We can all use a night off from cooking and doing dishes every now and then, but it can be expensive! Don’t let an expensive check at the end of your meal ruin your night off. Plan ahead when dining out, and enjoy the food AND the savings!
10 Ways To Save Money When Eating Out:
- Use Coupons – Restaurant coupons are really easy to find. Check for available coupons before you decide which restaurant you’ll go to. This is often how our family decides the restaurant we will visit.
- Snack before your meal. – I know your Mom probably advised against this, but a high protein snack (like a boiled egg or a handful of nuts) before heading out the door can curb your appetite and keep you from over-ordering.
- Order water with your meal. – Restaurants usually have a huge price markup on drinks (not just the alcoholic ones, either)! A glass of soda can cost $2 or more. A family of 5 can save $10 off their dining bill by just choosing water. Add a little flavor to your free beverage by asking for fresh lemon or lime wedges. You can even add a little sweetener if you’d like (which is usually available for free right on the table).
- Share your meal. – Many restaurants offer large portions. Does everyone need their own take-home a box of leftovers? Try ordering an appetizer and one meal to share. Not only will this save you money, but it will save you some calories, too!
- Know when to go. – Restaurants tend to offer promotions at times they are not very busy. Going out for Lunch instead of Dinner, taking note of Early Bird Specials (usually offered before 6pm), and dining on Kids Eat Free Nights can all save you as much as 50% off your meal!
- Pay with discounted gift cards. – More and more restaurants are offering bonus gift cards. Deals such as buy a $50 gift card, get a bonus $10 gift card is an easy way to get FREE money to spend at your favorite restaurant!
- Save with social media. – See if your favorite restaurant is on Facebook and/or Twitter. Just by “liking” your favorite restaurant on Facebook or following them on Twitter, you can gain access to exclusive coupons and specials that may not be available any other place.
- Purchase discounts from a Daily Deal site. – Check out places like Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com and more for dining discounts. You’ll find offers for nationally-known favorites and undiscovered new restaurants, too. Be sure to read the offer carefully before purchasing your discount voucher checking for any restrictions and the expiration date. (NOTE: Many of these discount vouchers are still good past their expiration date for the price you purchased them for, so don’t throw them out if they have expired!)
- Sign up for Birthday FREEbies. – When you register to receive offers from a restaurant, you’ll usually get a FREEbie on your birthday and/or anniversary. Check out our huge list of Birthday FREEbies and sign up!
- Check your receipt. – Not only are you checking for any errors on your receipt, but look for surveys or discounts off your next purchase. Taking a 5 minute survey online could save you money the next time you eat out!
~ Bon Appetit!
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