Published: 09/05/2022

Save money eating out

Eating out is something most of us enjoy now and again, but it can sometimes be expensive. Here are our tips to save some money when eating out.

Order takeaways direct from the restaurant

If you’re planning a nice meal at home, it’s often cheaper to order food directly from the restaurant, rather than through an app delivery service such as Deliveroo, Uber eats or Just Eat.

Discover more about: the hidden costs of the food delivery revolution

Click-and-print restaurant vouchers

Lots of restaurants offer online promotional vouchers. Pizza Express regularly runs two-for-one deals on main courses.

Newspapers regularly have vouchers to cut out. Check out websites, such as VoucherCodes, HotUKDeals and MyVoucherCodes, to find discounts and deals before you go out.

Check out daily deal websites, such as Groupon and Wowcher, for restaurant deals too.

Book your night-out online

Opentable, Lastminute and 5pm are websites that specialise in two-for-one, 50% off offers  and promotions that might include wine with your meal. Search for the offers available in your area, book your table and off you go!

When you get there, remember to remind the restaurant that you booked through a special offer online.

Sign up for chain restaurant discounts

Being a member of some chain restaurants', such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Pizza Express and Wagamama can save you cash. They’re usually free to sign up to via email, and are run by many large chains.

You'll get details of special offers sent straight to your inbox, once you're on a company's mailing list, as soon as they are launched.

Join a loyalty scheme

Join a loyalty scheme and save up to 50% at participating restaurants.

Tastecard offers a free 60-day trial.  The Gourmet Society also offers a 60-day free trial. Both can be used at more than 6,000 restaurants.

Bring your own bottle

Lots of restaurants around the country allow you to bring your own bottle (BYOB) to have with your meal. Going to one could save you a tidy sum.

Typically, a bottle of house wine costs around £15. You could pick up an equivalent one from a supermarket for around £5.

See the online BYOB directory on the Wine-pages website for a list of BYOB restaurants. Some charge a corkage fee of as little as£2. Check before you go.

Don't buy expensive bottled water

Twice-monthly diners could save almost £100 a year by switching to tap water. Establishments that serve alcohol are required by law to give customers free tap water, so don't be shy about asking for it. Some restaurants charge more than £3.50 for a bottle of mineral water!

Remember your doggy bag

You paid for it, so why waste it? There should be no stigma attached to taking home leftover food. We commonly over order in restaurants, so it makes sense to ask for a doggy bag and take our leftovers home and save you money on lunch the following day.

Be social

Sign up to restaurants Facebook or Twitter accounts if you regularly eat at a particular chain or have a favourite restaurant. That way, you won't miss out on any special offers or deals.