Nothing is as universal as food. But whether you’re eating in or spending an evening out on the town, why not save a little money without sacrificing that perfect bite?

Dining Out

Dining out? Here’s how to save on your next meal

Going out to eat doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with saving money. In fact, it might even seem like trying to lose weight while snacking on a bag of chips. And it’s not hard to figure out why! In order for restaurants to make a profit, they generally need to factor in a markup on how much they charge compared to the cost of ingredients in addition to wages paid to staff. But there’s good news: you don’t have to give up on the occasional trips to your favorite eateries in order to avoid breaking the bank. The next time you’re out, just remember some of these must-know money-saving tips:

  • If you’re not big eaters, order an appetizer and/or salad, then split an entrée
  • Save the dessert for home or share an order rather than everyone getting their own
  • Avoid ordering drinks; the markup on drinks is usually substantial compared to the true cost
  • Know when “happy hour” starts and take advantage of specially-priced options
  • Watch for weekly specials or promotions—follow your favorite restaurants on their social media pages to take advantage of discounts and coupons

Need Series: Noodles

Food that’s fun to slurp.

Come along with Cody and Crystal as they take on oodles of noodles and find the dish they need to fix their craving.

Mahalo to Cuu Long II, Maile’s Thai Bistro, and Asahi Grill for helping Hawaii to choose wisely. Recommendations of the businesses featured in this video are the personal opinions of the hosts.

Meal prepping

Save money, save time by meal prepping

When it comes to food, nothing has been more popular lately than meal prepping. And that popularity extends from the fitness community all the way to busy professionals. And for good reason. Meal prepping can provide huge benefits to your lifestyle and overall health, and when done right, it can also be a great way to save money and time.

What’s Meal Prepping? – Meal prepping is when you prepare and package some, if not all, of your meals and snacks for the week in advance. Before starting your meal prep, you’ll want to have in mind that week’s menu, so you can prepare and shop for your grocery list. You’ll also want to designate a day of the week to make the following week’s meals. Of course, prepping all your meals at once can sound like a bit of hassle, but benefits build up quickly.

Save money – When you prep in advance, not only do you save from having to buy lunch or snacks throughout the day, you may also find significant savings on your grocery bill because you’re now shopping in bulk. Just make sure you have space to store/freeze bulk groceries appropriately to avoid waste. You can also consider purchasing your bulk groceries with family and friends and split them amongst you.

Save time – Although your “prep day” may take a bit of time to complete, meal prepping will save you lots in the long-run. Now that your meals are planned out for the entire week, you’ll no longer waste time questioning what to eat or where to go for lunch.

The more the merrier – Coordinate with other meal preppers at work, the gym, or at home so you can eat together and share tips for saving even more money and time.