Queen of Free’s Money Saving Strategies for Dining and Takeout

A good strategy starts with planning, not panic.

INDIANAPOLIS — Almost everyone enjoys dining out once in a while. Some like a fancy sit-down meal while others prefer the convenience of take-out or delivery that leaves a clean kitchen.

But the expenses can add up quickly if you’re not careful, according to Queen of Free Cherie Lowe.

She shared her smart strategies to help you save money dining out this week on 13Sunrise and on her blog.

A good strategy starts with planning, not panic.

“The majority of overspending happens by accident – ​​or when we end up hungry, angry, lonely, or tired,” which Cherie shortens to the acronym “HALT.” To avoid overspending due to a rash decision or poor planning, Cherie recommends planning the meal based on experience. Check the menu ahead of time and try not to stress out about what to order when you get to the table.

Tips to reduce costs

If you pay attention to gift cards and restaurant loyalty programs, you can reduce some restaurant costs. “Places like Sam’s Club and Costco sell gift cards below face value,” Cherie said. If you load money into your restaurant’s app, you know exactly how much you’re spending. And, if the app offers a rewards program, sign up and earn points for a free dinner or coupons and discounts. “It never hurts to check before placing your order so you don’t miss out on saving money!” said Honey.

If your favorite restaurant offers early bird or happy hour discounts, take this opportunity to beat the crowds.

You can also save time and money by ordering ahead and picking you up at the restaurant instead of paying for third-party delivery services.

Watch Cherie’s full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.

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