Home cooking is great but, sometimes, you just fancy going out and letting someone else do all the hard work. Of course, it’s a nice treat to go to a posh restaurant and experience some exquisite food but, in reality, that isn’t always an option – especially for those of us whose bank balance simply won’t allow it!
But there are ways around it, and these are just a few ideas for when you want to get out of the house for dinner but can’t splash the cash.
You might sneer at this budget pub chain, but if you’re watching the pennies then you’re never too good for the ‘Spoons. Alright, so the food is “what you pay for”; it’s not gourmet fine dining but it certainly tastes alright. You can get some great meal deals that include a drink too, making it easy to get a big plate of pub grub and a pint for under a tenner right on your doorstep. It might not be your perfect idea of a night out but they’re not all bad – check out this one set in a beautiful old church!
ASK Italian or Bella Italia
Italian restaurants are some of the most popular in the UK, with pizza and pasta dishes being a staple favourite for most. There are plenty of well-known chain restaurants on the high street which serve this kind of food, all pretty similar – but these two are great ones to bear in mind. Sign up to their websites and they send you offers every single week. You’ll actually get a bit bombarded, 25% off here, BOGOF there… But if you can put up with the emails then you’ll get some brilliant deals that can really slash the cost of a romantic evening.
Welcome to family fun! Harvester is a busy, bustling British chain that caters to families with their extensive menu and delicious sundae bar, but it’s often overlooked because of how jam-packed it can get at popular times, and that can put people off. But avoid the school holidays and pop in for a midweek dinner and you’ll find generous portions at great prices along with a salad bar where you can stock up as much as you like totally free of charge! The food isn’t half bad either and, hey, who says sundaes are just for kids?! 🍨
Dessert Parlours (Creams, Kaspas, etc.)
Places like Creams and Kaspas have absolutely exploded over the past couple of years, with the 1950s American ice cream parlour making its way into the cultural dining of the UK – only 60 years late! 🍦 They are completely indulgent and the desserts are incredible but, the best thing is, they end up being pretty affordable. You can get HUGE waffles, piled high with chunky toppings, cream and ice cream that leave you totally stuffed for under £10. You may think it’s just a little sweet treat but, believe me, you’ll be in a food coma for hours!
Grabbing a big, tasty pizza and some tempting sides is great, especially when it’s delivered right to your door, but you’re often looking upwards of £20 to do just that. Pizza Hut is one of the few takeaway pizza chains in the UK to offer table service and, if you can make it there for a weekday lunch, they put on a great buffet deal that can save you some serious dollar. From as little as £6.99 you can help yourself to as much pizza, pasta, garlic bread and salad as you like. Just buy a refillable soft drink to wash it down with and you’ve got yourself a bargain! 🍕