6. Order an Appetizer as Your Main Course
Depending on the appetizer, the portions might be large enough to be considered a meal. Not only that, but appetizers, in general, are cheaper than main dishes. And, it’s definitely cheaper to order an appetizer than to order both an app and the main dish.
“Skipping the main dish could easily save you $15 or more,” Anthony, a former Delaware-based server, told Eat This, Not That! Additionally, beware of appetizers that are also listed as main dishes.
“I once ate at a restaurant where they had crab cakes as both an appetizer and a main, served with a side of asparagus. If you simply ordered the crab cake app and side of asparagus, it was cheaper but the same size. Look out for these types of traps!” warns Eat This, Not That! writer Dana Leigh Smith.
5. Split a Meal
Splitting the cost of an entrée or dessert is a great way to save money when dining out. Ben Friedman, co-owner of Homegrown Sustainable Sandwich Shop in Washington, told Eat This, Not That! that he also suggests splitting the appetizer’s cost.
ALL TIME TIP: It might be in your best interest to skip the dessert altogether. Not just because it’s another expense, but because you’re likely paying way more for it than you should.
“Every dessert I’ve ever served as a waitress came out of a box. Sure, we dressed it up with fresh whipped cream and fruit so it looked like it was made in-house, but we were actually charging $8 a slice for something you could buy in the freezer aisle. Don’t waste your money on it,” Dina, a former waitress from Florida, told Eat This, Not That!