The same word of caution applies when going out to eat, she says. Restaurant bills can add up quickly and aren't always evenly split.
"If it's a large group dining out … everyone may agree to split the bill evenly, despite the fact that you only ordered the salad."
4. Dining out and birthday parties
One of the most common ways to catch up with friends is over a meal. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to save money when dining out, especially if your friends are foodies, says Jordan Page, of Savings.com and founder of the blog FunCheapOrFree.
"To combat the problem, we started hosting dinner parties at our house," Page says. "Every couple was asked to contribute one part of the meal, and we provided the main dish. It allowed everyone to bring something they felt proud of, and gave us a great time out with good food … without the expensive price tag."
For birthday parties, which tend to be a "nightmare" on your budget thanks to drinks, presents and dinners, try to plan an inexpensive night out by splitting the cost of an affordable concert or other event, Page says.
"I try to plan a girl's night out. All of us split the birthday girl's ticket or tab so we're all contributing to a great night out without having to buy her a designer gift that we can't afford," she says.