Visiting an all you can eat buffet might feel like a competition to see who can eat the most, but there are some thrifty hacks to help you get the best value for money when visiting one.
Assess the lay of the land
Before you even pick up your plate, take a look around the buffet to see what is on offer.
Restaurants will put their cheaper, more filling foods near the start of a buffet, or near the plates in order to encourage you to fill up on them, therefore saving them money.
Choose more expensive items
After you have taken a look around the buffet, you can pick foods that are more expensive. I love loading up on tiger prawns and other more expensive meats like duck.
I also love getting guacamole if it is available.
Stay away from starchy foods
If you really want to get great bang for your buck, stay away from starchy foods at a buffet. This means anything potato based, any breads, pasta or even rice.
Buffets will often have child friendly options too, including things like chips and chicken nuggets, which are usually very cheap but filling options.
Don't drink too much
Any drinks, not just alcohol, can fill you up. In fact, one of my favourite buffet restaurants offers unlimited refills on their soft drinks. As a customer I really enjoy it, but it actually saves them money.
Other buffet restaurants might serve small, expensive drinks. Since a lot of the food has a lot more salt in, you might feel more thirsty than usual. You can always ask for tap water instead.
Get smaller plate fulls and go up more often
A buffet isn't a race, and it would be a shame to load up your plate with something only to discover you don't like how the restaurant has cooked it.
Instead, approach a buffet with a focus on “little and often”. Smaller plates mean you can try out a variety of foods, but more importantly, you can gauge when you are actually full.
Don't take it too seriously
Whilst these tips should help you get your money's worth at a buffet, a buffet is meant to be enjoyed! If you really enjoy the starchy chips at a buffet, or your unlimited drink refills, then enjoy yourself.
If you have any buffet tricks or hacks then I would love to hear them! Leave a comment below telling me your best tip.