Many times when we go out to eat, my wife and I will split a meal. Serving sizes are so humongous these days that we can both be very satisfied (and sometimes still completely stuffed) by eating half sized portions.
We’re more likely to do this at self-serve or mostly self-serve places like Chipotle, Tijuana Flats, and Pei Wei. These types of places make it easy to split a meal, we simply ask for an extra plate. Some places will even split the meal onto two plates for us.
The money saving component isn’t really the main reason for this, although it does play a part. The main reason was simply that we were being served too much food. Often we didn’t want to take home left-overs and many times we weren’t going directly home after eating. It just made more sense to get a right-sized portion.
After the first couple of times doing this, we realized that our eating out budget could include two nights per week instead of the one night we had been doing. Eating fresh served meals is almost always better than old soggy left-overs. We started splitting meals more when we made this observation that we could eat freshly prepared meals out more often.
We find that it’s also a calorie saver. We tend to overeat if we have a huge plate of food in front of us, and this is less likely when we are splitting a meal.
The only trouble we run into is the feeling we get when splitting a meal at a sit-down restaurant. I feel a little bad for the wait-staff when we are paying so little for a meal, as I know they depend on tips as part of their income. I usually tip a little extra to make myself feel better about it.
I’d like to hear from you. Do you ever split meals to save costs or calories? What has your experience been?