strict but really water is offered for free at most restaurants and is healthy. Restaurant beverages, both soft drinks and alcohol, can significantly boost the cost of your meal.

The choice of no desert is also a healthy one and if you really have a sweet tooth there are cheaper options at supermarkets which you could visit after dinner.

Appetizers never made sense to me as I am still hungry after eating them obviously so why not just wait on the entree and skip it altogether? However there is an exemption to this rule sometimes appetizer portions are cheaper, more reasonably sized and sometimes more interesting. If an appetizer will fill you up, then you can skip the entree.

Another way to save money is to share dishes instead of having everyone order their own dish.  This is especially true if you are eating out with young children.  Often they won’t eat a complete dish so you can share a dish with them and save money.

Are kid’s meals just for children?

Of course not sometimes they are just the right size depending on how hungry you are at that time.  Of course kid’s meals often have a reduced cost but it is important to check quantity of the meal.

Take advantage of daily specials. Many restaurants offer specials, especially during the week. Find out when your favorite restaurants offer deals, and pick those nights to eat out.

Go out for lunch but eat it at dinner time. Some restaurants have lunch specials that go up until 4 pm so get to an early dinner.  It is also cheaper to do take out rather than sit at the restaurant. If you take away the food you avoid costs such as service cost and paying tips to waiters.

So what’s your take? How do you eat out? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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