The only thing possibly worse than calorie counting while you’re ordering a meal is budget crunching, especially if you’re a foodie.
The good news is that while budget cuts may have you watching your dining dollars, they don’t have to keep you off the food circuit. You can still nibble like the rich and famous, even if you have to be a little more creative.
Nosh on MainStreet's five tips for creating a luxurious dining experience on the cheap:
1. Eat dessert for dinner. Your mother might disagree, but your pocketbook won’t. Instead of grabbing your favorite four-course meal with a friend, hit a dessert bar instead. Savoring a sweet delicacy and an after-dinner drink will feel just a sinful and decadent as a lobster tail, plus still give you time to gossip (and enough cash leftover to pay for parking).
2. Sidle up to the bar. If you’ve got expense account tastes, with a grad student’s discretionary income, you can still simulate an extravagant meal without the three-figure tab. Grab a chic seat at the bar of the hippest place in town (don’t worry, they won’t ask to see your bank statement), and order an inexpensive dish—think pasta, a special sushi roll or a couple of small appetizers—and a glass of wine. You’ll get to eat at your favorite restaurant without feeling like you’ve sacrificed, but won’t need a personal loan to do it.