“Not having money to spend doesn’t mean we can’t have well spent moments every day.”Sarah Ban Breathnach
Going out for dinner while focusing on a healthy body and healthy finances can seem really daunting. It sometimes feels like you have to sacrifice health or affordability, because they just don’t go hand-in-hand.
Healthy eating at restaurants doesn’t have to break the bank, though!
First of All, Restaurant Eating Shouldn’t Be a Daily Thing
If you’re working hard to meet a savings goal, cutting out regular meals out will be huge! It simply isn’t possible to eat at restaurant as affordably as cooking for yourself.
Think about it. For every meal you eat from a restaurant, you’re paying for the food; the time of the cook, server, host and busser; business, property and payroll taxes; and of course the owner’s profit! When you cook for yourself, you’re just paying for the food.
Take a look at the frequency of your meals out, and challenge yourself to replace 75% of them with home-cooked meals.
When you do go out to eat, the easiest way to cut down on cost is to stick with the free water, rather than order a drink. Of course, this is also the healthiest option.
Make it a little more exciting and ask your server for a slice of lemon. This way, it will still feel like a special treat, but you likely won’t be charged.
Skip the Appetizer
Appetizers are always tempting and it’s so easy to just order one when the server asks. Resist the temptation! Typically, restaurant portions are huge as it is. So, your main course should be sufficient to fill you up.
Peruse the Sides
While deciding on your main course, take a look at the sides the restaurant offers for an extra charge. By combining a few different sides, you could wind up with a full meal at a fraction of the cost!
Many restaurants will offer side salads, mashed potatoes, roasted seasonal vegetables and grilled chicken breasts as sides for only a couple dollars each.
Skip Dessert . . . Duh!
If you’re working towards health goals, you’re probably going to skip dessert anyway. But, it always stands to be mentioned that the final course is one more option that runs up the tab. Go home and mix some raspberries up with a little whipped coconut cream for a special treat, instead.
You Can Do This!
It’s not always the easy choice when there are so many options on a restaurant menu, but there are healthy choices that are also affordable. It is possible to keep working toward your health and your savings goals both, even if you decide to go out for a meal every so often. Just stick to one course, drink water only, and of course, don’t make it a regular habit.
What is the first tip you can put into action?