Take a minute to think about all the types of things you did your friends, family, and/or co-workers this past week. Now, how many of your activities involved food?
ver my friends and I make plans, we always seem to include going out to grab some food. It doesn’t always have to be a full meal. Sometimes it is coffee and a muffin at a coffee shop (Many great talks have happened in coffee shops). We all have to eat anyways, so why not go out and enjoy a meal together?! J
I personally love going out and socializing with my friends. Yet, it is always a bit of a stinger to get the bill. Eating out is not cheap and like everything else, adds up very quickly. As college students it can really be a struggle from time to time to balance out your social life with your checkbook. Instead of totally giving up on your social life, consider these tips to help ease the cost for eating out.
Plan to have leftovers to take home! Most of the time the serving sizes at restaurants are quite large and could really provide for two meals. I purposely try to make this happen! Whatever I order I try to consciously only eat a little over half. This is good for two reasons. 1) It also helps me eat less in one sitting. It is so easy to overstuff yourself. I am sure everyone has experienced the feeling of wanting to just be rolled out of the restaurant because you are so full. If you are consciously thinking that you need to save some for tomorrow, you are more likely to eat a normal amount. 2) As I get the bill, I can divide it by two. Say the meal totals $16, but in my head this delicious meal only cost $8 today and then $8 tomorrow. That is food you don’t have to buy tomorrow.
Of course this doesn’t always work, depending on what you order. Make sure not to waste anything. Even fries! Reheat them in the oven (maybe add cheese) and they are still yummy.
Find restaurants with college discounts!
You can always find a restaurant that understand our lack of funds! Take some time and research some good ones. In my
college town, Pizza Ranch always gives a discount on the buffet for college students. Since I have been in Chicago, I have heard of a place called Flat Top Grill that gives a college discount. Who knows what you will find! It could be your new favorite restaurant.
Coupons! Coupons! Coupons!
Take advantage of Coupons! They could be in newspapers, magazines, online, etc. If you were planning to go out anyways, you might as well go somewhere that gives you a deal.
Since we know this is part of our social lives, make room for it in your budget. Be realistic and stick to it. It is the best way to avoid the surprise of a very low bank account.
(Photos are of the new foods I have tried this semester.)