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When you’re watching your wallet, every order counts. You want to enjoy your favorite bar foods, but you don’t want a single bite to go to waste. We get it. We’ve all been there.

It’s frustrating to order a meal that turns out to be more than you can chew, then realizing one or more of the following:

  • The game’s not even over! My friends are still here! I can’t let the food sit that long before I get it home to the fridge.
  • Ugh, I don’t want my car smelling like French fries.
  • This is not going to be quite as delicious when it’s reheated.

Don’t worry. You can enjoy your Smoked Gouda Macaroni & Cheese Balls, Glazed Donut Bacon Cheeseburger, and more without wasting food and without breaking your budget by following our Expert Tips for Bar Foods on a Budget. Trust us. We know what we’re talking about. We live here.

Get Happy

Happy Hour often gives you access to some of your favorite foods at a lower price point; if your fave isn’t on the Happy Hour menu, you can take the money you’re saving on drinks and apply it to your full-priced entree.

Sign Up for Emails

Lots of bars and restaurants offer incentives for signing up for their email list. It might be a discount off your entire check, or a free drink or appetizer. Take advantage, and don’t unsubscribe just yet: those ongoing emails could contain coupons, special offers, and holiday or birthday rewards. What’s one more email in your inbox if you can save some money on your next visit?

Check the Appetizers

Appetizers are usually less expensive than entrees, but they’re every bit as creative and delicious. Sometimes, the smaller portion offered in an appetizer might be just enough to fill you up without letting any go to waste. Meanwhile, certain sampler platters or nachos offer that lower price point and are still big enough to share.

Ask Questions

A lot of bars pride themselves on offering huge portions to give you the best value, so simply ask your server if a particular plate is big enough to share with a friend.

Spy

Take discreet or not-so-discreet glances around the room to see what other people have ordered and how big the portions are. Sometimes what seems big enough to share according to the server might not be that way according to you and your hunger level.

Ask for Half Orders

It’s not always on the menu, but many bars and restaurants offer half-portions of salads, sandwiches, and certain entrees. You’ll save a few bucks and be able to comfortably finish the meal.

Consider Share-ability

Some foods lend themselves well to sharing: pizza, salads and other dishes that can easily be divided down the middle, sandwiches that are already cut in half. However, a tall hamburger might be difficult to divide if the toppings smash out the sides; if one person ends up with more bacon than the other person, you could have a problem. This isn’t a deal breaker, but you might have a happier dining experience (with better value for both diners) if you choose a meal that is easily divided between you.

You Can Always Order More

If the server says, “No, you’ll want to eat this all yourself,” call him a liar and share it anyway. Okay, don’t call him liar, but still: order the plate to share and see what happens. If you’re still hungry, you can always order something else.

If you have any questions about the menu at 571 Grill & Draft House, contact us and talk directly to our experts. We can discuss share-ability, Happy Hour, half orders, and more so you can enjoy your food without overspending or suffering that French-fries-in-the-car smell.