Tip of the week: Split meals to save money... and your waistline
Written by Robert Niles
Most restaurants serve dishes that offer way more calories than you need in a single meal. That half-pound burger or 32-ounce cola might look like a bargain when compared with smaller portion sizes, but is it really a deal to spend a few extra cents to get more food than you actually need? Finish those bad boys, and yeah, you'll feel full. But make it a habit, and your clothes will feel fuller than ever, as your weight balloons.Tweet
As yummy as one piece of Disneyland's Monte Cristo sandwich might be, you do not want to eat an entire plate of this by yourself. Trust me.
Don't finish those meals by yourself. And don't let them go to waste, either. Split your meals, and you'll not only save money on the per-person cost of eating out, you'll avoid the urge to overeat all that extra food on your plate.
Splitting meals not only saves you money inside a theme park, it can be a great way to cut expenses to help you save money for your next vacation, too. Share when you eat out in your hometown to start cutting your spending, so you'll have money left at the end of the month to put in your vacation fund. (Remember, the best way to save money on a vacation is to pay for it up front - so you can avoid big interest charges while paying your credit card bills for months after you come home.)
Be careful when pricing vacations that include dining, such as the Disney Dining Plan. If you're considering one of the Walt Disney World vacation packages that include "free" dining, consider how much it would cost to split meals on that same vacation, if you stayed in a comparable, but less expensive, hotel. Would that be the better deal?
If you decide to go with a Disney Dining option, switch your thinking from "find the place that serves the most food for the lowest cost" to "find the place that serves the best food, in reasonable portions, for the most money." Remember, you're spending credits, not cash. And sharing meals won't help you get value, so go for the best quality food you can find to get your money's worth. One of the ironies of modern food service is that the better quality restaurants tend to serve the more reasonable portion sizes. Take advantage of that.
What are some of your favorite tips for getting the most value from dining out?
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