Just because one becomes old and ends up on a fixed income does not mean that they still don't have the desire to get out every once and awhile and have a meal other than the ones fixed at home. Going out to eat should not have to be eliminated just because all of a sudden you are a senior and the budget won't allow for it. As a senior you need the opportunity to get out and socialize and enjoy yourself. Socialization helps us to stay young feeling even if the years keep piling on. Below you'll find a few ways that you can still fit in the occasional dining out into your budget.
One way to save yourself some money when you want to eat out is to find those restaurants that offer different coupons or discounts on a regular basis to their senior customers. However; you may notice that some restaurants that do offer these specials only do so on certain nights of the week so make sure that you check with them first to see when they offer their different discounts and specials.
When you go out to a restaurant don't be embarrassed to ask if they have special discounts or special senior menus that may not be public ally displayed in the restaurant or even on the menu. There are a lot of times that you will only get this special service if you ask about them. So there is no harm in asking, if you don't you may lose out.
When you go to a place to eat make sure that you ask if there is a daily special available and if there is this will most likely be the cheapest thing on the menu and if it's something you like you should go with the special. You also might want to consider making the day you go out be for breakfast because breakfast seems to be the cheapest meal of the day that is offered at most restaurants.
Consider going out to eat during the week like Monday through Thursday. They will tend to have less customers and on those days their daily specials tend to be less money than they would be on Friday and the weekends. You'll be able to save a lot of money this way and you'll probably get better service as well if the restaurant is less busy.
Buy the Sunday paper and go through all of the different weekly inserts they have and you will find a ton of different coupons for restaurants and fast food places. You'd be amazed at all the different ways you can save money by collecting all the coupons found in the Sunday inserts. Another thing to consider is to make sure to check the backs of your receipts you get when you go to the restaurant. There may be free offers or discounts for your next visit.
Even though you aren't a tourist go to your tourist center in town and pick up the different free publications they offer and check for any kinds of coupons in those. Tourist publications generally have a variety of different discount coupons.
You could also call around to your favorite places to eat and see if they offer any kind of early bird discounts. They often do and you can go in and eat a discounted meal between 4 and 6 pm. This can actually save you about 20% on each of your meals.