It can be an expensive business, going out on a date. Traditionally, the man would pay, as he would have been the higher earner, however, these days, with women’s “lib”and women able to command higher salaries and their own independence, we are often sharing the bill, or taking turns. Meeting someone from a dating site for the first time can be a daunting enough experience, and you don’t want the awkwardness of discussing who or how the bill will be paid at the end of the meal. Try some of our suggestions below, to help ease the cost of your dates and allow you to go on more single dates without going bankrupt!
- The recession has hit everyone hard – don’t be ashamed of seeking out money saving opportunities. Your money is hard earned, and easily spent, use it wisely!
- Restaurants NEED your business. As many new ones open up as old ones CLOSE down.
- Eating out is a national pastime. In 2010 we have approx. 30,000 restaurants and pubs serving food nationwide, all looking to provide you with a pleasurable dining experience in exchange for your cash.
So how do we access Cheap Dining?
The internet of course! Do your research, and download vouchers ahead of your date.
Moneywise.com offer a search facility so you can find something local (or afar) – you will need to print off the voucher, or book a table online to qualify. (you must also scroll down the screen, as their banner takes up half the screen).
Try the Tastecard. For a free trial membership, you will receive up to 50% (or 2 for 1 offers) across 3,500 restaurants nationwide. Full membership costs £69.95 – which equates to nearly £6 a month against the cost of a meal. This could come in very handy if you enjoy eating out, and live near Tastecard member restaurants.
Also, Myvouchercodes.co.uk offers vouchers for just about everything, along with restaurants. Keep an eye on which ones come up near you, and take advantage!
Book your table ahead
By booking your dinner date early, restaurants will reward you with discounts or incentives. Take a look at Toptable for special offers and to search for cheap restaurants with menus under £25. 5pm.co.uk also allows you to reserve a table and find restaurants offering discounts. And lastly, Lastminute.com offers the “eat out for a £10” search tool, although this applies mainly to London.
Become a restaurant Critic
Become a real expert, work whilst you date! Get your meals for free, or even earn on a date. Mystery shopping is a new career, devised by brands to uncover what their competitors are doing, or to assess their own customers’ experience. One of the leading companies is Retaileyes.co.uk who employ mystery shoppers to rate their experiences of shops and restaurants. You make your visit, unannounced, return your feedback and will be paid for your time, and reimbursement of any purchases you make. You could make up to £20 a day, and get a meal or a night in a nice hotel thrown in for good measure. Research carefully before joining any scheme, and check for reviews from others first!
A dinner date should not break the bank. Increasingly, people are ditching the upmarket brands and choosing cheaper and more casual alternatives. Look around, try something new, going on a date gives you the opportunity to explore your local area.
You could also try moving your dinner date to lunch time. Menus are often cheaper, and there isn’t the pressure either to drink (alcohol) or to leave your table by 9pm for the next session.
Many restaurants also offer a senior citizen menu with a reduced price during off peak – so check out your local eateries and even larger department stores for senior offers.
A little preparation can go a long way to both saving money, and ensuring that you have a successful dinner date. Enjoy yourselves!