Have you noticed that eating out has become a lot more expensive?
I love eating out, but when things are a bit tighter it can be tempting to go somewhere a bit more cheap and cheerful such as an all-you-can-eat buffet, or McDonalds.
However, the truth is the more up-market restaurants are often a little healthier.
If you’re trying to eat healthy and save your pennies this can be a challenge. But fear not, help is at hand!
Here are 6 ways to eat out, watch those calories and save money all at the same time:
1. Go out for lunch instead
Most restaurants bump up their prices in the evening, so to help you save a few dollars try going out for lunch instead. Many places actually offer a variation of their evening menu at lunchtime, so you’ll be getting similar food at a fraction of the cost.
Another good thing about eating out at lunch is you tend to eat less mid-day, so you’re more likely to consume fewer calories – just remember to be mindful of what and how much you’re putting into your mouth.
2. Eat less food
Most restaurants are serving extremely large portions these days, so take that into consideration when you order – perhaps that extra side order of potato wedges isn’t necessary?
Even though it’s tempting to clear your plate to get the best value for money, for your healths sake, you don’t need to finish every last morsel! Instead try to stop eating when you feel satisfied, rather than stuffed.
3. Fill up on low calorie foods
Fill your plate will lots of leafy green vegetables, or other plain vegetables, and go easy on anything that’s covered in creamy sauces. Also, watch your portion size for meats – restaurants tend to give way more than the recommended 3 ounce serving.
If you’re going out for a three course meal, take into consideration your meal as a whole – starter, main, dessert – try not to overdo it at each course, and instead go for balance over the three courses.
4. Go vegetarian
Depending on what you choose, the vegetarian option could not only be healthier, it can also work out considerably cheaper. But, do try choose something healthy – don’t go for a large helping of pasta, or something smothered in cheese or creamy sauce.
Dishes that have lots of peas, beans, and lentils are excellent for saving calories and money. You could go for a bean or lentil soup, or opt for quinoa as a substitute to rice.
6. Skip dessert
That delicious looking piece of cheesecake or huge bowl of ice-cream may just contain more calories than the rest of your meal combined, not to mention the extra cash it’ll cost you.
So, if you possibly can, skip dessert and go for a nice filtered coffee to finish off. Or, if you really need something sweet, why not buy yourself some frozen yoghurt and fresh berries on the way home instead?
How do you save money when eating out? Do you try to eat healthy, or perhaps you throw caution to the wind once in a while?