Britons have become accustomed to dining out substantially more than they used to following the government scheme Eat Out to Help Out.
The initiative which started in August and has been extended by some restaurants and pubs into September has given a much needed boost to the hospitality trade.
But sadly, all good things must come to an end...and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is no different.
Fear not, though, as Andy Barr, founder of price tracking app www.Alertr.co.uk, has compiled these top tips on how to eat out for less.
Vouchers and offers
It may seem a bit obvious – but scouring through newspapers and online sites to find the latest vouchers and restaurant offers is a great way to find yourself a discounted dinner. You’ll frequently find half price, % off deals and BOGOF offers at your favourite high-street chains, as well some smaller independent restaurants.
Dine with other foodies
Going out for dinner with other like-minded people is a great way to save yourself money and still get to experience new and exciting foods. Sharing your meals and indulging in a range of smaller, tapas-style plates means you can try a variety of dishes without having to buy them all.
Get your timing right
Happy hour doesn’t just refer to offers on alcoholic drinks, there are plenty of restaurants that offer reduced food prices at certain times of the day or week.If happy hour doesn’t appeal to you, try going out for lunch. Most restaurants will offer a separate and greatly discounted lunch menu, or midday deals to entice workers on their lunch break.
Sign up to newsletters
Like most businesses, restaurants often have mailing lists to share the news of their promotions and current deals on food and drink. Sign to get the latest flash offers and vouchers that are not available to anybody else or to book a table before others are aware of the savings they can make. Similarly, some restaurants offer loyalty schemes that will reward you for the number of times you go to the restaurant.
You may think that free birthday meals are only ever offered to children, when in fact many restaurants provide discounted food for diners who can prove they are celebrating a special occasion.
Try a buffet
All you can eat buffets are generally quite cheap anyway, but if you are clever with the foods you choose, they can be particularly good value for money.
(photo: Shutterstock/Carlo Prearo