While I know most guides have such useful advice as "don't go out to dinner" or to never order coffee, I've complied a few tips that actually help reduce expenses without reducing your experience:
1. Pick a better restaurant! (Or at least investigate the one that's been picked). Seems basic but this has happened to me and others so many times as we kept quiet as a restaurant was a bit too pricey or far away. While I'm not suggesting to go crazy forcing your selection, there's still something to be said for speaking up when someone asks for recommendations on a group email/text thread. A good guide is 4 stars and 2 $$ on Yelp: you'll be hailed as a genius!
2. Consider transportation. One of the sneakier bank account drainers and one I rarely hear people mention is cabfare in cities. To get around this without being staying home, ask beforehand if anyone would like to share cabs or go on public transportation together. Even if everyone is thinking about it (or will be thinking about it day of), be that person to get the transportation plans in action.
3. Get dessert somewhere else! Explore local ice cream shops, candy makers, chocolate, etc. Even the most expensive take-out gelato (a chain in Philadelphia was recently named as one of the most tasty AND most expensive gelatos in the world...) is usually $3-5 cheaper and better tasting than the same ol, same ol at most restaurants. Unless there is a special dessert item (again, Yelp is your friend), I would strongly consider looking for other options.
What are your tips to make the most of your money when going out? Leave them below!