Frugal Friday: The Eating Out Hack

Jackie Ruesink
Sep 27 · 3 min read

Like most good millennials, Jake and I like to eat out. Cooking is hard and takes time and preparation that we just can’t seem to prioritize in our limited downtime. Most of our Friday Date Nights center around food and we are always looking to try new places around the city that we haven’t been to. Living in Austin where good food is on every corner, it’s easy to justify our obscene “Restaurants” budget, but hey, at least we mostly stay within our budget!

Usually, if we go over budget in “Restaurants” we probably visited Wu Chow that month. It’s a farm-to-table Asian food restaurant on 5th street downtown and it’s absolutely my favorite place to eat in Austin. I could eat everything on the menu and still ask for more! Served family style, each dish is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted at your neighborhood Asian food place. Everything is fresh and completely delicious and I have yet to find a dish I don’t like (I swear Wu Chow is not endorsing this, I’m just *that* big of a fan!)

For our first “Frugal Friday” post, I thought I’d share with you guys the hack that made Wu Chow an accessible treat for Jake and I, allowing us to stay within our budget, worry free. Are you ready? I don’t think you are…

Wait for it.

Happy Hour.

Yep. That’s right, it’s as simple as eating dinner a little earlier. Wu Chow has crazy wonderful happy hour deals that slash their regular menu item prices in half (or more!) if you dine there before 6:30 on a weekday.

Jake and I discovered this one Friday evening when we had a craving for Wu Chow’s crazy-delicious green beans and wanted to “beat the crowd” to get a table. We showed up at 6:15, ordered our usual items from their happy hour menu, and ended up spending about $40 when all was said and done on a meal that would have usually cost closer to $90. We even had enough food left over to take some home for lunch the next day!

But as much as I think it is, Wu Chow isn’t some magical place where all your eating out dreams come true. Happy Hour deals are all over the place as restaurants lure customers in with incredible drink deals only to get them to spend more by dropping food prices as well. Local gems like El Alma, the Peached Tortilla, and North Italia have great week day deals on both drinks and real food that will fill you up (not just snacks). Even if you don’t live in Austin, I’m confident this happy hour hack will exist in any major city across the US. If you haven’t considered it before, check out your favorite restaurant’s happy hour deals — you might just be surprised with what you learn!

Not everyone’s deals are as crazy-good as Wu Chow’s and obviously these types of restaurants are not your every night dinner places when you’re trying to stick to a budget. But for a date night, girl’s night, or weekday treat, happy hour deals at nicer restaurants has my whole-hearted recommendation on this “Frugal Friday!”

Here are some more great happy hour deals on delicious food in Austin. Do you have a favorite Happy Hour gem that should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments!

Budgets

writing on topics around financial tips, awareness, mindfulness and education

Jackie Ruesink

Written by

Budgets

Budgets

writing on topics around financial tips, awareness, mindfulness and education

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