It’s date night. It’s going to be just you and her, so what are your plans? Dinner? Movie? The ever cringe-worthy bowling? Whatever you decide on doing, food is most likely involved. Whether it’s dinner followed by a movie or if it’s a stroll at the local park, you need to eat at some point. And, when you do, you don’t want to take her to McDonald’s.
So, what do you do? Going to a nice restaurant doesn’t have to be out of the question. Instead, you need to learn the techniques and tips that allow you to have a date at a fancy restaurant without hurting your wallet. It’s possible, and here’s how:
Make it a Lunch Date
Dates aren’t always at night. If you get a chance, plan a nice lunch. Often, lunches are a lot cheaper than dinners. Lunches also open up the rest of the evening, so you can plan whatever you want.
The lunch menu may offer different foods, so it may be like an entirely different experience if you’ve already eaten there before.
These are a lifesaver. Now, the only caveat to this technique is that some fancy restaurants may not have coupons. Still, you should research these restaurants online. Many of them do offer some type of coupon.
Groupon is an excellent resource for finding these coupons. And don’t be afraid to use them. Coupons don’t make you look cheap — that’s just your masculinity talking!
Eat at the Bar
If the restaurant has a bar, this is an excellent option for reduced costs. Most bars have a special menu that focuses your attention on unique appetizers and entrees. Sometimes, these choices cost less than they usually would. Take advantage of this, and your wallet will end up thanking you.
Also, be aware of happy hours. These often occur at specific times so you may want to look these up or call and ask about them before going!
Skip Appetizers and Dessert
At first, this may seem counterintuitive. If you skip out on the appetizer and dessert, doesn’t that make you cheap? Absolutely not. Choosing not to indulge in the pre- and post-portions of the main meal isn’t a bad thing. Instead, it’s a fantastic way to keep your costs down.
You can still do an appetizer and an entrée. Or an entrée and dessert. Doing two of the three makes for a great evening and is sure to keep your wallet safe from the evils of the three-course meal.
Go on a Weeknight
Weeknights can still be date nights. Friday and Saturday don’t have to be the designated times to relax. Relaxing should be a priority every night, and date night falls into this same concept. Going to a fancy restaurant Monday-Friday means you won’t pay nearly as much as you would on the weekend.
Most weeknights offer specific specials, while the weekends may jack up the price on almost everything in the restaurant. Take back your weeknights and enjoy some fine dining at no extra cost.
Split the Dessert
If you do end up getting the dessert, keep the cost down by splitting the dessert. Now, you may think this comes off as cheap. But it makes total sense. Splitting a dessert can act as a romantic catalyst. Splitting one dessert brings you closer together while eating your own, separate desserts seems a bit tacky.
If dessert is going to happen, there’s nothing wrong with splitting the food.
Put These Tips to Use
You’re now a master at dining in fancy restaurants on a budget. You know to hit up the bar, engage in those weekday specials, and even go in for lunch! All of these are excellent tips for saving your wallet and still getting that special restaurant experience. Don’t let another day go by. Take her out tonight!
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Feature photo provided by author.