Socializing Without Breaking the Bank

by Dual Income No Kids on October 26, 2007 · 0 comments

Hello All,

If you’re like most people you probably have an active social life. Since you are reading this blog, you also know being social can be expensive. The cost of meeting friends for an evening of visiting can be a pretty penny. For example, meeting friends, having dinner and getting back home can run you well over 50 dollars. Ouch!

So, today’s posting looks at ways you can cut back while still being social.

1) Don’t Buy Alcohol: At least in the DC area, it costs you 4 or 5 dollars to get a beer. Mixed drinks can be a bit more. A good way to shave a couple of bucks off your dinner tab is to get water or a soda instead of alcohol. Water or diet soda can also be less fattening and you don’t run the risk of getting tipsy and saying something silly.

2) Use Coupons: This is a little tougher when you’re spontaneously meeting friends, but using coupons can work. For example, my wife Miel is great at clipping coupons. We’ve gone to several restaurants in Washington and eaten for half price! If you’re meeting friends and have some time to plan ahead, you might search on line to see if the place you’re going offers any discounts.

3) Get Cheaper Alcohol: If you’re in a situation where you do want to enjoy a beer, you might consider getting the cheapest available on the menu. This is typically something like Bud or Miller or some of the more “pedestrian” domestic beers. While you might sacrifice a bit on taste, your wallet will thank you.

4) Order the Cheapest Thing on the Menu: Sharing a good meal with friends can be an important way to renew old friendships or meet new people. If you can’t get out of the social obligation of meeting for dinner, try ordering the most inexpensive thing you can stand on the menu. Chicken dishes are usually less expensive than other types of meat, and salads or vegetarian dishes are typically easier on the pocketbook than cheesy or meaty entrees. This is often good for shaving another two dollars or so from your final tab.

Sometimes you’ll want to balance the need to save money with the need to have an active social life. Hopefully these tips will help you cut your bill at the end of the night.

Best,

James

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