While saving is to find creative ways to save money, there is a small line between saving and being cheap. It’s perfectly legal to want to tighten the budget dedicated to eating outside, but don’t go too far and act like a money-goer. These 7 cheap ham habits are not a way to save money when eating out.
1. Skip tips
Tips are not a reward for waiters who bring you food and pour extra drinks for you, they actually rely on tips as part of their salary. Servers are paid hourly discounts with the expectation that you, the customer, will make a difference to your tip. If you’re eating out, there really isn’t an acceptable reason to skip a trip or tip by less than 15%. Seriously, if you’re too broken to tip, you’re too broken to eat.
2. Eat chips and salsa or breadsticks for free
I like to eat chips and salsa like anyone else, but these free dishes are served in the hope that you will actually order a meal off the menu. Even if you are having dinner with people you pay for, you can completely order water and make meals from free breadsticks at your table.
3. Bring Tupperware to the buffet
God, no. This is not a cooking session at your aunt’s house. The “all you can eat” rule only applies when you are still sitting in your booth. If you’ve ever thought about trying to bring more food home from a buffet, you’ve crossed the line from protein to inexpensive.
4. Order from the young children’s menu
Ordering a Happy Meal because you’re not hungry can be completely acceptable – but at most dinner restaurants, adults ordering on children’s menus isn’t finished. Restaurants set age restrictions for some items on the menu and they expect you to respect these rules. Admittedly, this may be a bit blurry because some restaurants don’t limit the age in their child’s servings. As a rule, if you do not have pads and crayons, skip the chicken and chips.
5. Complain just to get free to eat
Customers are always right … unless the customer complains only to eat for free. Restaurants can absolutely know when you are trying to pull them up, so unless there are errors in your food or there is something seriously wrong in the way food is prepared, do not send them back to the kitchen after you have eaten half your meal.
6. Order takeaway but eat at
If you order take-out at the restaurant, take it and take it away – or at least eat out of your car. Don’t order take-away, find an empty table, and eat your food at the restaurant. This is not a smart way to avoid a trick that you just invented. It’s sticky and messy and just not. Someone still has to clean up after you and you’re going to occupy a table that can’t be used for boa cons.
Mix lemon into lemon juice
This trick is one of the things that should be left at school. Ordering water with extra lemon and adding a few packets of sugar is annoying for most servers. If you want lemonade, call it off the menu. Save the skills of your next home party.