Alternative ways to pay for your supper

With the cost of a meal out rising rapidly many of us definitely think twice before heading into town for a bite to eat.
The average cost of a 3 course meal for 2 people where I live, with a glass of wine is around £50, factor in babysitters too and ouch!  Not the cheapest way to spend an evening and it certainly needs planning into your monthly finances.  When we eat out with the kids we only go for 2 courses (for us) as they don’t sit still long enough and to keep down the costs.
With this in mind I’ve been searching around to bring down the cost of a meal out.
Here are my top 5 suggestions:
  1. Cheat
    M&S, Tesco and Waitrose all do finest style meal deals – Main Meals, a side dish, dessert and a drink for a set price
    Put the kids to bed and lay the dinner table nicely with a tablecloth and candles, turn down the lights and light some candles.
    Make sure the TV is off and turn on the music.
    Voila a home restaurant – ok not the same but much cheaper!
  2. Come dine with me
    I’m not talking about getting a film crew around and searching through each others undies drawers,  unless of course that floats your boat!
    However getting together with a group of friends and each taking turns to cook for each other is a lovely way of not only eating out but catching up with good friends too.
  3. Play for your supper
    A different take on singing for your supper.
    A new idea which happened recently was a pop-up restaurant where you can determine just how much your meal will cost by playing poker for it in the world’s first pay-by-poker restaurant. The more you win the less your meal will cost.
    I’m not a great player so doubt mine would cost less but Paul likes to play so hopefully we could save some money and have a little fun in the process.
  4. Eat out during the week or at lunchtimes
    Many restaurants will have a weekday cheap menu or a lunchtime special menu, 2 or 3 courses for a set price.
    By taking advantage of these offers you could save a fair bit,  as long as you don’t mind ordering from a set menu.
  5. Exchange reward points for restaurant vouchers
    Tesco clubcard points can be exchanged for restaurant vouchers at a fabulous rate.
    A few months back I exchanged ours for Pizza Express vouchers,  exchanging £2.50 of vouchers gives you £10 credit.
    There are a few dates that you can’t use your vouchers in certain establishments such as Christmas week and bank holidays. You can’t use these against any drinks you order but it makes for a very cheap meal out.

Do you have any suggestions on lowering the cost of a meal out?

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