Thursday, March 28, 2013

look chic *and* save money when you dine out.

ever go out to dinner with friends and get hit with a much bigger bill than you expected?

Maybe you added an appetizer or ordered a second glass of wine, or didn't really pay attention to the pricing, or all of the above. whatever the case, you got hit with a whammy of a bill.

it's easy to avoid this dilemma, and i'm getting ready to show you how. (NOTE: a side benefit of this tip is that you come off looking confident and wordly-wise in front of your friends, and who doesn't want that?)

here it is: research the restaurant ahead of time online. go over the menu and narrow down what looks good to you, and select a fabulous meal that fits your budget.

knowing what you want (and what you can afford) before you get there means you can chat with friends and not have to bury your face in the menu.

it means you don't have to make a hasty decision while trying to make conversation.

it means you get what you want, while staying on budget.

and most important: you come off looking informed, confident and assured, as if you have been there before, even if you haven't.

along those lines, i suggest you research the parking situation. if you go a bit early, you can take your time finding the most affordable parking, which, if you're lucky, is a free spot on the street.

for me, knowing I'm not busting my budget makes dining out a lot more fun.

Addendum: if you are eating with a large group, covertly tell the waiter you want your check separate from the rest of the table and you may need it early. That way, you already have your check in hand when some knucklehead suggests dividing the entire bill equally to make it easier on the server. that's one way to end up paying triple digits. i know, i've been there. curse you judge reinhold!

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