The Frugal Foodie – Budget Dining Out

Obviously I’m often wary about how much I’m spending because I am definitely living on a massively frugal budget right now, but I do believe in trying new foods and food combos as often as possible. Although one of my new friends from Phoenix may not agree; he coaxes me to eat a new item every time we eat out and I take a lot of persuading. I am less than adventurous and live[d] by the mantra: ‘I know I don’t like it by the way it looks!’

That still works for me about 95% of the time, but every so often a weird-looking and sounding item pops up and I’m shocked to discover my taste-buds accept and enjoy this strange and wonderful thing.

The other week I dined with a friend at Postino Wine Café in Phoenix on Central Avenue. Everybody in the area needs to make the effort to venture to this spot for its chilled atmosphere, friendly staff, and scrumptious bruschetta and wine. Monday and Tuesday after 8PM they offer bruschetta and a bottle of wine for $20! Bargain since you can share it between you and a friend!

Looks icky, tastes yummy!


So if you want to dine out regularly and try new foods, here are a few tips:

  1. Look for the offers – Google is a wonderful adversary, and friends and/or random strangers and acquaintances in the area can often help too.
  2. Check the ratings, but don’t believe everything you read. Some people are out to complain and moan about everything, so be wary of those types of reviewers, take each comment with a pinch of salt and hopefully you’ll find your new favourite foodie hangout.
  3. Carry cash and leave your card at home. What’s your budget? $20? $30? $50? Carrying cash will help you stick to it because you’ve no other choice but to! I say this, but rarely leave the house without my card for those ‘just in case’ I need to fill up my card or ‘just in case’ I need to buy an emergency item moments. Although mine is sometimes ‘just in case’ I want to order an additional cocktail,  my unashamedly guilty pleasure.
  4. Go alone or bring a friend. Mix it up. Sometimes it’s nice to eat alone with just a book or a laptop or notebook for company. I always leave the house with everything when coffee-shopping alone because I never know where my thoughts will lead. Tonight, at Lux Central, they led here.
  5. Smile at a stranger. This is just a rule for life, to be very honest. But, it works really well when you’re dining or in a coffee shop alone. You never know, this perfect stranger may become an ally and friend.

Thanks for reading! What are your favourite hangouts anywhere in the world? I travel a lot, so I can add your recommendation to my bucket list!


This is part of The Fabulous Foodie series. Check out the other posts by visiting The Fabulous Foodie page.

6 thoughts on “The Frugal Foodie – Budget Dining Out”

      1. My favorite is Blue Wasabi at San Tan Village in Gilbert. Outside seating, very good sushi and fancy martinis. Great people watching, really friendly service. Also Squid Ink in Scottsdale, sometimes have live music. Kona Grill is good if on a budget!

  1. Great tips on enjoying eating and socializing on a budget. Life should be enjoyed; we simply need to differentiate between enjoying life and abusing ourselves with life’s offerings.
    My recommendation for restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina is Chima Brazilian Steakhouse. It offers an amazing variety of wonderful salads, fish and various meat dishes. You won’t be disappointed.

Leave a Reply