For us, and probably anyone married with three kids, we often eat out to escape. It is nice to have adult time together. It is frankly nice to not order food through a Clown's Mouth when we do it either! :) We are both foodies, and Mrs. X is an amazing cook so we would good well made food. Unfortunately this can equal expensive (at least to us) and can leave buyer's remorse on the tongue!, not to mention in the past, the credit card!
Guide to Save 50% when doing the Full Dining Experience:
- Drinks - This is a restaurants profit center. If we are gonna have a drink, we will have one at home with our...($12 Savings)
- Homemade Appetizer - We plan out those dining nights and there is a great little Harry and David store here that has amazing appetizers (Stuffed Bacon Brie! mmm) that just has to be heated up. I will pick it up on the way home the night before, Mrs. X pops it in at the right time and with the drink above and we are half way through dinner before we leave! ($8 Saving w/purchase)
- Specials - Restaurants try specials to see if new things work at that location OR if you are in a quaint getaway, just because they want to! It is a great way to try new stuff and save money! ($10-$20 savings)
- Dinner Drinks - We are water-ers now (tap please! love the planet), but we will have a glass of wine. Often they will have a good wine by the glass, especially at a small restaurant, or...Bring your own. Most will charge you a cork fee, but that is nothing compared to 1.5-3x markup! ($10-$30 savings)
- Pay Cash - Unless you like doing dishes you will stay to budget! (Priceless!)
- Dessert - Have it, but not at the restaurant! Find a great little bakery and pickup some neat little deserts there. Or even go for Ice Cream together! A third the price of having it at dinner! ($10 savings)
- Babysitting - Your reduced time out saves money. This is one I give you 100% walk away from if the weather is good go take a walk together, or go to the park and breathe! (skip the savings and take the lady for a walk, bub!)
This is still an extravagant night, but she is worth it! But if you can do the whole night for $50-$60 instead of $100-$120 you can enjoy it at the time with no post-traumatic credit disorder and protect your budget at the same time!