Group of friends are eating breakfast and socialising in a restaurant.

Save money and still eat out (your local cafe will love you for it)

Save money and still eat out (your local cafe will love you for it)


Was your new year’s resolution related to saving money this year? One of the most common ways to save money is to cut out the takeaways, meals out, and Friday nights at the pub. And it’s usually in these first few months of the year that our hospitality industry can feel the effects of those tightened purse strings.

It’s true you can save a lot of money by staying at home, but the trouble is, if you cut out all the fun from your life, this can become hard to stick to in the long term. Instead, we have a few ways you can save money and still enjoy life. Better still, you’ll be helping your local eateries through some tough months of the year.

Only eat out when there’s a special available

Many local pubs and restaurants try to encourage customers with a variety of weekday specials. Rather than eliminating eating out completely, you could always make it a rule to never eat out unless a special or deal is available. Take advantage of two for one deals and lunch specials, and just avoid eating out on the most popular nights over the weekend!

Use discounts

Many businesses and restaurants are part of rewards programs that provide discounts to members to encourage more business. Have you signed up for Intrust Super Rewards? Restaurants on Intrust Super Rewards offer members 20% off their total bill (up to a maximum deduction of $25). There could be plenty of cafes and pubs in your local area that are part of the program. Make a meal out with your family or friends much more affordable by signing up for Intrust Super Rewards today!

Sign up as members

Loyalty programs and memberships can often help you access special discounts or even free meals on a special occasion. Joining your local Surf Life Saving or RSL club is usually pretty affordable, and it can help you access great discounts on food and drinks. You can also accrue loyalty points at some businesses and eventually work your way to a free meal! Alternatively, there are many restaurants, cafes and pubs that offer freebies on your birthday when you sign up to their mailing list. Put up with a few marketing emails from various businesses and you could easily eat for free for your entire birthday!

Make it a lunch or breakfast date!

Going out for dinner can be quite an expense. Depending on where you go, the meal, drinks and even the water can all add up to a large chunk of your weekly budget. So why not opt for a lunch or breakfast date instead? There’s less temptation to drink alcohol, which already reduces your table bill significantly. And, more often than not, meals at breakfast and lunch tend to be much cheaper than the dinner menu. Encourage your friends to meet up earlier in the day and save!

Settle for tap and BYO

If you would rather eat out for dinner at least once in a while, there are some easy ways to reduce your bill. Choose BYO restaurants if you’re planning on eating and drinking with friends. Splitting a wine bottle or a six pack can end up much cheaper than purchasing from the menu. And don’t forget to ask for tap water – still and sparkling water can often add a big margin to your bill.

There’s plenty of ways you can help reduce your eating out costs without cutting the luxury altogether. Besides, it’s much harder to resist all meals out when so many social activities revolve around eating. Support your local pubs and restaurants and save money by finding cheaper ways to eat out! Your bank account and your local business owners will be happier for it.