8 Ways to Eat Out for Less

Top culinary experts share their frugal dining strategies.

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Bring your own wine. Wine is often the most expensive item on the menu. "People, when they come into a restaurant, look at the menu and forget to look at the price of a glass of wine," says Kinsella. It can be painful to pay 20 percent or more for a glass of wine than you would at a liquor store down the street. Some restaurants allow you to bring your own wine. But before packing up your bottle, call and ask if the restaurant charges a corkage fee. It's also worth asking a manager if he or she will waive the fee. "If I bring my own wine, I feel very smart and elegant," says Barbara Corcoran, author of Nextville: Amazing Places to Live the Rest of Your Life. "You save the embarrassment of looking cheap and ordering the cheapest wine."

[For more on frugal living, see 10 Bargain Retirement Spots.]