5 ways to Cut your Costs when Eating Out.

With the economy and the price of gas issues we are facing, it seems everyone is looking for ways to economize. Frugality is the buzz word right now. Here are some other ways to save when eating out. Sometimes eating out can be cheaper than making dinner and let's face it, most people are not willing to completely cut out eating out. We still have to have fun but cut back not cut it out completely.

1. Use Recritique.com Coupons. Yes, this is obvious but coupons is the first thing that you can use right away and keep in your car to use when needed. Here are our Coupons and Freebies. We post the most coupons and freebies and search the world to find them the fastest. This is not just a shameless promotion. Valupak.com has local restaurant coupons too.

2. Skip the soda and the combo meal at the Restaurant. I know this sounds like a pain but if you eat out often, especially the drive through this is a must. Soda at restaurants it their lowest cost item, but yet they charge so much for it. The paper cup costs restaurants more than the soda in the cup. If you have a family of 5 eating out at a mid range restaurant, at $2.25 per cup that will save you well over $10. Our post here on Recritique.com mentions how we did this when our kids were young. My kids laugh about the fact that this was a rule in our household and both my older kids have the same habit. I figure it saved us hundreds of dollars.

3.Make it a picnic. This is a really great idea especially if you have kids. You can go get Hamburgers or better yet, Subway coupons, buy just the Subs or hamburgers and pack a picnic with Chips, Grapes, Soda and the like, take it to the park and really make a day of it.

4. Walk to the Restaurant using Walkscore.com. Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walk ability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc. Walk Score measures how easy it is to live a car-lite lifestyle—not how pretty the area is for walking. This is a pretty cool site. Save gas and be healthy.

5.Order off the Kids , Seniors or Appetizer Menu. When I go out I never eat the amount that is given to me in a regular order of food. In fact, many people have to take home leftovers. I always take home leftovers so one day I asked my server if I could order a smaller order. The restaurant let me order off the kids menu. Not all restaurants will let you do this. Some will, so it is worth asking. I have ordered off the seniors menu at Denny's before and it was the perfect amount for me. I hate paying for a dinner that is too big for me. Claim Jumper is the biggest one of the "too much food" offenders. Or when eating out, divide entrees in half and save the rest for a second meal. Ask for a to-go box as soon as your meal arrives and save half for tomorrow’s lunch. Restaurants are notorious for piling on portions, so this move will help you spread out the calories and cost of the meal.

6. Hit the Dollar Menu. I think that Taco Bell and Wendy's have pretty good dollar menus. If you can stick to only the one buck menu you will save a ton.

7.Don't use credit cards when eating out. Unless you pay the balance off every month. It is expensive enough to eat out at a nice restaurant but remember the interest that is added if you don't pay it off immediately.

8.Use Kids Eat Free Offers. This site has the skinny on the kids eat free specials around. We know that Denny's eat free on Tuesdays and this site has many many more.

If you have more tips we would love to hear them. Give us your best Restaurant money saving tips.

You can post them here.