General Discussion 38

Elegantly eating economically - at home or at a restaurant

rworange | May 20, 200807:29 PM

Sure you can eat on the cheap at the mom and pop or the local taco truck.

You can live on chili, lasagna and peanut butter or bologna sandwiches.

But what do you do to live like a king on a pauper’s budget?


I’ve been thinking about this occasionally since someone posted on the SF board about vacationing in Napa on a budget but not wanting to miss the Napa experience. That poster didn’t get any response (sorry poster).

There are a number of ways to dine at the better restaurants without taking out a loan
- Drink beer instead of wine or cocktails
- If you must buy wine, ask for half glasses. Many places have them
- Look for happy hours that have discounts on appetizers and then have dinner after
- Make a meal of appetizers (nice when combined with happy hour)
- Check for off-hour prix-fix dinners
- Be aware of restaurant week promotions
- Put together a picnic using the same suppliers to the top restaurants
- Eat breakfast, lunch or brunch rather than dinner
- Take out
- Look for unusual dining options
- Look for entertainment books, promotions, etc
- Check out restaurant websites and get on the mailing list


Well, sure all the usual stuff, sales, coupons, etc. But there are a few things that might seem illogical.

- Buy the top of the line products (olive oil, cheese, meat, etc)
- Shop at the top markets (cheese shops, farmers markets, butchers, etc)
- Look for discounts at even the most expensive place.
- Shop at places that give samples of pricy items

The details (blah, blah, blah) for all of the above are in the first reply.

I have friends who like the theater or opera and volunteer as ushers to see shows for free. Are there any restaurant strategies like that … offering to help when some of these places sponsor charity events?

Any other tips for top-class dining on a dime … or a at least a few bucks less?

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