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Provided by MGS

With more free time on their hands, retirees may spend a portion of that time dining out at local eateries. While it’s commendable to want to support local businesses, eating out can quickly devour a budget if those on fixed incomes are not careful. Certain strategies can be used to help retirees save money while dining out.

• Shop to-go meals at supermarkets or specialty food stores, which can be heated at home or enjoyed as a picnic at a scenic spot.

• Dine out for breakfast or lunch when meals tend to be less expensive than they are during dinner hours.

• Consider splitting meals or ordering appetizers instead of entrees.

• Stick to one course rather than filling up on an appetizer, salad and then having too much leftover food for the main course. This can help keep the bill lower.

• Drink at home whenever possible. Enjoying a glass of wine, beer or cocktails at a restaurant will almost always cost you more than if you have drinks at home. Stick to the meal only, then enjoy a nightcap once you return home. It’s also a safe way to reduce the risk of drinking and driving.

• Look for coupons or special discount days when seniors can enjoy a percentage off the tab.

• Explore venues that offer tasting menus. These establishments provide small bites of various dishes and enable patrons to try out various foods before committing to one dish that may be costly.

• Opt for inexpensive foods and save the high-end meals for special occasions.