To reduce your spending on eating out, you can either eat out less frequently or choose less expensive foods when you do. You choose the approach that is most consistent with your values.
Further Reading: How to Cut Your Food Spending – Scaling Back on Eating Out
Eat Out Less Frequently
If you are in the habit of eating out alone for convenience, it is simple to replace those meals with ones you prepare at home. On campus, you can still eat with your peers even if you brown bag your lunch. You could try to replace social eating out with hanging out with your friends in less expensive venues from time to time, or skip dinner and join them for the next activity.
Further Reading: Get Rich With: The Secret Food ‘Stash
Spend Less When Eating Out
When you have influence over where you eat out, choose less expensive restaurants. When ordering, pay attention to prices and consider ordering less expensive entrees or replacing an entree with an appetizer, soup, or salad. Skip or order fewer appetizers, drinks, and desserts. Take your leftovers home to replace a second meal. You could also choose to frequent restaurants that offer student discounts or accept coupons or discount gift certificates.
Further Reading: Sometimes I Don’t Eat. Is that Rude?; 10 Ways to Save Money Eating Out at Restaurants