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Dine out without breaking the bank

Monday - 5/20/2013, 5:34am  ET

eating out (WTOP/Alicia Lozano)
Base your tip on the service, not the restaurant's suggestion of what to tip the server. (WTOP/Alicia Lozano)
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WASHINGTON - While those who want to save money usually avoid eating out altogether, there are some ways to save cash while still having someone else do the cooking.

For the tech savvy, one option is to make reservations online, reports The Huffington Post.

Sites such as Savored or Open Table make money by saving you money.

Both sites keep track of empty seats and offer discounts to customers who fill them. It may take awhile to narrow search results, but the end result may please the palate.

And, like the age-old advice not to grocery shop while hungry, don't dine out while hungry either.

Splitting an appetizer or grabbing a small snack before heading to the restaurant can save some dough.

When it comes to alcohol, diners can save money by asking questions. For example, mixed drinks don't necessarily need premium alcohol.

Instead of grabbing the house wine, which is easy to sell at any price, take a look at the imported wine list, reports The Huffington Post.

WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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