The dining out guide to living cheap is a work in progress. These are some of the best tips we have used so far.
Let's face it when we are in unfamiliar places, and for whatever reason you want to eat out, what do you do?
Nothing irritates me more than to go to a restaurant and find out it is overpriced or has bad food. And it used to happen too often. It doesn't any more...
Avoid tourist restaurants
OK, how do you do that? Simply avoid what is advertised in the "free tourist guides" you find in souvenir shops.
You know, 'the summer guide to our area" type.
They are at the door when you leave, always free. Pick one up but avoid those establishments that advertise in them.
I ask you if they were any good why would they have to spend money on advertising to strangers?
We lived out of the country for 8 years in the Caribbean. We had 2 hard and fast rules in choosing a restaurant. These rules insured a cheap, fresh and delicious meal.
When we lived on the boat we ate out much more frequently because it was so cheap to do so...
Here's what we do now in the United States if we want to eat in a strange town.
Look for pickup trucks parked outside
Example... the bride and I about 10 years ago were visiting Sedona, Arizona, home of the Red Rocks. It is also very expensive and touristy. Around 11:30 we wanted lunch and started driving. We found a restaurant on the outskirts of town with about 6 construction pickups outside.
You guessed it the place was noisy and full of construction dudes. The food was good, plentiful and cheap. I am sure one of the waitresses was named Flo...but I can't remember.
This tip works almost every time, use it and pass it on to your friends.
As we age we find that restaurants are full of younger folks after dark.
In order to get the kitchen warmed up lots of restaurants have special menus with special prices from say 4 to 7. The food is the same, its just a little cheaper. The restaurant is happy and you are happy.
You also avoid driving at night...it is a known fact that people drink and drive...usually at night, be smart and be home early. Its safer, cheaper and its healthier.
Look for coupons in the local papershim
This is different than the magazines you will find at a motel or shop. I mean a paper that is tossed on your driveway or one that you know is a local paper.
Mostly these are 2 for 1, not bad if you know the restaurant. But every other week you can usually find something totally free. Try as you might...free is hard to beat.
Hope you enjoyed this dining out guide to living cheap. If you like something, pass it on...especially the tip about the pickups parked outside...it never fails