As the temperature rises coming into the warmer months, so too does the demand for dining out. You may find the number of events you’re invited to will start to increase, as we all look forward to being social and celebrating after a winter hibernation and coping with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
Eating out can become taxing on the bank balance, especially if it becomes a regular occurrence. But you don’t need to start looking under couch cushions for coins to spend when going out, not just yet. Below are some tips that could help you balance both your social calendar and your budget.
Double up on celebrations
If you usually celebrate a birthday or anniversary in the final few months of the year, then you know how expensive it can be. No matter what the event, knowing you’ll need to stash cash to avoid a severe case of FOMO can take the fun out of celebrating.
Don’t want to choose between buying your best friend a birthday present and going to the Bicheno Food and Wine Festival in November? Problem solved – double up! Shout your best friend a ticket as a gift to save yourself some cash and create long lasting memories (provided you don’t splurge too much on the wine).
Eat before you go out
This tip may be old, but it’s still gold. Don’t underestimate the amount of money you can save by only eating one course every time you go out. If you have a light snack before you leave, then order only an entrée, you could reduce your spending from $30 to $10. And saving $20 every single time you dine out could save you from buying Dad a pair of socks for Christmas… again.
Share with a friend
If you’re a big foodie, then the idea of only eating an entrée every time you go out might not excite you. An alternative is to find a friend or family member to share your meals with. Often restaurant portions are more than enough to feed two people, and if not, splitting an extra side of chat potatoes won’t add too much to your total bill.
Tip: The added bonus of food sharing is that it reduces food waste! Not only will you be saving dollars, you will also be helping to save the amount of food that goes in the bin and we think that’s a very good thing.
Eat out during the week
Many restaurants in Tassie offer special deals on weekdays. Food tastes just as a good on a Tuesday as it does on a Saturday, so consider pushing your birthday forward a couple of days to save some cash. Take note of restaurants like the Kings Bridge Bar & Restaurant in Launceston, who offer a $15 Lunch Menu from Monday-Wednesday.
Do breakfast or lunch instead of dinner
Menu prices skyrocket once it hits 5:30pm, particularly in comparison with lunch specials like the one listed above. But a stack of pancakes or a warm chicken salad will look just as good on Instagram as a dinner steak that costs double the price.
We’ve only just scratched the surface when it comes to dining out in Tasmania on a budget. Sometimes it just takes thinking a little outside the square to come up with creative ways to save money. Got a money tip you’re busting to share? We’re on all the major socials. We’d love to hear from you.