While attending Master Mind and Money on the weekend, I was asked a couple of questions about my “going out” account.

One of mine and my husband’s values is to eating at nice restaurants usually twice a week. Now when I said that out loud, the girl I was talking to was shocked!

I could see in her eyes that she was calculating how much money we “waste” on going out. That’s when I stopped her and explained how we go out and still save for our future.

So, I know I am going to regret telling you all our tips, but here they are.

Tip and tricks

Before going out, check out the website, First Table.
They give you 50% off your food bill if you book the first table of the night. This works well for us as I like to be asleep by nine, so dinner at 6:00 pm is all good by me.

Then there is The Fork website, where they have deals up to 50% at selected restaurants for lunch and dinner  My husband and I just went to lunch at a hotel and spent $27 on entrees and five plates of tapas. Insane!

We also subscribe to Groupon and when they have a good deal, we jump on it.

Wine or cocktails are the items on the menu that can inflate your bill, but there are ways around that as well. My recommendation, especially if you are going out mid-week, don’t buy drinks! However, if you do, just limit it to one with mains.

If you are going out with a group of friends or you want to have a few drinks, find a restaurant that doesn’t charge corkage or has minimal corkage and BYO wine. Buying a bottle at the bottle shop is a hell of a lot cheaper than wine in restaurants. There is this beautiful Moroccan place near me that doesn’t charge corkage and the bottle shop is across the road, win/win.

Finally, I recommend signing up to any newsletters of the restaurants you love, so when they have a deal; you will be notified. For example, I signed up to Crown Casino so that when Nobu had a special, we purchased immediately.

Just remember that when you pay for dinner, if you haven’t got a specific “going out” card then transfer what you spent back on the card you used out of your “going out” account.

See you don’t have to quit having fun, you just need to know where to find great deals.

Tasch dining out