budget-friendly meal
Top Travel Tips

How To Have A Budget-Friendly Meal In A Pricy Restaurant

One thing I really enjoy is going out for a nice meal. Me and Tom always say that we’d do it every single week if we could! It’s just really nice to dress up, have a bottle of wine and head out for some really good food. One of my personal fave places for food is Tattu. There’s only 3 restaurants in the UK so far, and lucky for me, one of them is in Leeds! It does contemporary Chinese cuisine and it’s soooo good, but it’s not cheap. However, it is actually possible to have a more budget-friendly meal in an expensive restaurant. Here’s how!


Happy Hour

Not all expensive restaurants will offer happy hour, but some might. If they do, that’s a train you need to jump on! Often during happy hour, there can be deals on food and drinks can be loads cheaper as well. It may not be at your ideal time, but for the sake of saving quite a bit of cash, it’ll be worth the compromise.


Deal Sites

Websites like Wowcher or Groupon often feature restaurant deals, so this can be a great way to have a budget-friendly meal. It might be a 2for1 offer or some sort of meal package at a reduced rate. You can find some great bargains on there! Just make sure you check the restrictions on your voucher before booking as sometimes they can be quite tight. You don’t want to rock up and be charged full-price for your food!



If you want to go to a fancy restaurant, but reduce the bill, sharing food is a great option. Rather than buying a starter each, just get one and share it between you. Same with desserts. This is particularly good if you go with a group of friends as you can get a smaller selection of plates and just pick and choose what you want. It works out much cheaper that way, and you may get ore variety!


Ask For A Gift Voucher

When it comes to Christmas or birthdays, rather than being gifted a handbag you’ll never use or another crate of shower gel, ask for a voucher for a nice restaurant. That way, when you visit you can put the voucher towards the meal and it means you’ll have to fork out less for it. Some people think vouchers are a really dull present, but I’d much rather have one for an experience at a fancy restaurant than something I don’t need or want.


Watch Your Drinks

Lots of drinks are not conducive to a budget-friendly meal. Often, drinks in restaurants are what really crank the bill up, so just go easy while you’re there. Just limit yourself to one if possible and then you can always get more drinks at a cheaper bar afterwards. One cheeky trick that a friend of mine told me, is that in posh restaurants you can get a free drink by asking to test the wine! If you see one you like on the menu, ask for a taster and they’ll pour you a decent serving in a glass. Et voilá – free drink. As it’s a tester there’s no cost and no commitment to buying a glass/bottle. Very sneaky!


There’s plenty of ways you can have a budget-friendly meal in a fancy restaurant, so you don’t need to miss out. It is good to treat yourself once in a while, and if you can save a few quid in the process, it’s even better! Check out my other money-saving tips here.


  • Vox

    That’s how we used to do it when we were going out as a family of 4; we would get water with a lemon wedge for drinks, skip the appetizer (and each the bread instead), and we USED to even all order kiddie meals (but some restaurants stopped allowing that, AND we would buy 1 dessert and ask for 4 spoons. And when traveling, we only eat one big meal a day—at lunch time, which was the cheapest menu. Now that we can afford more, we indulge more, but we still do the one big meal a day when the family is on vacation. Thanks for sharing some awesome tips.

  • Deborah

    Yes – way to go! – Drinks can really add up that’s for sure and both hubby and I opt to
    have drinks before we leave home – have done that for years. Yes we’ve had the
    coupons – usually close to half price. Happy hour we haven’t tried – but will look out for it.
    One thing I agree – is having good restaurants rather than a “cheaper” version where the taste
    is not as good.

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