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Dinners out don't need to be reserved for special occasions! Follow these steps to help reduce your tab so you can enjoy nights out with your family on a regular basis. Many moms avoid going out to eat due to the fear that the bill will be a small fortune, but the truth is that there are ways to dramatically reduce your restaurant bill so you can enjoy eating out with your family. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that you avoid overspending at restaurants. 

Skip The Alcohol

If you want to cut a big chunk out of your bill avoid ordering an alcoholic beverage. A beer or glass of wine can cost up from $7 and can make a difference in the amount you are paying. Fancy drinks are marked up even more and while it can be tempting, save the alcohol for a night out without your kids.

If you want to take this one step further, avoid soda as well due to the fact that the prices can be marked up. Your best bet is to stick with water and save the soda and alcoholic beverages for when you get home.

Clip Coupons Use Promotions

There are many coupons, promotions and restaurant deal sites that you can take advantage of - yes, even for sit-down restaurants! Keep a close eye on your favorite money saving websites, since they often offer current restaurant deals for half price at local joints or a certain percentage off of your meal. Finding great deals could even encourage you to try a new kind of cuisine or go out to a restaurant you've wanted to try!

Take advantage of in house special promotions, such as a combination meal discount. Many great combinations are offered at a two for $20 price and include an appetizer, which means you get a great meal and save quite a bit.

Share Your Meal Or Eat Family Style

Often the meals served at restaurants are very large portions. Instead of wasting your food or getting a to-go bag, consider sharing a meal with one of your kids. Between you and your child’s little stomach, you both can leave the meal feeling full without adding on the cost of a kid’s meal to your bill.

Furthermore, if your child wants their own meal consider ordering an appetizer as a main course for yourself. These are often large portions and can be half the price of a meal. The trick is not ordering what you won’t eat, including meal additions. The cost to upgrade to loaded mashed potatoes or add an extra side could weigh heavily on your bill. A good option is sticking with what comes with your meal.

Don’t Order Dessert

Your kids might pout in the restaurant but plan desert before you even leave for the evening. Bake some special cookies and let your kids decorate them so they look forward to coming home to a special treat. Or go through the drive through on the way home for $1 ice cream cones. Your kids will be happy throughout dinner with the promise of treats, and you can save a bundle!

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