How to save money eating at restaurants

Double-digit cocktails can send your tab soaring. But so can other liquids. “Take a pause before you go out” and ask yourself if you’re going to be indulgent or careful, says Clark Wolf, a California-based food, restaurant and hospitality consultant. “Am I going to get bottled water and a double espresso or am I not?” Wolf says that if he wants a caffeine hit, he’ll get it at a coffee shop, where it’s less expensive than at a restaurant. Seek out establishments that offer complimentary still and sparkling water. Not only is it better for the environment, because water isn’t being trucked in and house flasks can be reused, pouring gratis water is a marker of hospitality. If you really want wine, beer or a cocktail, partake before you head to a restaurant, or even after, to save money.

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