Dining out is easy, convenient, and fun. It might not be realistic to cut all dining out from your budget. If you’re looking to save money, all you have to do is spend less!

It really is as easy as it sounds. Here are some simple tips:

  • Stick with water: Skip the soda, coffee, tea or wine. Ordering a glass of soda can add up to $3 to your bill. It’s not a bargain when you consider how much less you pay for a fountain drink at the gas station.
  • Forego the appetizer: They’re deliciously tempting, but appetizers often cost nearly the same price as an entree. Many establishments provide a free appetizer such as bread or chips — enjoy it, chew some gum, and look forward to your meal knowing you saved as much as $12!
  • Say no to dessert: Scratch around $7 from your bill by saying no the sweet and tempting desserts. Your diet with thank you, too!
  • Pasta instead of steak: You might not eat at a steak house every time you go out, but the concept still applies. If you’re used to treating yourself with the most expensive item on the menu, take a step down and order a pasta dish or fancy salad.
  • Use a coupon: Check the newspaper, in your mailbox, or online for coupons offering free appetizers, half-off meals, and other great deals.

What tips do you have to share about saving money dining out?