1. Look for places where kids eat free. There are websites made just to help you locate places where children eat free. We have young children, and we make sure to always eat at places. A lot of times we combine our errands with the places we eat out. For example, Walmart is right next to our favorite Mexican restaurant, where kids eat free. So, we make any excuse to be around there around dinner time.
2. Split meals. My wife and I like to go out without the children, and it’s nice to go out every weekend, but that can get really expensive if we’re paying an expensive babysitter, and for an expensive date. So, rather than skipping a nice restaurant, we go to the places that we like, that have big portions, and split a meal. Usually we’ll get dessert too, because our meal wasn’t too expensive.
3. Use all those coupons you get in the mail. We get so many coupons. I didn’t really pay that close of attention until I realized I was an eating out addict, and then was doing anything I could to keep eating out at about the same cost as eating a nice meal at home. We get money mailers, calendars with coupons, and tons of others in our local mailers.
4. Before we go out to eat, we google the restaurant to see if we find a coupon on line. We do, a lot of the time. There’s almost always a coupon for at least SOMETHING, and every little bit helps.
5. Don’t waste your money on expensive drinks, add-ons, or sides that would be extra. It might seem insignificant, but they add up quick! When you’re thinking about adding that $2 guac to your burrito, consider how you could put it towards your 401k or some other investment instead. That probably sounds silly to most people, but when you’re serious about FIRE, every dollar you save and invest moves you just that tiny bit closer to your ultimate goal.