In all honesty, the recession has barely affected our typical leisure pattern: the nation stills enjoys dining out, munching on a take-away or hitting the pub for a few too many. Yet an obvious change we can see is that people are starting to consider the value of products more as their prices soar, where we look for the next best alternative deals, especially when dining out.
Eating out is usually stress-free, and one of the main reasons that people choose to go to a restaurant instead of home cooking. Sometimes, if a restaurant is able to provide a 2-4-1 meal deal at £6.95, for example, it is debatable whether cooking is worth the time and hassle. There are a number of simple ways to still treat yourself when eating out. These include:-
- Look out for 2-4-1 meal deals. Menu boards will point out what the restaurant’s main deals are. Why pay for two meals if you can just wait and purchase two meals for the price of one?
- Sign up to newsletters. Although you might receive the occasional uninteresting email from the restaurant, often enough you will be sent vouchers on discounted food or a free drink.
- Dine at larger superstore cafes. Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, for example, all have their own cafes that provide quality food and drinks. Your experience might be disturbed by the stores’ tannoys, but they will provide a service at a much cheaper price than your high street cafe.
- Unlicensed restaurants cannot sell alcohol. Eating out at these restaurants indicates that you can bring your own alcohol, instead of paying restaurants’ typical sky-high prices. This saves you money. Not having a license to sell alcohol is a great disadvantage, so to keep their customers they allow diners to bring their own drinks. Soft drinks, however, must be bought at the restaurant.
- Water. On average, for every meal eaten out, people are expected to drink between two to four drinks – which can easily add up to anything between £2.50 to eight pounds, if not more. Asking for tap water is foremost cheaper and also a healthier option.
- Don’t be fooled. The food and drink industry is out there to make money. Asking if you would like to double up your vodka mixer for only a pound is a very common psychological trick. Although it may seem harmless, 70 per cent of buyers would agree as it seems the cheaper option, although you have paid an extra unanticipated pound.
- Sign up to e-voucher groups. Websites such as Groupon, Gopher Deals and Studentbeans are clever ways to find out what promotional discounts or freebies are available. These websites will search the country for offers on food, drinks, clothes, jewellery holidays and many more. Being able to select your location also helps narrow down what is closer to you.