Eating out is a great way to get a good meal with out much effort, but it does come at a price, especially if you dine out often. One of my favorite finance blogs (WalletPop.com) recently put together a great list of tips to save money when you dine out. I have included a few of their tips below, but you can find the full list here.
1. Forget about the "Joneses"
Unless I am at a business dinner, I could care less what other people think of me when I order -- or for that matter, not ordering. If I'm so worried about what my friends think, maybe they're not really my friends. As long as I am content and have followed the proper tipping etiquette guidelines, I'm not going to worry. To me, this is the number one way to keep your bill in line, hands down.
2. Eat those freebies
It could be bread and butter, chips, or just about anything. Take full advantage of these freebies! Am I saying to stuff yourself silly with bread and butter so much that you don't even order an entrée? Of course not. But if restaurants give you some food that comes out before your main meal, isn't that kind of like an appetizer? Do yourself a favor: Fill up on the chips and salsa or bread and butter within reason and skip the paid appetizer. And don't be shy about asking for a refill.