3 tips to enjoy patio season responsibly

Spring has sprung, and that can only mean one thing; patio season is upon us. With sunnier days and a host of company happy hours, birthday celebrations, and get-togethers on your calendar, it’s important to finds ways to enjoy your outings without breaking the bank or over-indulgence.

Satisfy your cravings without sacrificing your wallet

Patio season is both fun and exasperating in equal measure. While enjoying the weather among your friends is a much needed reprieve from the stresses of the week, it’s not always easy on your wallet. Most places offer drink and appetizer specials, but if you miss happy hour or want something that’s not on the discounted menu, your bill could ruin your mood.

When you’re ordering, take a minute to gauge the rest of your table. See if anyone wants to share a pitcher, some finger foods, or a meal. We tend to over-order things when we step into restaurants; with the delicious smells and colorful décor, they’re designed to make you feel hungrier than you really are. Take a glance at the menu online before you arrive; knowing what you want ahead of time eliminates the need to peruse the menu and make impulse decisions.

Better yet, try to have a snack before you’re scheduled to go out on the town. That way, you won’t be ruled by your stomach the minute you sit down.

Less alcohol, same great taste

If you want to drink socially but don’t want the buzz, why not try mocktails – copy-cat beverages that contain most of the same ingredients or tastes as your favorite drinks, but remove the alcohol content? Surprisingly, there can be some health benefits of opting for a mocktail over a cocktail.

There’s no shortage of potential mocktails you can try when you want to skip the alcoholic options; this article by Spoon University  has a few drink ideas for your next night out.

Don’t forget to ask for some maraschino cherries and a tropical paper umbrella for your frosty beverage.

Ride-sharing has its perks

Getting from point A to point B during patio season can be a chore. It’s important to set a drink limit before you go out; what is the goal of the excursion?

If you’re planning on going out for drinks after work, consider taking public transit that day. Or, plan ahead with a ride-sharing application so you don’t have to leave your car unattended.

Driving under the influence is no joke, and often times, while we feel in control after a few drinks, you could technically be over the legal limit. Have a loved one or friend on standby to pick you up from your outing.

Did you know that in addition to Alcohol Awareness, April’s other National Health Observance for the month is Distracted Driving? You can learn more about cutting back on alcohol consumption and distracted driving on the Health Finder website __.

Author: Taylor Werdel

April 10, 2018