‘How to Make Your Evening Out Affordable’ is a series of blog posts with tips and ideas to help people afford better date nights, romantic getaways, gatherings, or plain old fashion fun evenings. If you want to make the most of the your time and money whether by yourself, with a date, or with a group of friends, subscribe to these helpful hints to make the most out of an evening out.
My wife and I enjoy going out, we don’t need an occasion, but sometimes we’re strapped for cash and can’t always go out to really good places; when this happens for longer periods, we end up going on a “Sharing Date”. You’ve heard “sharing is caring,” right? Well, this totally embraces that notion. My wife and I will go out to a more expensive place and share everything; we just need the time away from the house (and kids more importantly), the atmosphere of a good establishment, and time for ourselves…and it helps with the blog too.
With this in mind, sometimes we will split everything, and other times I will take something and my wife will have the rest. What this looks like is, we inform the waiter that we either need a separate plate (some restaurants will charge you a $4-$5 Shared Plate charge), or we tell them that we want the salad to come out with the entree. Sometimes, if the appetizer is inexpensive, we will order one of them and ask to brink it out with our entree, but be careful, appetizers have become just as expensive as entrees lately, so ordering an entree would be more food for the money. If a place serves soups by the cups, we buy one of them and split it along with the entree. Lastly, in terms of cutting back on costs for the entree, you can ask the waitress if they can ask the manager or owner if they are willing to give you half the portion for half the price.; either way, splitting entrees or cutting back not only helps with the bottom line, but it helps with your waistline as well.
If both of you are having drinks, then most waitress won’t charge you for sharing a plate, but this brings us to another way to save, if possible. In regards to beverages, we try to cut back in several ways. First, we will use tip # 1. We normally do this on a weekend evenings when we can have a little more to drink and we can enjoy two drinks before hand. The second way is by buying up and splitting; that is, buying a larger portion or heavier liquor and then sharing the one drink. Most restaurants will have the option of a glass of wine with a 5 ounce pour or an 8-9 ounce pour. If we are sharing, we will buy the 8-9 ounce wine glass and share. If we want a specialty drink we normally go for whatever may be on special (my wife doesn’t like the martinis like I do, so its normally a Margarita or rum specialty drink). Lastly, if we absolutely want our own glass to enjoy, we do house wines; they are $3-$5 cheaper.