Fine Dining, On The Cheap - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Fine Dining, On The Cheap

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Dinners out are out of the question for many San Diegans trying to save money. But there are ways to have your dinner and eat it too with some money-saving tricks at some of San Diego's nicest restaurants.\r\n\r\nFine Dining On the Cheap! Tips from Shawn Styles & Real Simple Magazine\r\n\r\n- A late lunch can cost 20 to 30 percent less than dinner or try the Early Bird special\r\n\r\n- Happy hour dining can save you 50 percent on food & drink\r\n\r\n- Always ask about the house special\r\n\r\n- Bring your own booze: many restaurants now allow you to bring your own wine. Some even waive the corkage fee. Pick up a bottle of wine at a liquor store before heading to dinner and you could save up to 100 percent of the restaurant's price on the bottle. Restaurants often mark up wine by over 100 percent. Even if you have to pay a corkage fee it's usually around $10 - $15, and in most cases you'll still save\r\n\r\n- Having a drink at the bar before your meal? Pay in cash. Credit card users tend to overspend by an estimated 20 percent. One reason: throwing down a dollar in cash as a tip for each cocktail you order tends to add up to less than the average 15 - 20 percent tip on a credit card tab\r\n\r\n- Coupons can give you your biggest savings, with 50 percent off a second entrÈe or even the second entrÈe free!\r\n\r\n- Order a couple of appetizers instead of an entrÈe and you'll knock 10 - 30 percent off your tab and get the chance to try more of the menu. Even if appetizer portions of entrees aren't listed on the menu, restaurants may prepare them for customers. The bonus: These portions are sometimes nearly as large as the entrÈe plate, but a fraction of the price\r\n\r\n- Make your meal last. Get two dinners for one price. When ordering, ask your server to pack half your plate in a doggy bag before serving you the other half. You'll have a meal to eat at home tomorrow, and you won't be tempted to overeat today.
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