Save dough when dining out: Top 10 ways to cut your restaurant bill

Save dough when dining out: Top 10 ways to cut your restaurant bill
Save dough when dining out: Top 10 ways to cut your restaurant bill

Whenever I dine out, I always strive to keep the bill under $20 per person, tip included. Of course, it all depends on the quality, décor and type of restaurant, but for most middle-of-the-road type establishments, getting out with a bill of under $40 for two is quite an accomplishment -- and thoroughly doable.

Almost all restaurants keep track of a server's PPA, which stands for Per Person Average. It's just what it sounds like. Servers get ranked according to how much they can squeeze out of each customer. Their tip depends on their PPA and a restaurant's overall sales depend on servers' PPAs. The servers at the bottom of this list get an earful as to why they're not selling more side salads, alcohol, desserts and the like.

Therefore, it's a battle between me and my server -- and to the victor goes the moolah. As much as my waiter tempts me to go for all the "add-ons," I in turn fight to keep the tab down. Below are some wise ways to keep that bill in check, and those bills in your wallet.