With that said, we eat as cheap as we can. It's rare that we spend over $35 even at a sit down restaurant. If it's fast food we keep it between $15-20. Here's a few rules/tips I follow.
1. go where you have coupons to. many many places have coupons off 2 entrees, or bogo's off cheeseburgers, etc. Use them! they come in the mail for a reason.
2. Got kids? find out who has free or .99 kids meals. Here Carlos O'Kelly's is Tuesday night ($1.99 mugaritas!!) and Applebee's is Wednesday night.
3. Get the most amount of food you can for the cheapest price. Use that dollar menu. You don't need a big mac, a cheeseburger will satisfy you just fine! We buy a 20piece nugget and split it between kids, then they have applesauce or something as a side when we get home.
4. Share adult meals. In reality 1 meal should feed 2 adults. The proportions at restaurants are generally blown out of proportion (hahaha I made a funny!!) We actually usually buy 3 meals and share between the 6 of us, get the kids a milk and usually get a water for ourselves.
Using a few of these tips we actually had the cheapest bill a table of 6 has probably ever had at Red Lobster (endless shrimp days don't count) the other night. We bought one appetizer of mozzarella sticks, 2 adult meals, 4 milks, a soda, and water...$43!!! We had a $4 off coupon so that helped. And we had leftovers!!!...of course we forgot them on the table and I didn't realize it till hours later.
But seriously, if we can make our RED LOBSTER bill that cheap with our big family, anyone can. There's no reason not to spoil yourself once in awhile with a pricey dinner, find the savings and use them.
Happy EATING :)